How can I become more flexible?

The benefits of stretching with Extensa

The first thing clients always ask us is: How do I become more flexible? Becoming flexible is not achieved by stretching only.

While static stretching exercises are important, there are other stretching techniques and fitness components that need to be included in order to become more flexible. The Extensa method creates flexibility programs that include all the necessary components to becoming flexible.

 

The Extensa™ method:

  • Builds and maintains a strong core;
  • Improves mobility and stability of the joints from head to toe;
  • Improves balance and coordination;
  • Creates ease and fluidity of movement;
  • Creates a sense of calm throughout the body.

The benefits are reduced stiffness, pain and stress. Everyone experiences the benefits of flexibility training, whether it be for sports or dance performance or everyday health.

 

Becoming flexible! According to the Extensa Method principles:

1. Move more often and with intention. Incorporate movement throughout our daily lives. Spend less time siting at the computer and watching tv. Schedule time to go for a walk, take the stairs, garden, play sports and include doing chores around the house as “exercise”.

Be mindful of what types of movement we are doing. With siting being so predominant in our lives, we tend to bend and squat more often that anything else. Our bodies function properly when all the muscles and joints of the body are challenged. We need to get our bodies out of their comfort zone and learn to move in different ways. 

2. Muscles (and all connective tissue) need to work optimally. This means the correct muscles need to produce force when requested in order to create proper movement patterns. Our connective tissue adapts over time to whatever demands (or lack thereof) we place on it.

For example: if we sit all day, our bodies adapt to a seated position. When we attempt to walk or run, something our bodies are no longer used to doing, our muscles and surrounding connective tissue, are no longer as pliable because they have been adapted to the seated position. This creates muscle imbalance, weakness and strain. A combination of stretch and strengthen programs can help restore the balance and allow the muscles to work optimally.

3. Improve posture and focus alignment. This means being conscious of how we sit, stand and walk. It also means means focusing on our posture while we are exercising.

For example: If we are performing a leg exercise, we still need to think about our shoulder blade placement, abdominal engagement and the entire upper body.

Connective tissue runs throughout our bodies and are all intertwined. What happens in the feet affects what happens in the neck. When performing an exercise we need to think about the entire body, not just the targeted area.

4. The mind and body work together. We must stop thinking of them as separate systems.  One way is to learn to be present in the moment. Try to stop worrying about the past or future. Focus on what you are doing in the moment. While you are focusing on the present moment, be aware of how you are feeling (both emotionally and physically). Try to take the emotion out of the physical sensations and be an observer. One of the best ways to be present is to focus on breathing.

For example: Keep an even breath, in and out, through the nose, and think about breathing to the bottom of the lungs.

 

Breathing helps relax the body, especially while performing stretching exercises. It is vital to life, but it's also a technique that can be mastered.


Our Extensa method principles guide our participants through the process of increasing their flexibility. The principles stay the same but the exercise combination vary depending on the demographic. The Extensa Method benefits everyone!