Stand up tall and walk around strong
I had a chance to hit the Kinstretch class this weekend. I should have been there earlier, but I finally made it!
You need to give it a try! I felt so much better the rest of the weekend. I was standing up taller walking around stronger. my back had more mobility than usual (in a good way), I even had no weird little aches and pains.
I'm notoriously very fidgety, I can never find a comfortable way to sit down and stay there (of course, I yell at Alek for the same thing!). Usually something just doesn't feel right and I'm achy or just have the urge to move when I'm sitting. After the Kinstretch class, I was fine all weekend! Of course, I'm not telling you to do Kinstretch so that you can sit on the couch all weekend and watch TV - it was just a symptom that I noticed, I was just more comfortable in my own skin.
We started opening up the neck, shoulders, and hips - they surround the spine which was the focus for our class. You can view this as stretching, but not really. There was no falling or relaxing or pulling yourself into a position. The goal was to actively explore your range of motion around each joint - without recruiting movement from other joints.
The weirdest part was the spinal extension and flexion we did. The goal was to extend or flex each vertebrae at a time. No big movements, just start at the bottom and extend up, one vertebrae at at time, and then come back down flexing it. For the most part, I was okay at it. Since I often use the Jefferson Curl as an accessory for folks with back issues, I have to teach that a lot and it's the same kind of movement with weight (but you also have gravity helping you). Without the feedback of having a bar in my hand or the help of gravity, I had to work much harder to move each vertebrae.
By the end of class, I could feel which muscles I had to turn on at each time. Usually, my goal is to create tension in all of my back muscles at once, not to try to time them and use them in a coordinate way. A totally new challenge for me!
All of that active work in my back opened it up much better than any amount of foam rolling ever would! I think that's the real benefit from this style of training, the active work expands your range of motion so much better than just forcing it open from static stretching.
I'm writing this Tuesday - four days after my class - and I still feel so much better, especially in my upper back. I don't even feel hunched over the keyboard right now!
If you can make it Wednesday or Saturday, definitely try to get this in your schedule! I'm going to see if we can bring Bridget and Traci in sometime in the evening to force you to do it during an S&C class - it's really good for you - I never thought I'd say that about stretching!