Being able to touch your toes isn’t much more than a fun party trick when you have aches and pains.
And oftentimes, more stretching isn’t the solution for aches or recurring pains that flare their nasty heads up from time to time.
But you don’t have to get more than two taps into a Google search to find 17 different posts about the 3 stretches you MUST DO for back pain.
Sure, stretching may help a little bit.
But in the long run? Your body (and brain) need more than flexibility to stay in the clear.
The thing is, flexibility is more than just a structural thing. It’s more than just how long your tissues are allowed to move.In fact, stretching doesn’t actually lengthen your muscles. The physical distance between the attachments of your hamstring muscle (and any muscle) never changes regardless of how much you stretch.
What changes is your brain’s tolerance of the stretch.
Did your brain explode? It’s ok – mine did too the first time I learned this!
Your brain is in complete control of your flexibility. If it decides that your tissues (muscles + fascia) cannot safely get in AND out of a movement, then it puts the breaks on. A pull or pain stops you in your tracks and now label yourself as having “tight hamstrings”.
But your feeling of tight hamstrings has more to do with the fact that your brain doesn’t trust that you can go into that shape and get out of it without risk of an injury.
So the fix isn’t more stretching to stretch your brain into submission.
The fix is teaching your entire body, muscles, tendons, brain and all, to work together to get you stronger. Because when your tissues are stronger, you move with better control AND your brain feels safer in more positions.
And strength isn’t always about bulking up (unless you make it that way). More often than not, strength building is the key to improving your posture and reducing the amount of effort your body has to expend just to move.
Strength is the missing piece between moving with ease and feeling like you have to drag your body around.
Every amplifyU plan inside Movement Mavens involves a mobilization (stretch, massage, etc) AND an activation. Because stretching without strengthening is a temporary band-aid that won’t resolve the root of the issue.
If you want to feel confident in your body and how you move, right now is the perfect time to start getting stronger. And the good news is that it’s totally possible to get stronger and out of pain, no matter where you’re starting from.
When you’re ready to make that change, I’d love for you to join us inside Movement Mavens. Learn more and grab your spot today.