The Myth: flexibility is only for the gifted few

Flexibility is not only for the young and able-bodied, or limited by gender or size.

Flexibility is not a trait, it’s a skill. A skill that anyone can develop.

I know because I’ve seen that skill grow in thousands of my students, the way it grew for me.

This is me in Mongolia in 2008, three years into my training.

Hi, I'm Kristina, the founder and head coach at Fit & Bendy!

When I showed up at Circus Center for my first contortion class I was 30 and had been struggling with chronic pain and disability for 7 years. I was a terrible candidate for circus stardom, but I was obsessed. Thankfully I found an amazing coach, Serchmaa Byamba, who gave me a chance.

And I showed up, and I worked, and I learned. And I got bendier!

I learned that you only need two things to gain flexibility

  1. Quality tools and techniques
  2. Consistent practice over time
If your flexibility is suffering, it is for sure because one or both of these ingredients is not in the cake.

What are Quality Tools and Techniques?

Flexibility is the dark art of the fitness world. Most accreditation programs spend very little time explaining stretching. Even in the world of sports science, flexibility gets little study and attention.

As a result, many people don’t know where to start.

Mostly, when people think of stretching they think of old-school gym class “relax into the stretch” techniques. This is called passive static stretching and it’s a good technique, but it is limited. Passive static stretching alone probably wont get you where you want to go. You need more tools.

A training program that effectively builds healthy, useable flexibility requires a whole toolbox of techniques:
  • Active
  • Passive
  • Resistance
  • Dynamic
  • Ballistic
  • Neurokinetic
Using the whole toolbox doesn’t just build flexibility, it builds mobility.

Flexibility vs Mobility

When people say they want to more flexibility, most of the time they really want more mobility

Flexibility = the full range that your joint can move when pushed by an outside force
Mobility = flexibility + strength + control (the full range that your joint can move using your own muscles)

You don’t just want flexibility. You want flexibility that you can use. Stretching with a full toolbox builds a body that is resistant to injury and able to move with ease.

Contortionists are not just bendy noodles. They also have extreme control and strength

Watch this video of a traditional Mongolian Contortion performance from my beautiful coach Serchmaa. There is not one moment that she isn’t graceful and fully in control of her body.

What is Consistent Training?

There are no cheats or hacks with flexibility. Any program that promises you flat splits in one month at only 8 minutes a day is lying.

To increase our flexibility we must change the way our body perceives itself. We aren’t just lengthening our muscles and connective tissue. We are reprogramming our nervous system.

Here is an experiment I don’t advise that you try (you’ll have to take my word for it):If you stretch your hamstrings, your leg gets to a certain point and then you feel some resistance. Going past that point takes work.

If you were then to be put under full anesthesia and some helpful person were to come along and stretch those same hamstrings they would find that your leg would move significantly further with your nervous system out of the picture (not that it would do you any good because you would be unconscious).

To keep us safe, our nervous system stops us from using our full range of movement.

When we want to increase our range, we need to make that nervous system less nervous so that it feels safe even when you move further into a stretch.

This only happens with consistent work over a period of time.

How long? It depends on your particular nervous system, your consistency, and the quality of your training time (hint: scrolling on the Gram while stretching is poor quality training time).

If you are  training at least three or four times a week you will progress more quickly. If you only train once or twice a week you will still see changes, it will just be slower.

This means you have to keep coming back to it, through the ups and downs, good days and bad. And this is where so many flexibility dreams wither and die. If you are too impatient to get to your goal then usually one of two things happens:

You don’t reach your goal fast enough, get frustrated, and give up
You push too hard and get injured

Either way, you don’t reach your goal.

Of the thousands of folks I’ve worked with over the years who reach, even exceed their goals all have one thing in common: they fall in love with the process. That’s what keeps you coming back.

What keeps us coming back? Have a map
A map into the unknown reaches of flexibility comes in the form of a well designed workout plan.

The hardest thing about training is getting started. Putting on your stretchy pants, clearing that space in your calendar and your living room, getting the dog/cat/kids/cobwebs off your mat, and getting in gear.

So to make that process easier you need to lower the barrier to entry.

I view all of my workouts as little rituals. Whether I’m working on flexibility, lifting weights, or going for a run I always have a plan in place ahead of time. There are three huge advantages to the ritual:
  1. I don’t have to spend any extra energy trying to figure out what I’m going to do
  2. I get that delicious dopamine every time I check one of my training items off the list!
  3. By following the plan I’m able to give my body the consistent work it needs

A good flexibility fitness plan...
  • uses the full toolbox
  • challenges your body just enough to inspire growth but not so much that it creates damage
  • is enjoyable enough that you look forward to doing it.
  • focuses on the areas where you most want to see progress, but also have days that incorporate full body work to stay balanced.
  • works with your schedule so you can get your workouts in without stress.

Let's Build Your Flexibiity Fitness Plan

Let me be your training partner and discover what's possible with consistent training

FFW Club is an On Demand library of over 60 flexibility workouts and tutorials using the tools I've learned over 20 years in this business. It enables you to choose the exercises that work best for your needs and goals to build your perfect training plan.
Smiling friendly photo of Kristina

What You Can Work on with a FFW Membership

Within each category you will find workouts ranked from gentle to challenging so that you can find the level that works best for your body.

    1. A Welcome Message from Kristina

    2. How to Navigate in Thinkific

    3. How to Use This Course

    4. Suggested Equipment List

    5. Flexibility Fitness FAQ

    6. Training Journal Download

    7. Join the Bendy Community!

    1. What is the best way to be successfull in your training? A solid workout plan

    2. Training Program 1 Get Me Moving Again

    3. Training Program 2 Building Strength in Movement

    4. Training Program 3 I’m Here for the Splits!

    5. Training Program 4 Flexibility for Athletes

    1. Restorative Movement - Gentle Full Body Mobility 🌶

    2. Full Body Mobilization - Warm Up Everything 🌶

    3. Full Body Activation - Warm Up Everything Even More 🌶🌶

    4. Full Body Fire - Warm Up Everything the Most 🌶🌶🌶

    5. Morning Stretch Routine to Get You Out of Bed 🌶

    6. Bedtime Stretch for PMS Symptom Relief 🌶

    1. Stretching for Adults: The Fit & Bendy Philosophy of Flexibility

    2. 4 Lifestyle Tips to Assist your Flexibility Training

    3. You Can Be Both Strong and Flexible

    4. What is the Difference Between Active and Passive Flexibility?

    1. Happy Hips 1: Gentle and Restorative 🌶

    2. Straddle Splits and Hip Rotation: Start Here 🌶

    3. Prepare for Front Splits 🌶

    4. Happy Hips 2: Strengthen and Align 🌶🌶

    5. Strong Hips = Flexible Hips 🌶🌶

    6. Building Strength for Front Splits 🌶🌶

    7. Am I Ready to Start Working on My Front Splits?

    8. Building Up to Healthy Middle Splits 🌶🌶

    9. Getting into the Front Splits (Gracefully and Without Misery) 🌶🌶

    10. How to Get Your Full Front Split 🌶🌶🌶

    11. Full Middle Splits... Without the Tears 🌶🌶🌶

    1. Hip Anatomy: What are your Hip Flexors and how do they Work?

    2. What is a Square Split and Why Should I Do One?

    3. How Long Should I Hold My Split? (Or Any Other Stretch)

    4. What's the Difference Between Straddle and Middle Splits

    5. Tight Hip Flexors? Try These Lunge Variations for Better Results

    6. How to Find and Strengthen Your Psoas Muscle

    7. Clamshell Tutorial: Best Butt Exercise for Flexible Hips

    8. 2 Exercises to Combat Knee Pain in Middle Splits

    9. Close to the Floor but Can't Get Flat? It's time for Oversplits!

    10. How to Do a Swim Through Split!

The nitty gritty

  • $20.00 / month
  • 67 lessons
  • 22 hours of video content
  • Flexibility Tips & Tutorials
  • Community Support

How Does Video Club Work?

  • Is there a set schedule?

    No! You have 24-hour access so you can plan your workouts on the schedule that works for you. There are suggestions about the benefits of training at different times of day.

  • Do I need a lot of equipment?

    Minimal equipment is needed. We provide a complete equipment list in the welcome with common household items suggested if you don't have everything.

  • I'm just starting to train flexibility, will there be workouts at my level?

    Yes! The workouts start at mild and gentle and work up to medium spicy so you can start where you are, and add difficulty as needed

  • I'm an advanced bender, will there be workouts at my level?

    These workouts correspond to the level of FaB's legendary Intro to Contortion class that builds up to full splits and a bridge backbend. If you are looking for more advanced instruction please visit Serchmaa at the Mongolian Contortion Center

  • What if I have questions or need feedback?

    The Video Clubhouse is always available for you to post photos and videos of what you are working on and ask questions of Kristina and the community

  • What is the cancellation policy?

    If the membership isn't right for you, you can cancel at any time through your member portal. You will continue to have access through the end of your membership month.

Make Your Flexibility Fitness Plan

Let me be your training partner, and see what's possible with quality tools and consistent work! With the Flexibility Fitness On Demand Membership there is no guesswork in the training process. All you have to do is show up.