In episode 349 of "The Sound of Movement - The Unity Gym Podcast," we unpack the two must-know training principles required to unlock flexibility.
After years of physical wear and tear from military service, boxing and bodybuilding, we knew it was time to change our approach.
We needed to train smarter, not harder.
Teaming up with some of the best experts in strength, flexibility, and physical therapy, we explored and perfected a whole new way to enhance flexibility, whilst also increasing strength—a method that has now been in the making for a decade.
Wanting to unleash strength and flexibility beyond the standard gym junkie?
Then this article is for you ...
The Flexibility Adaptation Principle: Learn to Release Your Brakes
I like to say, flexibility isn't just about stretching your muscles. It's about turning the limits of your body into doorways for your passion.
Flexibility doesn't mean making your muscles longer, as many people think. It's more about changing how your muscles work.
To really understand this, we need to look at how muscles function. It's not too complex, but it does involve your nervous system.
Your body has two main safety features that work with flexibility:
- Preventing Overstretching: Signals between your nervous system and muscles make sure you don't stretch too far and get hurt.
- Preventing Over Lifting: The same communication happens to make sure you don't lift too much weight and cause an injury.
Conventional stretching methods take weeks or months to increase your flexibility.
But there's a way to speed up the process! You can "hack" the second safety feature—the one that stops you from lifting too much weight—to become more flexible in just seconds.
By knowing how your body works, you can make big improvements in your flexibility. It's not just about stretching. It's about understanding your body and using it in the best way possible.
Load Management Principle: From a Cup to a Swimming Pool
“It’s not the exercise that hurt you, it’s how you got there!”
Nilesh Murti (Sports Physiotherapist, Newcastle Jets Football Club)
Managing load is key to strength and flexibility. When mishandled, it leads to injury.
Imagine your load capacity as a small cup, with your daily activities as water pouring into it. Exercise, work at your desk, moving furniture, or playing golf: they all fill the cup.
That sharp pain in your elbow or knee is your warning sign of the cup overflowing. A tough gym workout might fill the cup in one go. Add more, and it spills over. That's when you get hurt.
But what if you could make that cup bigger?
Here's where "load capacity" comes in. Start with proper training and load management, and your cup grows into a bucket. Soon, it could be as big as a swimming pool. What once filled and spilled your cup is now just a drop in the bucket.
Think of exercises like the Jefferson curl, which some call dangerous. It's not the exercise that's bad; it's poor preparation. If you try to lift 44 pounds in a warm-up like Rad and I do, you could get hurt.
Not because of the exercise, but because your cup isn't as big as ours.
Unity Gym's approach helps you grow your cup safely. Our 20-Minute Mobility Routine is for those just starting to fill their cup. The Flexibility Masterclass helps expand it into a bucket. Ready for a swimming pool? Join the UMS Tribe Membership.
Understanding your load capacity is like knowing how big your cup is. Train right, grow your cup, and enjoy more flexibility and strength without the risk of injury.
That's how you make big splashes in your fitness journey!