I should clarify, before you start reading because you are so excited by the headline of this blog, that I don’t actually think that you can just scrap stretching from your training routine and still nail your splits, backbends, and other amazing super flexibility moves. Sorry. I’m just not that awesome.
However, I think there are small things you can do to increase your flexibility other than training for it.
The first and most important thing is to get really, really warm. This protects you from injury, but it also makes you more flexible. Do it every single time you train or perform. Your warm-up is not the place to slack off.
Another thing you can do is to try to relax a little. All of your muscles are connected, so even if your eyes or tongue are tense, it will impact the rest of your body. Take a moment to notice what feels tight and imagine it feeling more relaxed. Squeeze and then release your muscles.
Take a little time each day with your foam roller or some tennis balls to literally squish out tenseness.
Another great way to practice flexibility is on the pole. It doesn’t feel like flexibility training, but practicing your jade or pole splits or pretty much any flexibility move on the pole will help you get there faster. Your weight is distributed differently than it is on the floor, so it will open you up in different places.
Breathe. You will be stronger and more flexible if you breathe.
Smile. I’ve written about this before, but smiling is a powerful way to increase the intensity of your training.