Stretching yourself thin

 If it’s enhanced flexibility that you are aiming for, Neeraj Mehta vouches for the efficiency of SteelFlexx, an incorporation of yoga dynamics and static stretching with the use of props.

A key part of staying fit and being well is to have a flexible body. And there are plenty of stretching routines, which help increase body flexibility. Stretching is a physical activity that gives tension force to muscles to strengthen, lengthen and lubricate. Different physical activities, especially strength training or specific sports training, lead to injuries or stiffness in the body; so it is necessary to add some kind of stretching to your routine in order to increase mobility and range of motion.

Normal stretching or power stretching plays an important role in increasing the flexibility and balance of the body and also increases circulation of blood and oxygen to each part of the muscle. However, SteelFlexx is beyond Power Yoga; it takes you to another level of flexibility. It is an incorporation of yoga dynamics and static stretching, with the use of dumbbells and other props, to stretch the specific area to an extreme level. It’s one of the new techniques of flexibility training with an emphasis on biomechanics (movements friendly with the joints and connective tissues of the body), body postures and breathing.
The best feature of SteelFlexx is that it gives the benefits of all four types of muscles contraction. The weight used in this technique helps you push your limits, so that your flexibility can be increased four times faster. Here, with the muscle contraction, there is proper flow of blood with oxygen, so that muscles can be enhanced faster, in comparison with weight training. Sometimes, while lifting heavy weights, people squeeze their joints, leading to no circulation of blood or oxygen, which can hinder the growth of muscles. 

Benefits

n Increases range of motionn Decreases stiffness and increases flexibilityn Increases strength in the musclesn Lubricates muscles and jointsn Joint-friendly movements, so no risk of injuries

About the pose

n Poses should be done in a systematic format, where all muscles should be used and strengthened during the session.

n There are some specific stretches and poses, which can be done with external weight loads without compromising on the technique of the movements.

n Standing side stretch, forward lunge, spine stretch, spin on knee stretch and the like can be performed.

n There are a lot of core-strengthening dynamic and static poses with external weights that can tone up muscles faster. How to do it

n A combination of four-five poses performed in such a way that one can isolate the entire body muscles.

n Need to first start with dynastic stretches without or with very little external weights.

n Do eight to ten repetitions of each stretch on the right and then, the left side; complete the combination with light weights and then, do the same combination with either slightly heavier weights or switch to static (holding) stretches.

n Need to know the correct body posture, movements and breathing pattern. Or else, it’s best to train under a qualified instructor.

n Start your workout according to your fitness level; choose the weights and other props under the right guidance.

Take care

n Never compromise on the technique to perform additional repetitionsn Don’t use weights that are too heavyn Never perform too many repetitions for one stretchn Modify the stretch according to your fitness level or any other challengen Never hold your breath when performing the stretchn Supervision is necessary for beginners and persons with special needsn Modification in routine is necessary
(The author is fitness professional, nutritionist and director at GFFI Fitness Academy, New Delhi)

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