It is important to be flexible to a certain degree. If you have a limited mobility, your muscles and joints are endangered to be hurt more easily. I, however, have a hard time getting myself to stretch. To be brutally honest: I dislike stretching. I find it boring and uncomfortable. Yet, the online courses of Fit & Bendy help me a lot and I do not want to hide my discovery from you.
It does not matter whether you just dislike stretching, like me, whether you want to do something for your body or whether you are already targeting a professional contortion career. In any case, Kristina Nekyia, the founder of Fit & Bendy, is your ‘woman.’ I love stories where people start small and conquer a challenging path. This always gives me a feeling of connection with these people and I then believe more easily that I could make it, too. Kristina, however, has started her contortion career at the age of 31 which was much too late, according to her own terms. She has trained for five years before she had her first show. She mediates this understanding for the slowness of the stretching process very well in her videos and it is one of the reasons for that I value her classes so much.
Here are some other reasons:
1. Kristina focusses on active stretching. I find static stretching almost unbearable and I cannot relax at all. On the contrary, I literally feel my muscles cramping up. Kristina’s stretching moves target minimal movements throughout the stretch. You have to constantly contract and relax your muscles and this active muscle engagement helps you to avoid the cramping up.
2. Additionally, Kristina increases your active flexibility. Active flexibility is the flexibility that you are able to reach out of own terms without external help in any form. This form of flexibility is extremely important because, without it, you would not be able to get for example the splits on your own. You would also create a disbalance in your body.
The stretching classes by Kristina take about an hour. This is a limited time that does not put me off immediately. Currently, there are two videos available: Bendy Body, which I would rate as a beginner tutorial. It targets muscle strengthening and the preparation for some more ‘serious stretching’ (as Kristina calls it). You will learn during this video how relaxing stretching can be without all the stressing out and cramping up. You will also learn little tricks to outwit your muscles. Get Bend is almost like the follow-up. It is still manageable even for non-contortionists (I actually bought this one first), but it already requires some basic flexibility. In this video, you will learn splits and to increase your back flexibility. Both videos are available on DVD or as stream and the stream costs only $14 which is a more than reasonable price.
In the meantime, Kristina has stretched ‘celebrities’, such as Natasha Wang.
Lastly, I want to make a small comment on how Kristina sais things like: Say something nice to your body. I tend to easily fall into despair with my muscles and it helps me to hear that I should accept my body and the level where it currently is.
Do you like stretching? What is your advice to trick the muscles? Do you have a must-do stretching exercise? I am curious.