First, let’s talk about what the Bendable Body Method is not!
To learn a new idea, it's helpful to first get clear on what it's not! Here is a list of other forms of stretching you are probably familiar with. When you learn the Bendable Body Method, keep in mind that it's NOT like any of these!
It's not Static Stretching (shown above): Stretch to the farthest point and hold the stretch, usually between 10-30 seconds. Your muscles are active and produce tension to hold the stretch. This is the most common form of stretching.
It's not Passive Stretching (shown below): Is also known as relaxed stretching or static-passive stretching. Assume a stretch pose and hold it with some other part of your body, or with the assistance of a partner or outside apparatus. For example, bringing your leg up high and then holding it there with the help of an assister.
It's not Dynamic Stretching: Controlled leg and arm swings taking you to the limits of your range of motion. An example would be slow, controlled leg swings, arm swings, or torso twists.
It's not Active Stretching (shown below): Assume a stretch and then hold it there with no assistance other than using the strength of your agonist muscles. For example, bringing your leg up high and then holding it there without anything (other than your leg muscles themselves) to keep the leg in that extended position. The tension of the agonists in an active stretch helps to relax the muscles being stretched (the antagonists). Many of the stretches in Yoga are ‘active'.
It's not Isometrics Stretching: You assume a stretch pose with a muscle group in a lengthened position and produce an 'isometric contraction' which involves tensing and resisting the muscle group against an outside object (like a chair, wall, or the floor). Like static stretching, there is not added motion or lengthening to the stretch.
It's not PNF Stretching: A muscle group is passively stretched, then contracts isometrically against resistance while in the stretched position, and then is passively stretched again through the resulting increased range of motion. PNF stretching usually employs the use of a partner to provide resistance against the isometric contraction and then later to passively take the joint through its increased range of motion.
The Bendable Body Method is ALSO NOT LIKE other manual therapies that address fascia: Rolfing, Massage, Myofascial Release, The Fasciablaster, Melt, Using Balls, Straps, or Foam Rollers (foam rolling shown below).
The Bendable Body Method - Resistance Stretching for your Muscle-Fascia:
What makes The Bendable Body Method so different?
The combination of two things make Bendable Body different from other forms of stretching and fascia therapies.
1. Your internal resistive force.
2. The external force lengthening the target muscle against your resistance.
When YOU contract, resist, and tense the targeted muscle group (remaining active during the stretch in other words), AND you lengthen the muscle/s against that force through a stretch movement... TWO FORCES work against one another to achieve dramatic results in both flexibility and strength. What's more, the fascia is targeted and there is NO PAIN.
The Bendable Body Method - Resistance Stretching - The 4 Pillars of a Stretch!
Pillar 1. Start Postion
Pillar 2. Contract, Resist, Tense
Pillar 3. Lengthen for the Stretch Movement
Pillar 4. Release and Return to the Start Position
Practice this stretch to get clear on the technique and ALL 4 pillars of a stretch. Remember, it's all about a good start position, not a long end range. Resist throughout the stretch. And be sure to let the tension go when you return to the start for another repetition.
Try this stretch for the shoulders and neck:
Pillar 1 - Start Position: Palms together at forehead height and elbows wide.
Pillar 2 - Resist: Press your palms and fingers together.
Pillar 3 - Lengthen for the Stretch with resistance throughout the movement: Continue to press your palms together while you draw your elbows together.
Pillar 4 - Release and Return to the Start position. Repeat Pillar 1.
*Try 3 sets of 6-10 repetitions and see how your neck and shoulders feel!
Fundamentals Webinar - Watch Now:
Discover the role fascia plays in flexibility, strength and pain. Learn to stretch your fascia with resistance and address the root cause of stiffness. Did you know stretching also impacts emotional and physiological health? Discover how.