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Dear Forum Users,

I am new to this forum and have a question regarding developing a whole body flexibility routine.

I have purchased all the Master the ... series videos and I find them excellent.
However I am trying to put together a full body mobility routine aimed at preparing myself for surfing and rock climbing.
Both these sports require strong healthy and mobile shoulders, together with good hip mobility.
I should also mention I am deskbound in my job and I have done a lot of running in the past, so my hamstrings are tight.
Given this, I have a secondary goal of improving my Pancake as a means to improve hamstring flexibility.
Currently I can only just sit in pancake with a vertical back and cannot rotate my pelvis at all (strangely, my Pike is OK, so maybe Hamstrings are not my problem).

I have read the excellent post on How to use the "Master the ..." programs and plan to work through the Master the Pancake series weekly incorporating PNF stretching.

Does the list of poses below make sense? I have named these according to the Master the ... series pose names.
Alternatively, would I be better to just work through each of the Master the ... series videos 1 day per week?

Warm-up
01) elephant walk
02) squat limbering exercises

Hips and hamstrings ...
03) calf exercises
04) relaxed lunge
05) outer hamstring
06) lying agonist antagonist hamstring
07) lunge hamstring
08) skandasana
09) boxing the compass
10) diamond pose
11) seated figure 4
12) advanced piriformis
13) tailor pose pt 1

Above poses build toward ..
14) pancake

Shoulders and back ...
15) cat pose
16) pec stretch with fascial dimension
17) standing external rotator cuff
18) yuri band mobility sequence
19) bench kettlebell back bend
21) half bridge

Appologies if this has already been dealt with,

Thanks for your help and a great product,

Gareth Williams

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19 hours ago, GarethW said:

(strangely, my Pike is OK, so maybe Hamstrings are not my problem)

Most likely accurate. Hamstrings are rarely the limiting factor in pancake. You say your hamstrings are tight, but are they really? Or did that just sound like a good label to adopt, perhaps because so many people say it so often? :D

That aside, you have a very nice list of exercises there. No need to perfect the list. Use your list, put in the work, and re-evaluate in time. You have more than enough to begin your journey.

Looking forward to your results! :)

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Thanks for taking the time to post Nathan,

I take your point on the hamstrings. They just ache the most after I try and do the Pancake! Good to get confirmation I am heading in the right direction though.

All the best,

Gareth

 

 

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1 hour ago, GarethW said:

I take your point on the hamstrings. They just ache the most after I try and do the Pancake!

One possibility is that you are getting the vast majority of your front bend from the back, rather than the hamstrings. Next time you do your pike, really exaggerate the anterior pelvic tilt, i.e. stick the bum out/arch the lower back, and try to bend from the hips only. (Think about trying to reach your feet with your sternum/chest rather than with your head/hands.) See if your pike is still OK. And of course your can always post a pic in the form check forum!

1 hour ago, GarethW said:

Good to get confirmation I am heading in the right direction though.

Certainly looks that way! Keep it up and keep us updated!

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On 2/5/2020 at 8:01 PM, GarethW said:

Given this, I have a secondary goal of improving my Pancake as a means to improve hamstring flexibility.

@GarethW: The pancake is not the best choice for working on your hamstrings; the pike is the top choice here. The reason is that the pancake really only stretches the inner hamstring; the other two are relatively relaxed. The final proportion of which muscles most limit the pancake depends on the legs-apart angle. Imagine for a moment that you have perfect side splits: if you sit in this position and roll forwards from the back of your legs to the inside, as you put your chest and stomach on the ground, literally nothing more is stretched than what is in the initial position.

This is why the Yoga classic, upavistha konasana requires that you only have your legs 90–100° apart (if you can still hold your feet, that's about the right width) because bending forwards with a straight back at this leg angle the maximum amount of length in both the adductors and the hamstrings. 

Conversely, the pike requires the maximum length in all three hamstrings, and little from the adductors. 

And I am not a fan of lists of exercises; for one, the body is different every day (this can be subtle or huge) and what your body will need on any day will be different to what mine will need. Having said that, your list is excellent, but I'd move the advanced piriformis up the list IF this is a problem for you, and then repeat it before you finish.

So, print the list by all means, but resolve to change it on the day depending on what the body tells you. 

And let's see an image of your pike, too, when you get a chance; the majority of people doing GST achieve the pike through lumbar flexion; there are many reasons that's not a good idea!

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Thanks for your reply Kit, 

I have taken on board what you say about working based on how I feel on the day and it is working well for me. I have attached a photo of my forward fold from a few months back, before starting your programme. Looking at it, I am flexing the back a fair bit. I need to work on rotation of my pelvis more, but it is quite tight at the moment. 

Cheers, 

Gareth 

IMG_20200218_184347.jpg

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Hello there. @GarethW

Your calf muscles, most likely, are the tight link. Siege those for a while (the best one is THIS one; many reasons) and then try this position again—I think you'll be surprised. You will feel the effects of this pose in the lower back presently (that's where the bending is happening, because that posterior line will not let the pelvis roll over). No problem: you are already quite flexible. We are merely refining things.

A tip for the next time you try the pike. Once in the position you show above, bring your chin into your chest, and ask yourself, "How can I pull the top of my head slowly towards the top of my feet?". This self-cue changes a great many things. make sure you stay completely relaxed as you try this.

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