It’s natural to wonder how much flexibility and strength can be gained when starting Essentrics. As with any exercise, it’s good to have sense of realistic gains. Let’s start with flexibility. If you’ve never been able to touch your toes, you likely still won’t. You can, however, dramatically improve your range of motion and mobility. The average person can gain 60-75% of their flexibility back. That is a life-changing percentage!
Flexibility is determined by an individual’s muscle to tendon ratio. The longer your muscle, the greater your degree of potential flexibility. Some of this is genetically predetermined, some of it is lifestyle related. Regardless, after a couple of months, everyone experiences a significant to astonishing degree of increased flexibility.
If, after a few months of Essentrics training, you’re still experiencing stiffness, pain, or lack of flexibility, chances are it’s not due to your muscles or tendons. It’s likely your connective tissue. Luckily, this is where Essentrics shines.
At first it can be difficult to discern between fascia stiffness and muscle shortness or injury. One clue that the “issue in the tissue” is that typical pain relief measures like ice, heat and ibuprofen won’t work. Loosening congealed, stuck fascia is the only solution that will provide relief. The slow, circular movement of Essentrics is suited to do just that.
Unlike flexibility, which is partially determined by our genetic profile, we can influence and alter the shape of our muscles. We can make them strong and lean, or weak and flabby – the choice is ours. Whichever route you go, one thing is clear: the best way to care for our muscles is to mimic everyday movement.
The human body doesn’t come with extra parts. Everything has a function and it’s our job to maintain it. Anything less than a full-body workout puts the unexercised muscles at risk for atrophy, which leads to poor posture, low energy and compressed joints.
Staying active is essential at all stages of life, but it becomes critical as we age. Whichever way you decide to move your body, it should never hurt. Cast aside the belief of “no pain, no gain.” Movement should feel great while you’re doing it and leave you feeling energized when it’s done. Ideally, it should be fun and enjoyable – something you want to do each day.
Strength + Flexibility = Power
In order to slow down and reverse the aging process, we need to have both flexible and strong muscles. This means we have to do a combination of strength and flexibility exercises. When you do, at the very least, expect to double your current level of power and endurance.
Strengthening or stretching alone won’t do it. An equal combination of both dynamics is required to gain and maintain the large range of motion we need to keep us feeling young, relaxed, and comfortable in our bodies.