30-Minute Follow Along Stretching for the Hips and Legs
“The first and best victory is to conquer self.”
Welcome, my friend!
Thank you very much for joining me for this 30-minute long “follow-along” running-specific flexibility and strength–functional MOBILITY training session.
Now, if you’re wondering how a single session might encompass all of those elements (strength, flexibility, functional mobility), please keep reading.
We’ve gotten a little lazy in the fitness industry over the last few years. We’ve collectively used words like flexibility and functional and mobility interchangeably, without really being clear about the differences. Or similarities for that matter.
Why would I bring this up right now?
In this 30-minute follow-along, I delve into all of these elements – spending time on passive flexibility and then going straight into a functional mobility exercise. So, I thought it best to make sure you knew the difference.
Think of it as the “why” and “what” behind the “go do,” if you will.
So why don’t we define these terms within the context of this program, what do you say?
For our purposes…
Flexibility is the ability to passively achieve a range of motion.
The key word here is passively.
For our purposes, that’s a range of motion that could arguably be considered useless for this reason: passively connotates a lack of control.
Let me ask you: Why would you want access to a range of motion that you can’t control? Something to think about…
Mobility is to be capable of moving or being moved freely and easily.
In this context, I think of joints in our body. Are they able to move freely with adequate degrees of freedom for the tasks we’re asking them to do, like running, swimming, or pedaling a bike?
If a joint doesn’t have that freedom to move, then it isn’t a joint. (Think about it). 😊
Functional mobility is the ability to actively achieve a range of motion.
The key word here is actively. That connotates control. Now we’re talking. 😊
Remember too, that the word “functional” always requires context. I mean the question I’m asking is, functional for what?
What about hardware vs. software?
The hardware we’re focusing on here is our joints.
The software is the movement patterns we go through – the things we tell our body to do via the brain and our nervous system.
Without good hardware, the software doesn’t have much to work with. Think about it.
What’s our goal with this program?
We want to improve ALL of the movements we’ll embark on in this program and others, by improving the function of our joints, first and foremost.
(For more on this, make sure you review the Controlled Articular Rotations for the Hips, Spine, and Shoulders, all part of Restoration and Foundation!)
The control of those joints is the responsibility of the soft tissue. We’ll start with some passive stretch and then embark on some functional mobility in a few of the positions I visit during this session.
Pails and Rails?
I’ll utilize some of the skills I teach a coach and Functional Range Mobility Specialist, which are P.A.I.L.s and R.A.I.L.s.
I know it sounds silly. What are they?
Simply put, it is isometric contraction efforts combined with some stretching, which are used to communicate with both the connective tissue and the nervous system.
PAILs is an acronym for Progressive Angular Isometric Loading, which combines passive stretching with isometric loading / training at progressive articular angles in order to simultaneously expand ROM as well as strengthen tissues in a newly acquired range.
RAILs is exactly the same thing, except that it’s done at the regressive angle.
Confused yet? 😊
What you NEED to know is this:
Some of this includes bouts that are, in essence, strength training. Per the above. Be aware and ready for it.
Less is more. Listen in and take your time, learning as you go.
Always err on the side of caution. If in doubt, just stretch passively.
During this 30-minute session, I move gradually through these movements in this order:
*Moving 90/90 *Bretzel 2.0 *Frog *Long Adductor passive stretch *Downward Facing Dog *Calf stretching and P/R *Hamstring stretching and P/R *More Hip Mobility with 90/90 control
Provided you follow along and take your time, and don’t’ force anything, you’ll learn, feel better, and gain better passive flexibility and control of that flexibility (mobility)!
That sounds like a win to me.
Don’t forget, if I can be of any assistance with anything, get in touch!