24 Feb Touch your toes: Flexibility with Rob Najar
[wtr_highlight]I can’t reach?[/wtr_highlight]
Do you remember when you were a kid and touching your toes wasn’t even talked about?
Fast forward 20-30 years and touching your toes becomes a landmark for health and wellness.
So where did it go? Could it be the years of sitting at a chair that has caused use to shorten, our posture to become poor, and the likely hood of use feeling good to disapear?
We hear all the time about the next great workout plan, nutrition guide, and trainer, but what happened to just touching your toes?
Say hello to Robert Najar of Elite Flexibility. Rob is a mobility and flexibility coach. His goal:
The goal of Elite Flexibility is to educate people on the importance of stretching daily to improve their quality of life.
[wtr_highlight]Q&A with Rob Najar[/wtr_highlight]
CrossFit Irvine: So Rob tell us a little bit about yourself?
Rob: I am the owner and operator of Elite Flexibility. In 2008, I created a stretching and mobility program dedicated to help people better their quality of life. I’ve had the pleasure of working on many of today’s top combat athletes, like Wanderlei Silva, Shogun Rua, Lyoto Machida, Rafael Lovato Jr, Braulio Estima, Cheick Kongo and many others. Along with my private clientele, I’m currently working out of Victory Chiropractic at Crossfit Anaerobic in Laguna Niguel, The OC Fight Docs in Tustin and Natural Healthworks and Chiropractic in Costa Mesa.
CrossFit Irvine: When did you start focusing on flexibility?
Rob: I started swimming, martial arts and gymnastics at a very young age, so flexibility was an absolute necessity. As I got older, I found jiujitsu, MMA and wrestling and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve been lucky enough to train with some of the world’s best fighters and grapplers, but the one glaring weakness in most of these athletes was their lack of flexibility/mobility. Many of these athletes suffered from the same symptoms as a person working at a desk for 8 hours a day. So in 2008, I decided to formulate a system that could be performed by a professional athlete or someone who works a desk job 40 hours a week. I worked for a chiropractor for 2 years, using stretch therapy on patients ranging from 6-80 years old. What I found was very simple – no matter what age you are, you can always benefit from a proper stretching and mobility program.
CrossFit Irvine: Why should athletes work on flexibility?
Rob: Increasing flexibility and mobility helps become the best version of yourself. Stretching helps increase range of motion, decreases the chance of injury, decreases lower back and hip pain and helps speed up recovery. Everyone should take at least 15 minutes a day to stretch. 15 minutes = 1% of your day.
CrossFit Irvine: In your opinion what are the top to areas an athlete should focus on?
Rob: Hamstring and hips!
CrossFit Irvine: When can one start to feel/see results?
Rob: When done properly, you should feel an immediate difference, but it takes about a month to form a new habit.
CrossFit Irvine: How long does it take to do the Van Damme Split?
Rob: I have wondered the same thing! Lol I’ve had 9 people try and all 9 failed. I don’t recommend trying to do the Van Damme splits. I’ve seen many groin injuries trying to perform the side splits. It’s easier and much safer to learn the front-to-back splits.
CrossFit Irvine: If you could give three pointers to some one new to flexibility work, what would they be?
Rob: 1. Take your time! Don’t be in a rush when you’re stretching. Concentrate on relaxing and breathing to get the most efficient results.
2. Discomfort is OK, pain is not. Proper stretching should cause a little bit of discomfort, but should never cause you pain. You know your body better than anyone else, so if you start to have physical pain, you might want to dial it back a bit or possibly seek medical advice.
3. Stretch AFTER your workout. It’s OK to perform ballistic or dynamic stretches before, but you don’t want to fatigue your muscles before you’re about to train. There’s a higher risk of injury if you stretch before, rather than afterward.
CrossFit Irvine: Thank you Rob and we look forward to your two hour clinic this Saturday at 12:00pm. at CrossFit Irvine.
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