Finally, it’s time for a habit that addresses your painful areas directly. The effects of stretching on CPPS are the equivalent of a left jab. The mental health work is the right cross, and done together they rock that S.O.B. back. And until you can knock CPPS out, that’s where you want it – where it can’t hit you.
Now that I’ve brought boxing analogies into the game, it’s time for a training montage. Imagine a dad with a young family. He’s up at 5 AM – not because he wants to be, not at first. He’s up because his infant daughter wakes up screaming every morning at that time.
She only has one volume: 11. She’ll wake mom, who has already been up with her four times.
So the dad takes the little rascal to his workout room in the basement. He plops a bottle of water and some toys in front of her, kisses her mohawk on her head (yeah, my daughter had a mohawk), and gets to work. On stretching.
You’ve got to do that, too. Even if you’re tired. Even when you would rather sleep in.
The stretching formula to beat CPPS
[Ten Stretches * (Five deep belly breaths)]*[AM + PM] =
Superior Mobility and Reduced Tightness
Ten stretches. Done twice a day. And done with proper belly breathing, which isn’t hard, but makes it bearable. The whole thing takes around 20 minutes once you have it down.
Guidelines for stretching
If it hurts, don’t do it. You should be moving your limbs only until they give you a slight, bearable resistance. Go slow. Consistency at a slow pace will yield amazing results in even a week!
Hold each pose for two minutes. Use a timer. When you stretch that long, your body adapts. According to Brad Kearns of Mark’s Daily Apple:
When you hold a stretch for two minutes, you are sending a powerful message to your musculoskeletal and central nervous systems to lengthen the relevant muscle fibers. Witness ballerina dancers stretching for hours every day in order to maintain optimal muscle function for their demanding efforts—constantly reinforcing the message to brain and tissue that they need to by hyper-flexible.
Use your deep breathing to get through the discomfort. You’ll send oxygen to your muscles, and you’ll mitigate the pain.
Do not watch TV or listen to podcasts or music while you stretch. You must first concentrate on getting the stretch right. Once you can do the whole routine without looking it up, then you can add music.
What you will need
- A belt, strap, or rope for the hamstring stretch
- A rolled up towel or yoga block for the calf stretch
- A large space of open wall, if available
Lay with your back on the floor. Bring your knees up toward your chest. Stop before your pelvis starts to rotate. You will feel this in your lower back and glutes.
From your back, make an “L” with your legs, as though sitting in a chair. Place your palms on your knees.
Gently push into your knees with your hands, and simultaneously try to raise your knees.
Stand up. Place a rolled up towel or yoga block on the floor, depending on your level of flexibility. Start with the towel if you are unsure.
Place the ball of your foot on the towel. Stand straight and with your weight over your heels. You should feel this in your calf muscle.
As the stretch becomes easier, move your opposite foot forward slightly to increase the stretch.
Stretch both legs this way.
This stretch is so pivotal to our sedentary, chair-bound lives that I’ve included a great video about it below. She knows her stuff btw, so don’t be afraid to check out her other content and subscribe.
Legs on the wall stretch
Sit on the floor, parallel to a wall. Lean back, rotate, and open your legs. Place your feet on the wall.
Make sure your pelvis is flat, and 8-12 inches from the wall. Turn your feet downward as far as you can.
You should feel this in your hamstrings.
Hamstring stretch (or strap stretch)
Lay back on the floor. Keep one leg flat, and lift the other leg. Loop a rope, belt, or strap around the lifted foot. Straighten the looped leg and pull it toward you.
If your other leg lifts off the floor, you’re going too far. Keep your pelvis flat, or “neutral.”
Lay back on the floor. Lift one knee up toward your chest, while keeping your pelvis flat. If your pelvis starts to “tuck” or rotate, back off the stretch.
You should feel this in the gluteus muscles of the
Lay back on the floor. Lift your legs toward your chest. Place one foot on the opposite knee. Gently pull the supporting leg toward your chest, without allowing your pelvis to tilt.
Abdomen stretch (cat stretch)
Lay flat on your belly. Put your hands out in front of you. Slowly raise yourself up until you feel a stretch in your lower back and your front abdominal wall.
Get on your hands and knees on the mat. Spread your knees apart slowly. Lead forward and stretch your arms out above you. Allow your pelvis to sink toward the floor.
Sit on the floor, on your butt. Spread your knees apart and bring your feet together at the soles. Keeping your back as straight as you can, slowly bring your feet toward your groin. When you feel the stretch in your groin, hold there.
Kneel on the floor, or your mat. Place one leg out in front, starting with your legs at a 90 degree angle. Slowly lean forward. You should feel the stretch just above the leg that is knee-down.
I love stretching! Show me more!
For a more comprehensive routine, check out David Kunes’ blog:
You will also need the calf stretch:
- Learn the stretching routine.
- Add the stretching routine to your AM and PM rituals.
- Do it twice a day, every day.
- Ask questions and look things up if you need help. Don’t be afraid to review a stretch several times. You get better with your technique over time.