Flexibility Questions Anyone?

If you have any questions about flexibility, flexibility training or stretching, please leave it down below and I will get back to you as soon as possible!

21 Responses to “Flexibility Questions Anyone?”

  1. Ingrid Says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I have achieved front splits on my right leg and am working on my left leg. But I am NOWHERE NEAR side splits! It’s very frustrating and I’m not sure how to get the side splits. Can you help me? Also, how can I improve turnout? I have good turnout in my feet, but for some reason my hips just refuse to turn out, no matter how hard I try. Why is this? What can I do to change/improve this? Is it related to the side splits thing?
    Thank You!
    ~Ingrid

    Hi Ingrid

    Unfortunately for some of us, side splits are much harder to achieve than front splits. For some people it is the other way around. It can seem that no matter how hard you stretch you just dont get any better into side splits and turnout, but this does not mean that its not possible. I always struggled with turnout and side splits and then just a few years ago, one of my staff gave me an amazing deep massage treatment around my hips and loosened off all of the muscles that I had been holding on to for years. Once I got off the bed, my hips felt more open that they had ever been, and I did a beautiful grande plie all turned out! Now, if i dont work at it, this is the first thing that tightens up on me, but I now know that there is much more turnout in my hips than I even thought possible.

    When you are working on improving your turnout and side splits I would definitely recommend finding a local massage therapist, physical therapist or osteopath who can help you loosen off your hips to get you started. Then you can use similar principles to the Front Splits Fast program to increase mobility into all of the areas needed to open into side splits. One area to pay special attention to is your inner thighs. Tension in there can reall block your full range.

    I hope this helps!

    Lisa

  2. Kaytlyn Says:

    Hi Lisa

    Firstly I’d like to say thank you for the information you are giving us all, It’s truly appreciated. I have tried a couple of your exercises that target the fascia, I felt the amazing results instantly!!! though the next day I was slightly sore. Is this normal? or am I doing the exercises incorrectly?

    Once again Thank You.

  3. lisahowell Says:

    Hi Kaytlyn

    Thanks so much for your question. Its great that you had a good response from the fascial releases, but yes, you are right, you should not be sore the next day.

    Often when people first start doing the releases they apply too much pressure as in traditional massage techniques the thought is that you have to “break down the fibers”. Try to release this thought… Your body is an amazingly complex and subtle creation that will respond to very minor pressure applied in the right places.

    Try to imaging that you are just calming down the nerves that are sending the messages to your muscles to make them contract. See if you can use the pressure from the techniques just a feedback to your brain so that it has a focus point to release.

    As you work with the techniques over time you will find that you need less and less pressue, and you will also see much faster and more long lasting results!

    Keep me posted as to how you are going!

    Lisa

  4. lisahowell Says:

    Hi Anusha

    Thanks so much for your comment. Yes, there are fascial lines that run through the front of your body, that actually include your abdominals, neck and even down into the front of your thighs! However, when working into back bends I rarely find that this is the issue. Most of the time back bends (Back Extensions) are limited either by joint restriction or by muscle weakness.

    So how do you tell the difference?

    The best way is to check your “Passive” extension against your “Active” extension. Lie on your stomach on the floor, side on to a mirror (or with a friend) and slowly push up into a back extension. Take care not to go to fast, and do not push into pain. Notice where in your back the arch happens, and how it feels.

    Does it feel like the bones are blocking the movement? Like there is too much “stuff” in the way? Or are you too tight up the front to allow yourself to go backwards?

    Then, come up into standing and try going into a back bend. Notice the shape of your back and whether it bends in the same places. Is there any pain? Can you go back as far? Do you feel the strain in your back or in your abdominals?

    If you have less range in your standing back bend than your lying back extension, chances are that it is a strength issue. If your abdominals are not strong enough (both deep and superficial ones) then you will not be able to use your full range.

    The strength of your deep back muscles is also vitally important here, and will help avoid that “squashing” or “pinching” feeling in your back. Strengthening exercises for controlling into back bends must start with isolation of your deepest abdominals (Transversus Abdominis) and then work on maintaining this control while adding in movement. Doing a bridge or other static/bracing exercises will not make you stronger into your back bends.

    If you find that you are restricted into back extensions whether on the floor or in standing, then the joints in the back may be stiff. Instead of just pushing into extensions (which often results in pain and injury rather than better extensions!)

    I tend to focus on improving movement into all other directions, and then slowly bringing in extension. If the “facet joints” (The areas of each vertebrae that touch the next one along) are stiff into rotation (twisting) or into flexion (bending forwards) then you will also lose some of your extension. It is amazing how quickly you can get more range into your backbends just by mobilizing your back!

    In the Front Splits Fast Flexibility Program there are two sections that can really help with your back extensions. These are the “Thoracic Mobility” and “Spinal Mobility” sections. We don’t often think of the flexibility of our upper back having much to do with our back bends, let alone our splits, but it does!

    If the upper back is stiff you will also take a lot more load down deep in the low back, which may cause instability and pain from too much movement.

    So try out the tests above, then work on the two sections of the program and see how quickly your extensions improve!

    Good Luck!

  5. Sara Says:

    I am almost 20 years old and majoring in ballet in college. I am flexible but not like some of the other dancers. Is it too late to work on flexibility at this age? Thank you for your help.

  6. izzy Says:

    I need help with how to do the splits – I dont know what to do I just cant do them… I’m 11 and never been able to do the splits… If I could, I could finally make the cheer leading team please help! What should I do every day and for how long????

  7. lisahowell Says:

    Hi Sara

    Dont worry – Starting at 20 is no barrier to working on your flexibility! I have had people in their 50’s emailing me after they have been working with the program and having great results! The difference is that this program focuses on finding all of the things that are stopping your mobility and releasing them, whether it be in your hips, your back or even your feet!

    Have fun exploring the program and let me know how you get on!

    Kindest Regards,

    Lisa

  8. Annabel Says:

    Emily says:

    I am flexible to a certain extent, i can do a back bend as normal but i’m having other problems. I can only sit and touch my toes on the right foot not the left, i was thinking one foot was longer but that’s not the case i just want so tips to improve this.

    Hi Emily,
    It sounds like you are flexible through your back, however flexibility through the back of the legs is quite another issue. You may have a difference in your right versus left leg flexibility due to many different factors apart from an actual leg length difference. It could even be due to an asymmetry in the way you use one side of your body compared to the other!

    Are you currently using our Front Splits Fast program? Within the program you will find ways to assess and work on any area that you may find is affecting your flexibility on your left side. The cause of asymmetry in flexibility can be really different for each individual so it’s definitely worth checking through each part of the program to find out what works best for you.

    For example if you are gripping through through some of the deep muscles at the back of the hip such as Piriformis this may be affecting your neural mobility. Neural mobility describes the way your nerves move in your body. This is an extremely important component of your flexibility and one that is often overlooked. If the Sciatic nerve is not able to slide easily through the body (especially at the hip and under the hamstrings) your flexibility may be limted on the left. We have a great webinar on neural mobility that explains how this works.

    Once you have listended to the Webinar something that you could try is releasing the muscles at the top of the neck with some gentle massage techniques which can allow the nerves at the back of the body to glide more easily. You can find a great video here that shows how to do this!

    I hope this is helpful for you and look forward to hearing how you go with the program!

    Annabel
    (Dance Physio at Perfect Form Physiotherapy)

    PS. We also had a similar question asked a little while ago and you may find our answer quite useful. Click here for more info.

  9. isabelle Says:

    how do you massage the neck?? me and mum tried lots but we dont no how im 11 like the girl on the video and my splits wont do. i strech about 3 times every day please help

  10. Annabel Ralph Says:

    Isabelle asked:

    How do you massage the neck?? im 11 and I’m the only one outta my friends who cant do it please help

    Hi Isabelle,

    The massage of the neck (sub occipital muscles) is really great as part of a flexibility program. You can see an example of this at Lisa’s Youtube channel here. It’s quite important however, to address the areas that are tightest for you as an individual. Simply stretching your Hamstrings (as you may have found) does not always provide the improvements in flexibility that you are striving for!

    Our Front Splits Fast program gives you the all the tools you need to make long lasting improvements in your flexibility, and can be really helpful guidance for you and your mum :)

    Annabel
    (Dance Physio at Perfect Form Physio)

  11. Lana Says:

    Hi! I am 32 year old actress and working in theatre. I exercise a lot but I have a big problem with my inner thies and almost everything that I try to do on the side. whan I sit on the floor with my legs streched I can not pull the on a side more then a few inches because it becomes realy painfull on my inner side. My coleagues say that I have a problem because I am open in hipps, closed in knees and again opened in feet. Is there any tips about side splits in your dvd and is there a way you can help me? I have a big chance to do a play in 3 months and if I have some progress in this problem I will probably try to do it! Another question is do you know how long does ti take for your dvd to get to europe, because I would like to begin realy as soon as possible because I am a little ashort on time to practise.
    Thank you for everything,
    Lana

  12. rainbow Says:

    Hi Lisa. This is just introducing myself and say Hi to you. I am a new member and still waiting for the DVD and a manual. I am Japanese and live in England and I found the love of dancing in recent years.
    I was told by a pilates/ballet teacher that we Japanese have the different bone structures (socket of joints) and no matter how long and hard we practice and try, we won’t be able to do the proper 2nd and 5th and have nice and beautiful turn out. (Is it true?) I thought everything is against my wishes- as I supposed to have the wrong body structure, and no dancing experience when young until recent years ( I am a quite matured lady of leisure, 59 years old, consequently or unluckily I had to go through a little bit of health problem last 20 years too). But listening to you made me to decide trying once for my dream which is to have a very flexible body and beautiful extension. I am a rather small person (154cm and around 44kg). I’m not supple like your experienced dance student but I am not stiff either. But unfortunately I don’t think I have the strong core strength. But I have to admit that I have never tried to do the splits in any direction properly. After a few try with a right leg front, it comes very close to the split but not quite, but left leg is not so much as I always seem to have some problem with left groin since my early teen due to the stretching in PA class and stretching incident in more recent years. I have a little bit of knees problems due to twisting and stiff left shoulder due to the old age, I was told. (In Japan we called it as the “40 or 50 years shoulder”, depends on your age, I suppose. But despite of those I am going for it and waiting for the goodies from you with anticipation. Now doubt you shall hear from me for your advice now and again. Till then. Kindest regards. Ayako

  13. jamie-lee Says:

    hey lisa

    im 13 and i want to try out for cheerleading but i think im not flexible enogh ad my family is not very flexible and my sister said i will not be to do the splits and i am stretching alot (10 15 mins a day ) . i do get alot of head ache . what can i do ????????

    thanks for every thing
    jamie-lee


    Hi Jamie-Lee,

    Thanks for your question! I think in your case you might find a sub-occipital release helpful! You can do this technique on yourself and I would recommend that you do this prior to completing your stretching regime. We have a free video on our website demonstrating exactly how this can be done and you might find that this will also help to ease your headaches. CLICK HERE to view.

    I hope that this helps to answer your question!

    Kind Regards
    Alex

  14. Chyanne Says:

    Hello!

    I have danced for over eleven years and have achieved a full split on my right, left and almost my middle split and was able to do all the additional stretches… although, I took a year and a half off from dance and didn’t stretch for the entire time off! I am going back to dance in the summer but need my flexibility back. Can this DVD work for my right,left and middle split as well as all additional stretches? and possible within 3 months? PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!

    Hi Chyanne,

    Thanks for your question! I think that you may find this DVD very helpful in regaining your splits! The program is very easy to follow and also has a second disc that demonstrates how to do each exercise properly! You sound as though you already have a good base level of flexibility, which will make it easier for you to regain the flexibility you had before you took some time away from dancing. If you complete the program on a regular basis, at least three times a week, you should find some good improvements with your flexibility.

  15. Jarquette C. Says:

    Hi, I’m trying to learn how to do splits & move my hips an I can’t when I do try & dance I feel so ashamed because I know I’m stiff & everyone laughs at me it would be my pleasure to learn just to know how to move my hips.

    Thank you Jarquette

  16. Pat W Says:

    Hi Lisa,
    Thanks for providing such great info on website and blog.Ever since I received treatment from you I have remained a much more efficient and stronger runner however I have continued to struggle with calf and Achilles pain from time to time and do not seem to be able increase my flexibility sufficiently to remain injury free. I have come to the conclusion that muscle tension is at the cause of continuing calf and Achilles problems. Stretching alone doesn’t seem to do the trick. Do you believe I can achieve more flexibility in my calves through your program?
    Regards,
    Pat

  17. muazzam Says:

    Hi,when i am stretching i feel pain in lower part of my left knee i can do front split on my left leg but when i try it on my right leg i feel pain what can i do plz help me.

  18. Swetha gollapalli Says:

    Hi Lisa I have three questions to ask you today! One is what kind of stretches do you recommend doing to get the front splits on both sides and 2nd question is how long would it take if I held each stretch for 30 seconds each day , how long will it take to get my splits. And last question is . The video you did on the neck massaging to get your front splits fast how do you massage properly like where to were do and I massage and for how long do I a massage!

  19. Livi Says:

    Hi Lisa!

    I stretch my splits, turn out, back, and strengthen my feet and ankles every night for about 30-40 minutes. I strengthen my leg muscles about 4-5 days a week. With doing all of this my develope and leg holds still haven’t improved. Do you know any stretches or exercises that will help improve my develope ala second?

    Thank you,

    Livi

  20. Peter Says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I read and listened most of your material before and now I just ran into this website again and started to read your writings again..
    I also have flexibility issues especially in the hips. I think to strech the muscles is pretty easy you “just need” to practice but make the joints mobile is a hole other story.. I feel like my hips is stoned and wanna those side splits so badly.. (i could do both front- and sidesplits when I was a kid)
    I cant remember instantly but the release of a neural block can make the tendons more flexi also (not just the muscle)? Or on an other way how much this system effects the tendons (or maybe the bones?)?
    One more Q. Is the glutius medius used to be the limit to do a flat butterfly?

    Thank you

  21. Pauline Says:

    Hi Lisa! Really excited to have found you!

    I am interested in purchasing the Front Split Fast Program but I noticed in your youtube video demo you had to massage a girl for her to improve. Does your DVD provide a way for me to do this on myself? alone?

    Thank you,
    Pauline

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