Tina’s flexibility challenge is finally here!
I’m 34 years old and I haven’t been able to do the splits ever in my life. Having a desk job for the last 11 years, my flexibility has been slowly disappearing. Probably most of you are in the same situation.
In January I was as stiff as a stick but with two stretching workouts per week and some home workouts, I have noticed that my flexibility has improved. This got me thinking of a 6 months challenge.
How long does it take to achieve mobility? Years… but at least 6 months to see your flexibility improving. Be consistent and document your journey. Take monthly photos (be sure to be dressed in a tight comfortable outfit in which you can see well your posture and distance from the floor.
Before we begin... watch this: https://youtu.be/3lYx8LOvXHQ
When flexibility is ignored, muscles remain tightened and injury risk is much more prevalent. However, when a proper regime is enforced and proper techniques are followed, many benefits are seen. The benefits of flexibility include injury risk reduction, performance enhancement, stress relief, improved range of motion and relaxation. It is important to focus on full body flexibility and not focus solely on areas of concern. This will ensure optimal benefits.
These are the poses that I am challenging you (and myself) to test if you can do. For what you can’t do, follow the flexibility routines. For those than you can do (congrats!), check if your posture is perfect and if not, work on what can be improved.WARM-UP WELL before attempting any of these poses. The ‘Beginner flexibility routine’ it’s a minimum and if you have the time, do 10 minutes of HIIT/intense cardio too. If you have any health issues consult your doctor before attempting this challenge!
Know the difference between pain and discomfort and listen to your body. If you feel pain, stop and check you are you doing wrong or if you should adjust the pose to an easier variation until you gain flexibility/strength.
Wear tight, comfortable clothes. This way you will be able to see your posture wear and the distance between you and the yoga mat/floor.Step 1:
I put my mobile on a tripod to record my moves and made screen shots from the movie afterward to check what I was doing wrong. You could try this to document your starting point. Or ask someone to take photos. It is very important to have monthly photos. If you are not to shy, you can show me your starting point (either make a collage, a gif, a movie with your photos).Step 2:
Test all the poses… even if you think that you can’t do them. I was able to do most of them on the 2nd or 3rd try (yoga beginner here).Step 3:
Eliminate those that you can do easily and perfectly.Step 4:
Of those that you can’t do well or not at all, choose at least 6 to work on and perfect by the end of the year.
Either use the links I’ve added for each pose or search the pose name on YouTube for other workouts.Step 5:
Do at least 3 yoga workouts every week to improve your flexibility for those moves. A good plan would be to pair 2 poses for each workout (make sure that they target similar weak spots). If you feel even more determined, add a 4th workout with a full body flexibility routine.Step 6:
At the end of December take new photos or a movie (be sure to wear the same clothes as in the first ones or similar and to use the same light and angle).Step 7:
Put in the effort to edit the photos and put them side by side to see how your flexibility has improved. Show them to me and to those who joined you along the way in this challenge.
Continue being awesome. Don’t stop doing this just because the challenge is over. Aim higher.LET’S GET STARTED!
[CHECK THE PHOTOS with each pose at the end of this list.]
How many of these yoga poses can you do? And of those that you can do, do you do them correctly? Is your posture perfect or could it be improved?
I need a challenge to motivate and keep me responsible and committed, so that I will be consistent with my flexibility workouts and hopefully, by the end of this year I will be able to do most or all of these poses well. Some friends along this journey wouldn’t hurt. It is always fun to work in a team, to support, cheer and motivate each other.
So… will you join me? 😊Here are some (general) flexibility workouts:
Full-body flexibility workouts:
• Yoga For Beginners ♥ Easy Stretch & Stress Release | Playa Barrigonahttps://youtu.be/koUi-AgsowQ
• Beginner flexibility routine (Stretches for the Inflexible)https://youtu.be/qULTwquOuT4
• Yin Yoga Fusion ♥ Best Yoga For Flexibilityhttps://youtu.be/-fac_iJ8Nw8
• Yin Yoga Class ♥ Best Yoga For Slow Deep Muscle Releasehttps://youtu.be/ICanFGTsW8c
• 10 min Morning Yoga Full Body Stretchhttps://youtu.be/4pKly2JojMw
• 20 Minute Full Body Flexibility Routine V3! (FOLLOW ALONG)https://youtu.be/2wYQhJdv2oI
• Yoga for Beginners At Home (30 min) Vinyasa Flowhttps://youtu.be/W0FxPT0O0SA
• 4 Ways to Deepen Your Practice With a Yoga Strap (Tutorial)https://youtu.be/8roo6mCDHYQ
• Full Body Yoga Flow (20 Min Yoga) Intermediate Yoga Creative Sequencehttps://youtu.be/bhEmoX-qnAs
• Intermediate routine: 1 Hour Ashtanga Yoga (intro class)https://youtu.be/2wYN1IhnXT4
1. Wide child’s pose – beginner (Gently stretches the groins, hips, thighs, spine and ankles. Relieves back and neck pain when done with head and torso supported.)https://youtu.be/NTnOSWaecNshttps://youtu.be/gO1rVAyaWBA
2. Standing forward bend – beginner (Stretches the hamstrings, calves, and hips. Strengthens the thighs and knees.)https://youtu.be/VOPnBMKTbO8
3. Seated head to knee forward bend with one or both legs – beginner (Hip joint flexibility)https://youtu.be/etwPBgN3bCE
4. Reverse prayer/ Reverse namaste pose - beginner (Shoulder, chest, upper back flexibility)https://youtu.be/XWCAIgDPv0Ahttps://youtu.be/1gaLi2OBtZohttps://youtu.be/GMeIBCRO3eY
5. Downward-facing dog – beginner (Knee joint & hamstrings flexibility)https://youtu.be/wS2b5yld004https://youtu.be/j97SSGsnCAQhttps://youtu.be/Z9diEcFCFME
6. Goddess pose - beginner (It strengthens the entire lower body, including the glutes, hips, thighs, calves, and ankles. It opens the hips and chest, stretches the thighs, and elongates the spine. It improves balance, focus, and concentration.)https://youtu.be/3kxxyl6vcSchttps://youtu.be/bLSMj6EgOLc
7. Half pigeon pose – beginner (Stretches the thighs, groin, psoas, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and neck. Stimulates the abdominal organs. Opens the shoulders and chest.)https://youtu.be/2msg4jdu0vkhttps://youtu.be/jj2AAH6jbHkhttps://youtu.be/_lIMt1RbtG0
8. Tree with arms up pose – intermediate (Strengthens the legs, ankles, and feet. Improves flexibility in the hips and knees. Improves balance)https://youtu.be/HpXz48nmuu0
9. Lizard pose – intermediate (Stretches the hip flexors, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Improves flexibility in hip ligaments and strengthens muscles in your legs.)https://youtu.be/Sf3u1WWjUAUhttps://youtu.be/gyS68CiPNcY
10. Cow face pose – intermediate (stretches the hips and shoulders).https://youtu.be/RApbaPSOCnohttps://youtu.be/svrTZ3baPyE
11. Supported shoulder stand - intermediate (stretches the neck and shoulders, and strengthens the legs, glutes, arms, and core.)https://youtu.be/UjHTOW9x3WM
12. Camel pose - intermediate (Neck and shoulder girdle flexibility)https://youtu.be/8q7GxnIFsQo
13. Reclining hero pose - intermediate (Stretches the hips, thighs, knees, ankles and feet.)https://youtu.be/tL2jdEJ86a4https://youtu.be/OOGarN0u5kI
14. Bow pose - intermediate (Bow Pose stretches the entire front of the body, while simultaneously strengthening every muscle in the back. This improves posture and spinal flexibility. Additionally, the pose helps to open the chest, abdomen, quadriceps, ankles, groins, hip flexors, and throat.)https://youtu.be/FCuSE4oS9xchttps://youtu.be/Txxy7U0i5A8https://youtu.be/-pgMaeaRqL4
15. Warrior III pose - intermediate (Is a strong, active pose that strengthens the ankles and legs, tones the muscles of the abdomen, and offers a stretch through the chest, shoulders and hamstrings. This pose also helps to improve balance and coordination and can assist with posture and general proprioception.)https://youtu.be/_0K-Kuw6DOs
16. Wheel pose/bridge – intermediate (Shoulders, Chest, Quads, Hip flexors, Triceps flexibility).https://youtu.be/0shrlcN8OcEhttps://youtu.be/U-cBuYnVJBI
17. Eagle pose - intermediate (stretches the shoulders and upper back while strengthening the thighs, hips, ankles, and calves. It builds balance, calm focus, and concentration. This pose is therapeutic for those with lower back pain and sciatica.)https://youtu.be/a-ng1A60c_Ihttps://youtu.be/9wwtGegsD4Ehttps://youtu.be/_MNiGagY0TU
18. Frog pose – intermediate (Strengthen the Back, Hips, Knees, and Ankles)https://youtu.be/rjkA7rbClpQhttps://youtu.be/qNpyoQ4pwzEhttps://youtu.be/sHMnhGruycQ
19. Front splits/monkey pose - intermediate (Hips and hamstrings flexibility).https://youtu.be/7__5szNyObAhttps://youtu.be/bMzEV_5kmR4https://youtu.be/ErvWKrWlRCshttps://youtu.be/RttVsGmQjIAhttps://youtu.be/3zAHANT3rVA
20. Simple Crow pose - intermediate (Crow pose is the foundation of most arm balances. It works the whole body, especially arms, wrists, abs and upper back, builds endurance and strengthens the mind. This balance uses full body co-ordination.)https://youtu.be/xEoaoes9f7khttps://youtu.be/FBzWk1bx9P8
21. Lotus pose – intermediate (Hips and glutes flexibility).https://youtu.be/r9wVNIIq1eYhttps://youtu.be/Z8LOhZmuVaE
22. Deaf man’s pose/Ear pressure pose – Advanced (This pose stretches the neck, shoulders, back, glutes, and hamstrings.)https://youtu.be/hdO-aQuNnHchttps://youtu.be/K3eRRtPOWlw
23. Lord of the dance/ standing bow pose - advanced (improving the flexibility and strength of most of the body’s muscles, opens shoulder joints, elasticity of the spine, strength and balance).https://youtu.be/3hT2H0mMHNQhttps://youtu.be/V34lIKYpee8
24. Middle splits – advanced (Hips and hamstrings flexibility).https://youtu.be/46FmXZkIoRQhttps://youtu.be/bs63okrxH8Ehttps://youtu.be/ChXCKV_Eg-whttps://youtu.be/OprCe6oi8sUhttps://youtu.be/y0AyIsNPMk0https://youtu.be/ph4MPuUAVK8
25. Shoulder pressing pose - advanced (Strengthens the arms and wrists, Tones the belly, Improves balance)https://youtu.be/auTDGgztdUYhttps://youtu.be/FPGND7wTQF4https://youtu.be/XHg5YwuujCE
If you are already able to do all of these, congratulations! You are amazing! Check out other yoga poses here and try out a new one: 82 Yoga Poses: https://youtu.be/zGpqwpF1DXo
Also, if you want to see more variations/poses and the previous/next poses in a sequence, check out this website: https://www.pocketyoga.com/pose/
Here’s a playlist with flexibility and mobility workouts. See what are your weak/tight spots and improve them: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXi7slewxuMLpA5T5_G1aHCMCiZJ3LnHx