Before we delve into actual stretch exercises, it is good to understand our goal. What is the definition of flexibility? For a mom, sometimes it may seem to mean nursing a baby on one arm, while lunging deeply to pull a toddler away from an electrical outlet. But seriously, if we understand what it means to be flexible, it can help us achieve our fitness goals. Attaining and maintaining flexibility should really be one of our fitness goals.
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One expert on flexibility who you may not yet have heard of is Pavel Tsatsouline. He is the man behind the term "Russian Flexibility." His books are very much marketed to men. Some of the macho things he says will make you smile, maybe even laugh out loud, if you are like me. Even though his books are very masculine, Pavel provides a great deal of knowledge and information that you don't want to miss.
Why do I include these here? I wish I knew nothing about shoulder rehab exercises. But unfortunately I was in a car accident in the early 90’s that left me with an injury in my right shoulder. The rehab exercises my doctor gave me involved both exercises for flexibility, and strength-building moves. But I don’t need to do that boring routine anymore... I found something better.
Some of my favorite, and gentlest flexibility stretches I have come across are in Teresa Tapp's T-Tapp Total Workout. According to Teresa Tapp, a lot of fat burning actually takes place during stretches, of all things. Who knew?
The topic of spine flexibility and spinal alignment has become fascinating to me since I started to hear Teresa Tapp talk about it. Did you know that our bodies burn fat at a much faster rate when our spine is in alignment? And our lymph system can work better through working on spine flexibility and spinal alignment? It is amazing how different aspects of fitness such as fat burning and flexibility affect one another!