Charlie’s Career Made Him Stiff
- He had trouble with everyday tasks like picking something up from a low shelf.
- His tight hips and shoulders were holding back his strength training.
- He wanted to enjoy ballroom dancing with his wife unimpeded.
How He Regained Physical Autonomy
- He achieved a full squat and greater range of motion in his shoulders.
- His new flexibility let him build strength through more ranges of motion.
- He has more physical confidence now–at home and on the dance floor–than he’s had in years.
When Charlie Brown (yes, that’s his real name!) started his flexibility training, he wasn’t thinking about the splits or other fancy tricks. He just wanted to be able to get something from the bottom shelf without dropping to all fours.
And he noticed that tight hips and shoulders were getting in the way of his strength training.
Charlie used our Focused Flexibility program to work on the areas that were holding him back. Pretty soon he could drop down into a full squat to pick things up, and his range of motion opened up for his strength workouts.
But the 63-year-old retired cabinet maker was enjoying getting flexible.
So he set–and made impressive progress toward–goals that most people of any age never even attempt: front splits and a full bridge. Here’s how he did it.
Charlie’s initial goals and expectations were modest:
“Focused Flexibility has affected me in a much different way from [many trainees]. There are small things I took for granted 40 years ago that aren’t a given now. Things as simple as scratching my back without a tool, getting in and out of a bath tub, seeing what’s on the bottom shelf of a cabinet without dropping to all 4s, are some of the scores of small ways it’s helped me change.”
But once he started improving his flexibility, he made faster progress with our more advanced apparatus programs, he got a pretty impressive front split, and he can move more easily on the dance floor when he and his wife go ballroom dancing 6-8 times per month.
“I never thought much about flexibility before”
Charlie had always been active. He’d served in the U.S. Navy as a young man and later, with the physical demands of his job, he knew how important it was to keep his body strong.
From a young age, he started lifting weights, and he did a good job maintaining his strength for a long time. But he never really gave much thought to flexibility.
Until he just couldn’t ignore the restrictions in his body any longer.
“Before I started working on Focused Flexibility, I couldn’t even scratch the middle of my back,” Charlie recalled. “I lived a long time where if I needed something out of a bottom cabinet in the kitchen I would get down on my hands and knees to get it.”
Because he dealt with restrictions for such a long time, Charlie doesn’t take it for granted that he’s overcome a lot of those.
He used to hold himself back from doing many things he’d been able to do when he was younger, but he says, “I’ve started doing them again because of the flexibility I’m gaining. I can now squat and stay down there. It’s not pretty, but I can do a full butt-to-heels squat if I hold on to something.”
How Focused Flexibility Helped Charlie Regain Function
Focused Flexibility is a fully customizable stretching program, that helps you target exactly where you need to make interventions in your flexibility.
For Charlie, whose initial goal was regaining the ability to squat with ease, that targeted approach helped him reach his goal steadily and painlessly. And once he improved his squat, he moved on to bigger goals.
He says, “FF is laid out so logically and explained so clearly that I knew I could get there. It took me a year to get down to where I’m two inches off the ground on my split, but that’s okay. Flexibility is not magic and it’s not voodoo. It’s very logical and that’s something that FF has made me understand.”
Now, no matter what Charlie’s working on, he continues to use FF almost daily.
“When I come to a movement that’s difficult for me, I can always go to Focused Flexibility and find what I need to work on. I have not stopped going through FF. I use parts of it every single day. I think that I’ll be using it as long as I train.”
“FF has helped me advance in every program”
As a lifelong weightlifter, Charlie was most surprised by how much strength he gained from going through FF along with our other programs. He said, “I didn’t think I would gain so much strength from bodyweight exercise.”
Indeed, the stretching protocol in FF emphasizes strengthening the muscles while improving flexibility. After all, flexibility without strength isn’t very useful for most people.
Charlie was able to take what he learned from FF and apply it to advanced skill training with other GMB programs–namely Rings One, Parallettes One, Elements, and Vitamin–as well as other areas of his life, including dancing with his wife, Elaine. He says he’s now able “to keep up with faster dances now and my favorites are salsa, hustle and swing dances.”
And most impressive, particularly for a man of 63, is the wide world of advanced training goals that’s now open to Charlie.
“Focused Flexibility has enabled me to reach an almost perfect front split. I still have a couple of inches before I bang my butt to the floor, but I know it will come. Additionally, almost all GMB programs require flexibility that most people never even try to do. I’m really happy to have learned skills like the bent arm stand, crow pose, all of the Elements movements, handstand and headstand stuff that I simply couldn’t do until I built the requisite flexibility. There really are too many benefits to mention.”
Build Flexibility That Actually Helps You Move
GMB Mobility is a guided program that improves your total body mobility. You’ll resolve restrictions so you can finally move and perform your best.