Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there’s more to the picture …
I have a saying I’ve found very effective when it comes to cultivating physical development and the attainment of total body awareness.
“Keep your focus 50 / 50.”
This principle can be applied to any movement, stretch or element of your physical practice. And what it essentially teaches is to avoid intense focus in any one area of your body or movement practice.
Intense focus on only the internal or external aspects of physical training ultimately leads to stagnation and blockages in your body and your progress.
I’ve found that imbalances in focus hold many people back in their movement endeavours and especially their pursuits to become more flexible.
So how do you balance the equation, and where do you need to spread your focus. To give your body the best chance to move with deep levels of mobility and Range of Motion (ROM)?
That’s what I’ll be sharing with you today.
I have quite a different approach to improving ROM, to what you’ll learn in the mainstream.
Most of what I learned in mainstream health and fitness didn’t do much for my flexibility and mobility abilities.
Most of the time it’s ‘naturally’ flexible people teaching tight people how to become flexible, which means much of the finer points of ‘flexibility’ development are often missed.
My body was extremely tight. So I had to learn how to dive deep and discover what are the small happenings that allow flexibility in the human body.
I learned that success in flexibility training is not as simple as doing:
- Contract / Relax or PNF stretching
- Foam rolling an area
- Loaded / Weighted stretching
- Hundreds of reps of ballistic stretching
While these approaches can be helpful. They don’t always provide the full story of what it takes to become flexible + develop deep levels of movement range.
The missing link: Developing Internal Sensory Perception (ISP) to enhance flexibility training.
It’s definitely important to have a clear understanding of what your body is doing on the outside during your flexibility training.
I call these tangible skills, which focus on positioning, environment, time in the stretch, etc.
But without enhancing the internal aspects of your flexibility training, you’re leaving a big chunk of your range of motion / mobility / flexibility potential untapped.
I call these subtle skills, which focus on feeling what’s going on deep inside your body and mind during your flexibility training.
Internal Sensory Perception is all about feeling and accurately interpreting what your body is telling you.
- Feeling what areas in the muscles and fascia are holding tension, so you can learn to relax where you need to in any given position
- Feeling how to open and close the joints, so your skeleton isn’t holding back your range
- Feeling the difference between your muscles and fascia, so your stretching becomes a whole body connected experience (instead of just isolating a small area)
- Feeling the right timing to breathe to expand and release the tissue of the muscles and fascia while in the stretch.
Once I developed these subtle and internal skills, and combined them with effective externally based stretching methods – My range of motion improved in ways I had never previously experienced.
So the message for today to help you improve your ROM / Mobility / Flexibility / Strength at End Ranges is:
- Learn to feel and control the internal mechanics of your body during each and every moment of your flexibility training.
- Apply this level of sensitivity to the appropriate external method (type of stretch / time in stretch / volume / intensity) for your individual needs.
With all that in mind, let’s Deepen that Range of Motion of yours.
Perform any stretch right now, and comment on what you notice happening deep inside your body.
I hope today’s post may assist you on your journey to Physical Freedom, through the cultivation of Total Body Awareness.