Instead of doing this:
- 3 sets of 10 front lifts
- 3 sets of 10 back lifts
- 5 sets of 20 side bends
Select a couple stretches to target and set a timer for about 15 minutes. Begin by loosening up with feel good movements, transitioning into your target stretches. Avoid getting into that repetition rhythm thing by intentionally not counting your reps. Instead, consciously put more time in between each motion by pausing frequently, visualizing, breathing, focusing, and lightly stepping about while you work on your target stretches. Hint: What does this remind you of? How we typically trick, maybe?
Discard your routine that contains a laundry list of static stretches. Instead, select an important stretch or two. Then, transpose your strength training or tricking focus into your streamlined selection. Allow yourself half an hour to work these holds. Avoid zoning out between your stretches and avoid lazy transitions between your stretches.
Let’s use the splits as an example: Visualize the range of motion you wish to achieve. Spend a moment priming your mind into hyper mode by using your pre-lift or pre-trick concentration ritual. Then enter the splits and maintain an aggressive focus during your hold. Then get up and walk. Rest, detach, refocus, repeat. Alternatively, super setting max lifts and power combos with aggressive focus stretching would also be a good idea if you don’t want to work on stretches alone.
There isn’t anything wrong with the rep and set approach with dynamic stretching, I still use it all the time. There isn’t anything wrong with a laundry list-routine based approach for static stretches either. I’m just suggesting you also try allocating some of your high-octane, tricking super powers for your flexibility work!
So gather concentration and be aware of your body as a whole. When you do a shoulder stretch, pay attention to your calves, your glutes, your abs and knuckles: everything! When you do a front lift be mindful of your wrists, shoulders, posture, toes, breathing. You cannot just slap a few stretches onto the beginning of your session when you’re not primed, or the end of your session when you’re exhausted and expect stellar results. If you could, everybody else who stretches this way would have excellent flexibility, but most don’t. Just like anything else, you have to put your head and heart into it and attack it!