Stretching . . .
It’s a love-hate relationship for me and stretching.
My Cerebral Palsy has resulted in me having “increased muscle tone” and tight tendons. In fact, I couldn’t walk as a child until my Achilles Tendons were lengthened surgically. I’ve always struggled to hold a good stretch and really feel the pull . . . and many traditional stretches/positions that I’ve seen over the years have been awkward for me.
About 15 years ago I asked the owner of the gym I was going to if he could suggest a way for me to stretch my quads. Because all I had ever seen people do was stand on one foot and reach back to grab the other foots ankle and stretch. That would have been impossible for me. My left side is weak and the balance is horrible so even if I could manage to do this move for my right leg – my left hand/arm would not have been able to grasp my left ankle.
He thought a moment, then suggested I use an exercise ball behind me to stretch the quads. It worked like a charm and over the years I realized I could give each of my legs a complete and awesome stretch.
When I visited Now Lifestyle headquarters I was fortunate to be able to work with JB in putting this video together. I’ve always struggled to describe how I manage this stretch and/or what I mean when I say it literally will stretch all parts of my leg.
Anyone with balance difficulties can appreciate the value of doing this in a gym environment where you can hold a death grip on something sturdy. While I do this stretch a few times a day in the kitchen, the counter is not a suitable surface to rely on so it’s not until I’m at the gym that I truly get the most benefit from this stretch.