Technique Tuesday — Props to those who use blocks!

Guess what? Despite what you might think, there’s no such thing as the “block of shame.” Rather than using whatever bizarre means are necessary to get your hands to the floor when it comes time to stretch, instead bring the floor up to meet you…

Try it: Use a Block

It’s not rocket science. Whether you’re working on a forward fold hammy stretch or lunge variations, you’ll overstretch and strain your low back if just round forward in order to reach the ground. And, you'll de-stabilize your knees if you just jack them back. Instead:

  • Grab a block (or stack of books, or coffee table, or chair, or something — anything! — to rest your hands on so that you don't have to strain for the floor).
  • Regardless of what stretch or pose you’re doing, focus on keeping your spine long.
  • Ask yourself: Am I compensating somewhere just to reach closer to the floor, or am I keeping things well aligned?

Remember, the goal of stretching isn’t to reach the floor, or to feel the biggest stretch possible. Your goal should be to gently remind your muscles how to be long (since most of the time you’re asking them to be short and strong), and to keep your joints (and your spine) stable in the process.

Want more stretching tips? Check out our YouTube channel

In the meantime, stretch smarter — Props to you for using blocks!