As you alla very well know, when you train your body the muscles adapt by getting stronger (plainly explained), and if you stop training, the muscles go weaker… The ability for the body to adapt to new conditions are amazing, but it always goes both ways.
The topic for today is flexibility. Not a gymnast’s flexibility, but just normal movement. What is normal movement? Well, difficult to say, but I think of it as remaining flexible. Lots of people my age can’t squat properly anymore, or can’t sit crosslegged in a comfortable position (some has never been able to – but that’s a different topic). A lot of people can’t do a normal somersault (kullerbytta) on the floor, end even fewer can do one backward. When I was training a group of teenaged basketball players a few years ago with a focus on preventative physical training I realised that most of them were even afraid to try doing a somersault on the mat as they hadn’t worked like that on the floor in years.
Why do I bring this up? Because the way we evolve today in adapting everything to us instead of having to adapt to situations is making us stiffer, loosing flexibility and coordination. The better our situation is the less we move. And then it becomes a negative circle – we feel stiffer, so we stop bending properly or sitting on the floor or just playing around on the floor, which makes it even worse.
In my own training I do floor exercises at least once/week to keep my flexibility. With floor exercises I don’t mean crunches or core stability exercises, I mean rolling around on the floor playing with somersaults forward and backward, headstands, headstands down into a somersault, handstands, swinging my legs back over my head, I squat every day at work and I sit down on my knees Japanese style.
Why? Because I know that the day I stop doing this is the day when I start loosing my flexibility, and it’s fun playful training! Yes, we can improve flexility, but that is so much more work than just keeping it.
A video with a mishmash of movements. They are definitely not in progress order, but some hints in the video.