What Are Your Flexibility Problems? [SURVEY]

Some are born with it.

Others spend their whole lives chasing it.

I belong to the second group.

How about you?

It’s such a problem, it’s why I decided to pursue boxing over kickboxing or Muay thai. Because high kicks feel like they’re going to tear my hips apart.

But about a month ago, I decided to fix my flexibility problems…

I went to the gym to work the heavy bag. This was one of the first times after I started back after hurting my hand. [Remember the bag of peas on my hand?]

There’s only 1 heavy bag in this gym and there was a guy working it before I got there. I figured with my celebrity status, once he saw me he’d drop everything and let me work the bag to my heart’s desire.

For some weird reason that didn’t work. So I decided the direct approach.

“Mind if I work in during your rest breaks to loosen up?”

“Go ahead” he said, cool-ly.

Probably didn’t want to seem too overly excited to meet me. I understand.

While he was clearly not in fight shape, with his “case of beer a week belly”, he could still kick high and hard.

A hell of a lot higher and harder than me.

That’s when it hit me that I’d better address my flexibility issues once and for all, before I get old and weary and need help putting my socks on.

So for the past month or so, I’ve been doing what I do best – diving head first into the research, into books and into whatever resources I could get my hands on. I talked to friends and colleagues in the industry and got their thoughts and insights.

After hours of poring over the data and pages of notes, I feel like I’ve come up with a big reason why many people have trouble improving their flexibility, despite their best efforts.

If you’ve ever had a flexibility issue that wouldn’t go away with simple stretching, this info will open your eyes.

But I need something first. I have one question for you to answer:


Q: What techniques, skills, exercises or situations do you wish you had more flexibility for?

This is a two-way street and for this topic, I really do need your input and feedback.

I was thinking about doing that thing where I make you leave 50 or 5,000 Comments or I don’t make my next post, but yeah, I think that’s kinda gay. Not really my style.

All I know is that the last time survey I posted on injuries, your votes showed that shoulder injuries are the most common, and I put together that little INDESTRUCTIBLE Shoulder Program for ya.

So I’ll leave it up to you or not to post your answer to the Q above.

But if I don’t get any good feedback, there’s no point in me spending the time to write up an article on the TRUTH about flexibility.

Plus, in the article, I might even embed some pics like this:

Enjoys washing a car in a bikini and flexible? How could I NOT post this?

So for anyone who really wants to know the TRUTH about flexibility, leave your answer to the question, “What techniques, skills, exercises or situations do you wish you had more flexibility for?” in the Comments below.

UPDATE

If hip flexibility is an issue, you should check this article out:

high-kick-flexibility

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240 Comments on "What Are Your Flexibility Problems? [SURVEY]"

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Jes
Jes
2 months 25 days ago
I’m 23 and have been practicing kickboxing for a few months and capoeira for about a month, every other day. Obviously pretty much full body flexibility is required for capoeira, so we spend plenty time stretching. But I have realized that my hamstring flexibility (especially the semitendinosus) gets tighter with each stretch session (even when I’m very warmed up). I had also started doing yoga before kickboxing, where I felt very flexible. My capoeira instructor said perhaps the excessive kicking in kickboxing is causing a lot of stress in my hamstrings and I would notice that I’d be far more flexible if i gave it a bit of a break for a while. I have an office job but I try to keep mobile and stretch my hips and hamstrings whenever I get a chance. I am able to rest my head on my knees, but find it very painful… Read more »
Isla
Isla
4 months 18 days ago

Um well I can do the centre splits but I can’t sit cross legged comfortably which is really annoying because at school we have to sit cross legged ALL THE TIME! I have no idea why that is but it is very annoying.

Isla
Isla
4 months 18 days ago

I also seriously cannot do that thing where you are like cross legged but you put one of your knees on your foot and your other foot on your knee. My legs is 80 degrees from flat

Le Bey
Le Bey
6 months 29 days ago

Sidekicks and spinning hook kicks…sigh.

Nemo
Nemo
7 months 27 days ago

I can do front kicks easily but the problem lies on My sidekicks. No Matterhorn How Much i strech My groins it dosent seem to help 🙁

Bambi
Bambi
9 months 2 days ago

I’m a member of my school’s dance troupe, and i’ve been excluded from many dances because of my flexibility issues. I cant do any splits and bending affects my back.

Alan Winn
Alan Winn
10 months 8 days ago
I have just started taking my 6 year old daughter to karate classes and I would dearly love to join in for all the benefits I believe learning karate would bring. I have one major problem though – no leg flexibility. I have never been able to sit cross-legged in my life, it is just far too painful on my hips, knees and lower back (which is nowhere near straight when I attempt this posture). Also, I have attempted the ‘Seiza’ kneeling position but find the pain on my ankles excruciating when I try to flatten the roofs of my feet under my buttocks against the floor. I cannot touch my toes and I think I would have major problems with any kicks above knee height. At this point in time I feel as though I have just been unfortunate in the way my body was formed but if you… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year 2 months ago

I have an herniated disc. And also have a lot of problems with my hip flexibility. I can get high kicks and can kick strong. However, I do not have much balance or control when I kick. Over the years I have improved, but at a very slow pace. Also another part that’s isn’t flexible at all are my Ischiotibials. They are to short I think, and most stretches hurt a lot there and have some problems extendidng the leg completely

Ivy
Ivy
1 year 2 months ago

My hips

Ivy
Ivy
1 year 2 months ago

I’m a 38 year old woman. I have never exercise before except martial arts that I started 3 years ago. I don’t have flexibility problems except with my hips. In these 3 years that I’v been working I’ve not open at all. It would be great if you could help! 🙂

rick hobson
rick hobson
1 year 11 months ago

Need more flexibility for all types of MA kicking

Ian Wrightson
Ian Wrightson
1 year 11 months ago

I damaged/tore an Adductor muscle I believe trying out a vertical back thrust kick (Ushiro Geri) about 20 years ago, recently I started stretching again to see if I can get my kicks at head height (Jodan) again but it feels like I have some hard scarring of the muscle on my inside thigh which is tight and painful when I stretch, will I ever overcome this and what stretches do You recommend for me to achieve full splits again, by the way I’am 43 years old now lol? Thankyou

Bear
Bear
1 year 11 months ago

I am 45 and play a lot of basketball, so I thought I was still in decent shape. I started an exercise program which includes some kickboxing routines and found I can no longer perform a side kick. It is depressing. Is there any way I can get that back? I am assuming it’s my hips, however, I feel my left groin is extremely tight and feels like I am risking straining/pulling it when I attempt the kick.

Swanders Steve
Swanders Steve
2 years 9 days ago

At 63 yrs. have a rod in my right upper leg , new right hip, an 9 screws and 2 rods in my lower back. I really need the inspiration a helpful info to keep going. I have always been a independent type (meaning I value freedom more than anything else ) Thank You Swanders Steve

jeff
jeff
2 years 11 days ago

Eric,
Great program as usual. You’ve already targeted hips and shoulders. But my biggest issue is I have tight ankles from multiple ankles sprains in the past and this is what I believe is stopping me from achieving a pistol. So a program like this for some ankle flexibility would ve cool to see.

Dom
Dom
2 years 13 days ago

I’m 49 years old and recently started TKD. I’ve never been flexible or relaxed.
I found that after 6 mths of training my ham strings have gotten a lot better but
My hips and right glute very sore.
I’ve worked out in weight gym and run.
I can get my knee up and chambered BUT when I got to shoot my leg out I can’t straighten my leg. Hip and butt muscle hurt

tracy page
tracy page
2 years 2 months ago

I am a dancer. I can not touch my toes or do splits. I need to figure out whether I have tight hamstrings or hip flexors. In the past, I have worked hard stretching in painful ways to increase flexibility but, the next two days I am so sore I can not make myself push as hard. I am stuck in a rut!

joe Quinzi
joe Quinzi
2 years 13 days ago

My hips get out of alinement, I get adjusted every 3 weeks , I am a golf pro . which hip exercise is best for this.My Rom has improved since I started your hip flex plan.

Eric
Eric
2 years 2 months ago
D.J.
D.J.
2 years 4 months ago

My 13 year old who is fit and exercising a lot and is very slim, has no flexibitly. She can;t even touch her toes. She wants to take dance class and fears the other girls will not be nice about her lack of flexibility. She wants to touch her toes. She would love to be able to do the splits, but is happy with touching her toes.

CK
CK
2 years 4 months ago

Need adductor flexibility for high roundhouse / side / hook kicks!

Trevor
Trevor
2 years 4 months ago

Hey Eric,

I need desperately need to develop flexibility to play rubber guard in BJJ. Would your hip flexibility program work for that? If not do you have a program that will? It seems like I remember you teaming up with Alan Belcher and offering a program on flexibility. Do you still offer it?

Eric
2 years 4 months ago

Hey Trevor,

The HFS program will work for rubber guard flexibility, particularly the Kneeling Routine.

Give it a go and let me know your results!

Of course, if it doesn’t work, you’re free to ask for a refund. But I’m confident it will as I’ve received feedback from others that it helped them.

Mimi
Mimi
2 years 5 months ago

Eric, I have so much troubles with basically ANY sort of Muay Thai kick above knee level. I have reviewed lots of videos on the correct technique but still unable to perform a decent kick. I feel there are two problems: i) when throwing the kick, my leg (still folded but also if I try with my leg extended) does not reach a decent height; ii) whatever the height, once I rotate my hip I feel like my supporting leg is going to bend towards the outer side.

My knees are not perfect. Perhaps a little or “vagus knee” although I have no injuries. Also, I am a bit overweight but I still manage to do all other MT things.

Any feedback?

Eric
2 years 5 months ago

Hey Mimi,

I put together a program called the Hip Flexibility Solution to fix tight hips!

You can find it here:

http://hipflexibilitysolution.com

can
can
2 years 6 months ago

same as rain, i want to be able to do a high thai round house kick

rain
rain
3 years 2 days ago

I need for thai round house kicks

trisha m
trisha m
3 years 8 days ago

I feel like my hips are going to separate from my legs cause its really painful but if I push my self down im afraid I cant walk or something

Rob G
Rob G
3 years 22 days ago
I have recently taken up kung fu. In the week or so leading up to my first class, I decided to start loosening up. I went online and researched a bit till I found a modest stretching routine, and then dove into it. At first I could barely touch my toes ; after a week or so, I could grip the bottoms of my feet. It was at times painful to do so, but it was looking promising; and then….after about a months worth of classes, I’m left aching with sometimes less flexibility than I started with. I know it hasn’t been that long yet, but it’s discouraging to watch YouTube vids of this guy or that girl who got their splits down in a little over a month. I tried resting, and then different techniques; but my progress seems to have slowed to a crawl or even halted. I… Read more »
Daniel
Daniel
3 years 1 month ago

I have been training karate for 15 years and would really like to have more flexibility in general but deifnately for the sake of kicks and things like box splits, hopefully this will lead to both and increase in kicking speed and ability in general as well.
Thank You,

Daniel

Sam thorne
Sam thorne
3 years 3 months ago

I love karate. I would love to do the splits both front and box , so that I could kick higher and faster and of cores with more power. Can you help me with this
Thanks .

Lisa Bowers
Lisa Bowers
3 years 3 months ago

I’m a 3rd deg black belt in Taekwondo and I wish I had more flexibility in my hips, speed in my feet and be able to make spinning jumps and lift myself off of the floor

Tom Manuk
Tom Manuk
3 years 3 months ago

I would love greater adductor, groin and hip flexibility. I think this would help my stability with low stances like the horse stance.

Linus
Linus
3 years 3 months ago

I practice wu style tai chi chuan and yes I could do with some more flexiblity.

Francesco Coglitore
Francesco Coglitore
3 years 4 months ago

I want to know this becouse i practice muay thai and my hips hurt when i try to raise my leg without streching.im no very flexible

Donavin Hawkey
Donavin Hawkey
3 years 5 months ago

Juijitsu – Eddie Bravo 10th planet Chill Dog ect…nuf siad. A Head kick from no where ould also be cool.

Paul
Paul
3 years 5 months ago

Same…Muay Thai roundhouse kick and front kick to head.

Eng
Eng
3 years 6 months ago

Muay Thai roundhouse kick and front kick to head

Lish
Lish
3 years 7 months ago

I’ve been in ballet classes all my life, and when I was old enough I joined a company, but I’m very often find myself struggling to achieve a point of flexiblibility to do my work. In the past I’ve been able to achieve the level of flexibility necessary, but even with the daily exercises I still cannot achieve what might allow me to gain a higher place in my company. I don’t know if its because I’ve reached a ‘limit’ of my body, but I don’t feel any noticeable pain when attempting these things, but I can’t achieve them.

Steve Blinn
Steve Blinn
3 years 7 months ago

I find it hard to open my hips to properly to execute a spinning hook kick (some call it a back spin kick). I get a sharp pain in the front of both hip joints as I try to extend my striking foot.

joe Quinzi
joe Quinzi
2 years 13 days ago

D

Joey
Joey
3 years 7 months ago

I have such an issue with flexibility from BJJ to golf my lack of it hinders all I do.

Winston chow
Winston chow
3 years 8 months ago

Beyond for health, flexibility becomes more necessary for martial arts as people experience muscle loss. That, and I’m deeply envious of people who can effortlessly kick me in the face.

Jen
Jen
3 years 8 months ago

Hi Eric, I’ve been doing taekwondo for 3.5 years now. My flexibility is not bad, but I do struggle to execute a head high sidekick when standing in a stationary stance. I feel like my hip and abductor muscles are not strong enough. I can do a head high sidekick when in motion. If I manage to do he kick in a stationary stance, I find it hard to have a fully extended kick. Very frustrating at times!

anthony
anthony
3 years 9 months ago

because i always wanted to do the splits. and i want to do martial arts. so i need to do high kicks for tae kwon do or capoeira.

Mark
Mark
3 years 9 months ago

Hey Eric I have been doing kickboxing for 8 months and while my class mates side splits have improved rapidly mine have semed to go nowhere. So I’m having trouble getting high with my sidekicks. I’ve been stretching most nights. Any help would be appreciated.

Mike
Mike
3 years 10 months ago

Hips/hamstrings. My leg dexterity is whack.

t. goss
t. goss
3 years 10 months ago

Hip flexibility is a problem area for me. I struggle with round house kick.

Justin
Justin
3 years 10 months ago

Bodyweight squats to below parallel, throwing high kicks with ease and power, being able to go in full straddle and front split with no problem. Hold position in fully extended high kick front and side without problem.

Seth
Seth
3 years 10 months ago

For kicks

Micayla
Micayla
3 years 10 months ago

My biggest problem is my hamstrings. It affects my lower back and my kicks too. My dynamic flexibility is really good, but not static. It’s not about how high or hard I kick, it’s about recovery after workouts. Quads, IT band, Hammies and glutes on me are the tightest. It’s not really about performance during workout, it’s about recovery after. It would be awesome if you could make something devoted to post workout stretches and recovery. 🙂 Thanks!

Cyclone
Cyclone
3 years 10 months ago

Hi Eric

I have a few issues with flexibility. Hip flexors for one. Would love more ROM in this area.

My back another. I’ve have had L4-L5 fused so need to keep my back and core strong but flexible. Training helps but anything else would be great.

Lastly, I tore my left adductor (or something in that area) a few years back and it’s never been right since. Messes with my kicking height and power as well as restricting flexibility gains in that hammy. Really frustrating!!! I would love to get this sorted and increase the end ROM power in my kicks. Ultimate goal would to get down in the splits and gain a lightening killer roundhouse.

Any help you could offer would be magic.

Cheers

Dustin
Dustin
3 years 11 months ago
Hello, I am diggin your videos they are helpn me out alot. I just watched your stuff on the shoulder program looking to put it to use I have just tweeked my shoulder a bit so this should be some great stuff for me to work on so that this does not happen as easily, even though the stupid gym had me rolling with some one 70 pounds heavier than me I knew that was a bad Idea but I guess ill listen to myself next time even though I dominated him it was just to much dead weight to be trying to through around with my shoulders, that were not really in the best shape to start with. Hahah guess im just venting a little. Well anyways the main reason Im writing you is that I have always been really flexible touching my palms to the ground is a… Read more »
Ka'ohu
Ka'ohu
3 years 11 months ago

Hi there Eric,
I would like some excercises/stretches that would help with BJJ and guard retention. Thanks!

Nitty
3 years 11 months ago

i cannot touch my toes bending over, there about 3 inches away ! from my finger tips, i also cannot do basic stretches on the floor because of my tight hamstrings, i do kung-fu, and i want to have as much range of motion as possible in every part possible in my body

Juliana
Juliana
3 years 11 months ago

Hello Eric,

Thank you for all the informative videos!
I’m interested in hip & ankle flexibility (and every other part of the body basically).
My left hip has some problems (didn’t check with a MD yet)… when running long distances it starts hurting after a while (no pain anywhere else) and during training, when performing certain exercises (e.g. leg lifts) it makes this awful sound, but there’s no pain, I just feel some sort of vibration through the body. I guess that could be a tendon or something… This eventually influences the kicks as well, especially high & lateral kicks.
Maybe stretching can help alleviate this problem.

Thanks!

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