Time: 58 minutes (although this is increased if you want to hold a stretch for longer which Stacey encourages)
Areas worked: Legs
Equipment needed: Yoga strap (I used a resistance band), ankle weights, a chair, a wall and someone to help you
In terms of flexibility I am pretty flexible, however where I fall back is the flexibility in my calves as I’m unable to get my feet flat on the floor while doing downward facing dog and I’ve never ever been able to do the splits and I’ve really really wanted to!
Previous attempts at getting flexible enough to do the splits have included:
- Doing splits stretches twice daily that I found online- this did actually help me get closer to the splits but I ended up getting out of the routine before I managed the splits completely.
- Buying “Der Grosse Spagat” DVD- a German DVD guiding you into doing the splits. This was the only splits dvd available that I could find online at the time. It wasn’t a very user friendly DVD as it was low quality, translated from German and was aimed at people in the martial arts, consequently I did occasionally do this DVD but I never really got into it.
I first heard about Stacey’s DVD through a facebook group so decided to do a bit of research by browsing Stacey’s website and checking out her online videos. I also asked Stacey a couple of questions on her facebook page including some advice about improving the flexibility in my calves and she got back to me quickly and seemed very helpful and genuine so I decided to purchase this DVD.
Before trying the DVD out I tried some of her knee exercises that I found online and I’ve found they’ve definitely helped ease the pain that I get in my knees sometimes so I now do these on a daily basis.
From doing this DVD I can tell you that Stacey is lovely! Very warm, smily, zen and ultra gorgeous- but she’s so nice it’s not intimidating. She reminds me of Raquel Welsh but still seems very approachable and open.
I did the DVD the for the first time this evening. Yesterday I did a particularly gruelling workout which has been haunting me all day- I literally ached everywhere and had difficulty walking up and downstairs and going from standing up to sitting down and vise versa, so my thinking was that with that much muscle tenderness in my body I should really feel the effects of the DVD. Miraculously the first few quad exercises really sorted the pain that I had been experiencing out in that area, that my previous stretching attempts had failed to get rid of.
The stretches progress in difficulty and a few of them you’ll definitely be familiar with. Although the final few exercises were REALLY hard, I found most of the exercises to be pretty easy which is comforting, hopefully that means I wont have far to go until I master those elusive splits!
Stacey’s approach to becoming more flexible isn’t just about stretching, she also works on exhausting the muscles so it’s easier to release them into a stretch- this is what she uses the ankle weights are for. Stacey advises using 5lb ankle weights but I’m just sticking to 1lb weights for the time being (Tracy Anderson has brainwashed me!)
Stacey wears trainers for the DVD but as my trainers are quite big (Nike air max) it’s actually easier without wearing them.
As you get towards the end of the DVD you know you’re nearing that terrifying (and potentially painful!) moment where you have to get into the splits, which is pretty daunting, but I’m trying not be too intimidated by it from now on as Stacey encourages positive thinking and visualisation to get your goals.
Lying in bed now having completed the DVD I feel more stretched in areas than I ever have before and feel like my legs are floating!
I would definitely recommend this DVD; I normally do pilates, yoga, or the Tracy Anderson Method so it’s nice to have a break and do something different that is purely stretching and reaching you towards a flexibility goal.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress and let you know if I ever manage that wondrous moment of achieving the splits!
Here’s some progress pics from just before I did the DVD for the first time and my 10th attempt with the DVD. I’ve learnt that being in a warm room definitely helps.
Up until now I had been doing the DVD about once every 6 days, so from now on I will try and do it every day.