The Couch to 5K of Flexibility Training
June 30, 2013 8:40 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend a "Couch to 5K"-type plan for flexibility training?

I'm in reasonably good shape in the cardio and strength training departments, and my weight is on the good side of normal for my size. What I lack is flexibility. I've never really had it, either naturally or trained, and I know from experience with running and strength training that I prefer a gentle learning curve. What can you recommend? Something that doesn't require a workout partner, classes, or extensive equipment is preferable.
posted by jedicus to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 68 users marked this as a favorite
Extensive equipment being in the eye of the beholder... try some yin yoga videos. Some are free, some you pay for. You will need some props. You might have some props laying around, like pillows, towels, and blankets. But you might also want to invest in straps, blocks, bolsters, and such.
posted by icanbreathe at 8:54 PM on June 30, 2013

I highly recommend trying yoga. The thing I love about yoga is that they stress not to do more than your body can handle at that point. It'll get more flexible on its own, as you do the exercises.

For a long while, I was using, and I really enjoyed it. It's $18/month for unlimited videos, and has yoga of all types, including high-quality beginner instruction. The organization and filtering abilities of the site are fantastic (sort by teacher, yoga type, length of class, class focus, and experience level). I only stopped because I'm unemployed at the moment and trying to save money. As soon as I have a job again, I'll reactivate my account.
posted by evolvinglines at 10:55 PM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The NHS has a podcast (put together by the same team as their Couch-to-5K series) on this exact thing.
posted by pink_gorilla at 2:11 AM on July 1, 2013 [18 favorites]

Best answer: Starting Stretching is an extremely simple, straightforward routine available for free on the internet. It's well-rounded and easy to pick up.

If you want something fancier, I've heard good things about Becoming A Supple Leopard, the new book from Kelly Starrett, creator of the Mobility WOD web site (another free resource), although I personally can't stand his jargon-heavy communication style.
posted by ludwig_van at 5:46 AM on July 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

I think you sohuld maybe check out (mobility workout of the day)

Another thing I have heard recommended a lot is the book Becoming a supple leopard

A lot of people recommend SMR (Self-Myofascial Release) in addition to mobility exercises - this is usually done with foam rollers, lacrosse balls, plastic tubes, etc. Some people also do trigger point therapy.

I've ordered these in decreasing order of experience I have with them. SMR has always seemed a tiny bit woo to me but a lot of people swear by it and it seems to help some people.
posted by RustyBrooks at 9:30 AM on July 1, 2013

I guess I opened this quite a while ago, before Ludwig Van posted and just got around to posting now.
posted by RustyBrooks at 9:31 AM on July 1, 2013

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