Why don’t animals and young children do stretching exercises, do they know something we don’t?
Have you ever seen an animal or young child do stretching exercises – meaning they repeat the stretch over and over. I never have but I do see children and animals stretch their whole body ONCE when they wake up or have been still for awhile. Do we know something they don’t? Or is it the other way around.
Rationally I look at stretching this way:
1. If my brain and body are learning from stretching exercises how to be flexible then why do I have to do it day after day AND I still get stiffer year after year!
2. What technically does stretching do? It pulls on already contracted muscles and as I repeat the stretch the muscles warm up and expand. My brain has learned absolutely nothing about how to allow my body to be more flexible.
My conclusion based on logical rationale is that stretching exercises are NOT the answer to becoming flexible in my body. I prefer to take a page out of the book of young children and animals who I believe show much greater intelligence about their body.
So what is the better solution?
1. When you move and your brain tells you a muscle feels tight/stiff/sore/painful figure out how to release it IN THE MOVEMENT.
2. If you can’t feel which muscle but your body doesn’t move then tighten the general area and hold for a few breaths. Let it go and see if you FEEL looser.
So there you have it, sensing what it feels like to move and responding to the messages from my brain by releasing muscles versus brutalizing my body by pulling and yanking on already contracted muscles and giving no intelligent signal to my brain to change my habit.
Take the video test and see if release works for you.