It’s been a hot minute since I’ve had a good old fashioned flexibility rant, so strap yourself in motherfuckers as here comes one with bloody great bells on.
I am sick to bastard death of my shithouse hamstrings.
There, I said it and I’m not taking it back. Are my fucked hamstrings my own fault? Yes. If I got my arse in gear and did the absolute bare minimum of 15-20 minutes of gentle Yoga or leg stretches per day would they probably be a damn sight better than they currently are? Yes. Do I know I need to do this and literally mug myself off and not do any stretching whatsoever? We have a hattrick of yes!
If you have been following this blog for a while now you will know that I am the first to admit that I am not the most flexible of Felix’s (see what I did there?). Apart from my weird, hypermobile hands the rest of me is pretty stiff (ooh er!) However, due to certain lifestyle changes I have a few body parts that are no longer as robotic as they once were. Since working from home became the norm, I am no longer jogging home from work with a heavy rucksack on my back, which has done wonders for my back and shoulders. They’re still not flexible by any stretch of the imagination, but I can bust out a consistent pretzel spin on both sides and a very basic brass bridge.
On the other hand, other lifestyle changes in recent years have meant that my flexibility in certain areas has fallen off a cliff. Since getting my pooch Rex in 2020, I practically lived in walking boots for about a year as I strapped on a pair whenever I had to take him out. Not only did this royally fuck up my walking boots (it turns out you’ll destroy them pretty quickly wearing them on concrete paths daily) but doing lots of walking in heavy boots and not stretching regularly is a recipe for destroying ones hamstrings. That and trying to split whilst cold on a hard floor and using cushions under your feet to slide down lower, as that dumbass move caused a tiny tear in my already fragile hamstring on my right leg.
To be perfectly honest, apart from a 16 year old Science GCSE I am not qualified in anything anatomy related whatsoever, so my hypothesis of relentless hiking in walking boots causing my hamstrings to feel like overly tightened guitar strings may be complete bollocks, but whatever it is that’s going on they ain’t doing too well, especially in the glutey bit deep within the old butt cheeks, which is in a world of pain.
Recently, to my delight I found out that one of my favourite mediation apps Headspace (I promise this isn’t a plug and I am in no way affiliated with this brand, I just find it very useful) now has a Yoga section on it, with Yoga sessions ranging from 10-45 minutes in length for members to do. For about a fortnight, I did regular 15-20 minute sessions roughly every other day at best and low and behold I saw small but noticeable improvements. Therefore, you will be happy to know that as of yesterday I have got firmly back on the wagon and did 15 minutes of basic stretching whilst cooking tea. I have literally no reason to not stretch most days for 15-20 minutes other than the fact that sometimes I simply can’t be arsed, so there’s some real shit for you.
Lastly, it goes without saying that neglecting my flexibility is hampering my pole progress. I am aware that my pole journey is more focused on enjoyment than progress, but when there are moves like a Jade, Devil’s Elbow and Chopsticks, that I know I can achieve and make look looking cracking with some flexibility training, then I’m going to bloody well do it. I’m attending weekly splits classes when I can, so by supplementing these with mini stretching sessions at home I’m (hopefully) onto a winning stretching formula.
So, here goes my mission to fix one’s hamstrings for the 46327th time. Will it work this time around? Who knows, but you’ll be sure to find out in a few months’ time!