The “special” techniques.
These are still stretches, but not in the way you think of them. These are active stretches. Stretches with intention, where the muscles are being contracted while they are being lengthened. Sounds paradoxical, but you’ll understand if you watch a few videos on how muscle tissue works during contraction, at the microscopic level.
I’ve never “stretched”. I used to be rigid as a board. Never could get my hands past my knees. I’m still pretty tight, but can now get my palms flat on the floor with a tiny bend in the knees.
The main reasons for my current level of flexibility are
1. Kettlebell swings
2. Clubs and maces
4. Breath control practices
The last two methods are stretches of the mind and the autonomic nervous system, and the preceding parts in this series might give you an idea as to why you should approach flexibility in methods other than just purely physical.
“Animal flow” movement practice is another useful way to improve flexibility that I don’t practice enough. I haven’t included it in my list above because of that reason. I’m not regular with it. It is relatively safe and you can teach yourself easily, if you’re persistent and sensible and use the progressions appropriate for your skill, strength and body awareness levels.
Can’t go into detail on the methods in my formal list, because it’s not something that can be taught online. You can learn on your own, if you’re brave and willing to take risks, like me, but it is not recommended
These methods aren’t necessary to get more flexible. You can go through the previous two parts and still improve your health and flexibility by following the suggestions given there. With very very little risk of things going wrong. Those I can recommend with a lot of confidence.
The above methods aren’t the only methods available obviously, I’m just crediting my improvement in flexibility to them.