Head to toe
My Head to Toe stretching program was created as an application of ballistic stretching, outlined in my youtube video, that works super rapidly and effectively and, when done properly, levels up your range of motion near-permanently.
“There is generally no such thing as an unsafe stretch or exercise: only an unsafe way of executing any movement for a specific individual at a specific time” –Mel Siff
Ballistics are safe, using momentum in a movement to briefly overcome the passive limit is an incredibly effective way of finding new end ranges and accumulating time held in them. As always though, listen to your body and learn what your limits are, don’t push too hard too soon.
The Head to Toe end position places an extreme flexibility demand on the posterior chain and ballistic stretching is useful for breaking through plateaus that you may have hit in training.
The reason this is worth mentioning is that, although ballistic stretching can be effective at any point, there are much more logical methods that can be used if you’re at an early stage in your flexibility training, which brings me to prerequisites.
The only two prerequisites that I see as fundamental are:
- Palms to floor forward fold
- Jefferson Curls: 3 x 5-10 reps at 25% BW and also have trained this for 4-6 months prior not just be able to do this
If you don’t quite meet these, then my video below gives a rough program that should work for the majority of the population:
Front folding/Prerequisites: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ydaz_E4xZM0
The program itself requires daily or near daily repetition, you can do it 5 days a week minimum, but 6 or 7 days is better.
Prepare to hurt, the DOMS from this can be pretty significant but you have to work through them, as the sets progress each day you’ll find that the DOMS does ease off, if you stick to it for at least a few weeks you’ll find the DOMS disappear and you’ll free up massively.
The program itself is straight forward:
3 x 90s calf stretch
3 x 72 pulses
Optional: 1 x 36 pulses in the morning
It’s important with the calves to do 1 set in each direction (foot pointing inwards, pointing forwards and pointing outwards) to hit all the different heads and angles of the gastroc and soleus
The pulses should be done at between 40-60 beats per second, there is a temptation to hit it hard and fast to get it over as soon as possible, but you need to learn to find the balance between being able to generate just enough momentum to reach new ranges, and being able to accumulate time in that end range.
The 36 pulses in the morning are for those who want to speed up the already fast gains that you’ll get from this and are fully worth the effort, if you can endure them.
To ease your suffering it will really pay to do the Kit Laughlin calf rolling at least twice a week. Stick to it and thank me later, it really is indispensable
Good luck and have fun training with ballistics, as well as freaking out the more neurotic amateur coaches in the gym. Make sure to show your progress using #emmetlouis on instagram and I look forward to seeing your progress
Head to toe FAQ:
The above video may answer any of the questions that you may have, but if not then comment below.