"What a brilliant idea! I love your website and look forward to changing and growing in many positive and healthy ways." -Amy
Read More Testimonials»

On the Diet and Fitness Blog

Work Your Body, Work Your Mind

It took me a long time to admit that I wasn’t successfully coping with my depression and anxiety on my own. It took even longer to come up with a plan to fight back against my own...

Read More About Work Your Body, Work Your Mind»

Our Getting in Shape Experts

Paige Waehner

Paige Waehner

Personal trainer and author of About.com's guide to exercise

Shared by First30Days View Profile»
Gin Miller

Gin Miller

Creator of step training and a top fitness professional for...

Shared by First30Days View Profile»
Dr. John Spencer Ellis

Dr. John Spencer Ellis

CEO of the National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association...

Shared by First30Days View Profile»

Meet all of our Diet and Fitness Experts»

News

The latest news on this change — carefully culled from the world wide web by our change agents. They do the surfing, so you don't have to!

Flex Like an Olympian

Flex Like an Olympian

Flexibility and the ability to perform downward dog like a true yogi are both pluses when it comes to getting in shape. After all, a bend-y physique helps to speed recovery after a workout and can lengthen muscles. Some athletes claim touching their noses to the knees can also help them to achieve Olympic gold.

By now we have all heard of 41-year-old swimmer Dara Torres—the mother of two who is attending her 5th Olympics and hoping to bring home her 10th medal. She also has a washboard stomach and her biceps, triceps, shoulders, quads, hamstrings and every other muscle in her body aren’t too shabby either. Age has only made her stronger (her current time is quicker than her 50-meter freestyle world record she set in 1983) and she attributes her success to her two personal stretchers who use a lengthening method called the Meridian Flexibility System.

The program entails pushing and pulling limbs while another person resists the motion. Meridian training works in the opposite manner of the contractions involved in weight training—athletes undergo an elongation of the muscle through the force of the exercises.

The concept was developed in 1978 by Bob Cooley after he was in a car accident and his muscles did not respond well to the recommended physical therapies. Other Olympians such as speed skater Eric Flaim and sailboarder Michael Gebhardt have also used the method.

Stretching isn’t just for record breakers. Doctors say anyone can add Meridian training to their workout plan and benefit from the increased muscle flexibility (make sure you check with your doctor before adding anything new to your routine).

What are some of your favorite stretches and when do you do them—while watching television, before your workout, etc. Tell us how to do your stretches! [Miami Herald]

Posted: 8/7/08
carolineshannon

Ha, ha, Dadeeyo189! That is so funny ... my mom once challenged my fiance to a split contest(P.S. He is a professional dancer)and she is still feeling the pain -- three years later! (: One of my favorite stretches is pigeon pose. I love how it stretches my hips...it feels so good!

Dadeeyo189

There was a period and time when I was OBSESSED with having a split. I mean my friend and I were having a contest to see who could do a better spread jump, so I sat in front of the TV for hours stretching my inner thighs.

Good times. Good times.