How To Improve Your Flexibility For Muay Thai
One of the common misconceptions when it comes to flexibility is that to make flexibility gains, you need to lengthen muscle tissue and do a ton of static stretching. While this makes sense, I’ve recently learned from my buddy Eric that static stretching is just 1 factor of 9.
That’s right – there are actually NINE factors that affect your flexibility, so if you don’t address the ones that are actually keeping you tight, you won’t make any gains. That’s why many people stretch and stretch and stretch but NEVER make any real gains in their flexibility.
You would think I’d be super flexible by now since I’ve been doing a variety of stretching routines at the end of my Muay Thai training sessions and I’ve been doing yoga for a little over 3 years now… wrong! Yes, I have definitely improved my flexibility, but not at the pace I was hoping for.
So instead of me explaining the intricacies of stretching (which I’m rather ignorant about) here’s Eric Wong with a short article explaining each of the 9 flexibility factors that you must address if you ever want to make permanent gains in flexibility
The 3D Flexibility System
By Eric Wong, BSc, CSCS
The 3D Flexibility System includes 9 factors, which are divided into 3 groups:
SOFT TISSUE: tight muscles are a part of this group, as is fascia and the joint capsule.
STRENGTH: includes your joint stabilizers, your core and the prime movers of the movement you’re addressing.
NEUROMUSCULAR: includes reflexes (like reciprocal inhibition), your mind to muscle connection (control) and pain tolerance.
That’s why I call it the 3D Flexibility System – because there are 3 main groups with 3 factors under each.
Now, static stretching addresses muscle length and can address pain tolerance as well, depending on how deep you can go (without hurting yourself of course). Dynamic mobility exercises that are popular for warming up nowadays address muscle length and both joint stabilizer and prime mover strength.
But what about the rest?
That’s where I’ve come up with new advanced techniques, such as Dual Contract Relax (DCR) method.
Let me walk you through this method right now (follow along!):
1. Get into a stretch (for example, the lunge stretch for your hip flexors).
2. Contract the muscle being stretched (hip flexors) for 5 seconds.
3. Relax, then you should be able to go a bit deeper. Hold this for 5 seconds.
4. Now, contract the muscle OPPOSITE to the one being stretched and hold it for 5 seconds.
5. Relax and again go a bit deeper and hold this for 5 seconds.
6. Repeat for 2-3 cycles.
What’s happening is that you’re performing a stretch, so you’re addressing muscle length, then you’re building strength on BOTH sides of the joint at the end range of motion.
If you just stretch without strengthening, your brain thinks, “Hey, I’ve got this range of motion, but no strength, this is unstable and not safe, I’d better tighten the muscles up to keep the joint stable!”
However, the DCR method addresses muscle length, fascia, neuromuscular control, it takes advantage of a neuromuscular property called reciprocal inhibition where you contract a muscle and it’s antagonist (opposite muscle) naturally relaxes AND it builds both joint stabilizer and prime mover strength, reprogramming your nervous system so you KEEP the gains you achieve.
Pretty sweet, isn’t it?
So you should use this method instead of static stretching and you’ll make faster gains that you get to keep.
This is just ONE of the advanced methods used in Eric’s Hip Flexibility Solution, which almost 4,000 people have used to unlock their tight hips with routines that take only 15 minutes a day.
I just recently got the program and have begun to use it in hopes to help not only with my flexibility, but with injury prevention too (like my knees and lower back).
This past year, he celebrated the 1 year anniversary since launching the program and he’s created 9 new 10-15 minute routines to address specific problems that he’s hooking you up with for FREE, including:
* Tight Hamstrings
* Tight Hip Flexors & Quads
* Tight Groin
* Squat Mobility
* Deadlift Mobility
* Low Back Pain
* Desk Jockeys (posture and poor hip extension)
* High Kicks
Eric has used this system to get results with the UFC fighters he’s trained as well as regular people and it’ll work for you too, and FAST. So if you want to do this flexibility program right along side me, then you should definitely get in now and get the program on sale AND get the new modules for FREE:
And just to be completely transparent, if you do buy this program I do make a commission off it. With that being said, I only recommend products I believe in or have personally used myself. And since I’ve read through the entire program and seen other guys get awesome results from it, I’m going to try The Hip Flexibility Solution too because I truly believe it will help my Muay Thai game.
If you end up getting it make sure to let me know so we can work together to improve our flexibility and throw some badass head kicks!
- Sean "Muay Thai Guy" Fagan owns & operates the largest online Muay Thai community and the #1 training resource for nak muay of all levels.