Often the best advice we get comes from little nuggets- small changes that seem relatively insignificant but can actually have a big impact on our understanding, progress or both! This is the intention behind the information shared here and linked to my YouTube channel (currently in development).
As some of the best in the business have said, if we can make a 1% change to a number of elements, suddenly our movement, performance and the way we live our lives can become infinitely much improved!
#1 Neck and ankle mobility
Let's start with something simple! We have all been taught either directly or by watching others how to "warm-up" or "Stretch" our necks and ankles. How many of your football club coaches or old school PE teachers told you to roll them?...To do head and ankle circles?
Neither the bones in the neck or those that constitute the ankle are ball-and-socket joints (like the hip) and therefore, by definition it is physically impossible to actually make these movements!
To stretch the neck you should follow 3 movement lines:1. Chin to chest followed by chin to the sky (as if you were nodding "yes"), 2. maintain eyes looking to the horizon then turn to look over your left shoulder, back to centre and then round to the right (accentuated but slow shake of the head- as if indicating "no"), 3. Again maintaining eye contact with the horizon directly ahead, tip your left ear to your left shoulder, back to centre and then right ear to right shoulder.
To stretch ankle, there are only 2 actions: 1. Pulling your toes towards your shins and pushing them away to the ground and 2. Flicking the foot inwards so the sole of your foot points to the other leg and then doing the opposite- trying to flick your foot out so the sole of your foot is pointing away from your body.
By following these basic steps you are less likely to generate any grating of bone-on-bone and therefore it is a healthier stretch, as well as actually activating the isolated muscles you are about to use.
#2 Mythbusting: Stretching the truth
Did you know that there is no scientific evidence to show that stretching actually improves performance???