Emmet’s Blackboard

Head-To-Toe FAQ

Just answering some of the more common questions I’m getting regarding this.

Hello guys, we are back.  It’s been about ten days since I posted my Head to Toe tutorial.  I was going to post some other stretching videos, but I’ve had so many questions that I thought I’d address these while we’re still in the flow of things.

First off, thank you to everyone who’s been sending me photos of the results.  I know it’s only been a few days, but some of you have had some great progress.  Keep it up, and please do share your pictures with me.  Please do send them.  You can use my hashtag on Instagram if you want to get a form check, #EmmetLouis.  Other than that, just keep plugging away.

As you’ve probably guessed, the first question I got the most, that I will address now is, do I need Feiyue shoes?  I’m not even joking.  Whether facebook or email, that is the #1 question I’ve gotten.

You don’t actually need the Wushu shoes; it’s just a bit of a joke.

For those of you wondering, I’ve also got questions about fake Feiyues.  The fake ones, in my mind, are from a French company that has the license to make Feiyues that cost 100 to 150 euros.  They’re the fake ones.  The cheaper your Feiyues, the more genuine they are, even if they’re going to fall into bits.  It’s still, they’re the real Feiyues.

I get mine from a place called Yellow Mountain Martial Arts in the UK.  They cost me about 12 quid.  They also give a 20% discount if you buy a couple of pairs at a time.  Give them a shout.  If you’re in America it’s probably just not worth it.  Find them on eBay.  The cheaper, the better.

Second question I’ve gotten: can I skip the pre-requisites?  No.  The pre-requisites are what they are because that’s what is going to stop you.  It’s injury proofing and mobility proofing.  You have to hit these targets before you progress to advanced stuff.

Don’t try and run before you can walk.  Deal with it.  There’s plenty of successful programs that will get you there.  If you’re wondering how to progress it, there’s some excellent stuff with Kit Laughlin.  A lot of the stretching will get you there.  If not, I will post a video on how to get the pre-requisites if people are really struggling.  Just let me know.

They are achievable, most of the information is out there.

Next, the performance of the exercises.  I really think, after having seen some videos of some people, that you should set a metronome.  Some of you are going too fast, some of you too slow.  45-60 BPM is the speed.  Once again, we’re not trying to use a lot of momentum to cruise through the sticky point.  Just enough to get you through it.

Remember, take your time, pulse it, count your beats.

First couple of sessions are very tough.  It can be very intense; you might not get past 20 pulses.  It’s okay to break the sets up, just get the reps done for the first few sessions.  After I prefer if you get it, and then just try and complete all the reps in one set.

Next we have people asking, what do I do when I hit a plateau?

We have to see if we can define a plateau first, in the context of this.  With the plateaus we have, not making any progress for 4, 5, 6 days is fine; that’s not a plateau.

What we need to look at is: are you actually not making progress, or are you making slower progress?

In slower progress, what you notice is, say I went from forehead to four fingers, and I might achieve that in rep 60 of my last set.  What we want to look for in progress, is maybe not going deeper than four fingers for a week, maybe longer.

What you’ll notice is you’ll get more accustomed to going forehead to four fingers faster.  It’ll start happening by rep 20 of the third set, then the second set, then the first set.

When it starts happening early in the first set, then you’re generally set up to get some gains.  That’s when you’ll notice a breakthrough.

So think of it as we have to reach a new level, stabilize that level.  Once that level is stabilized, we can then progress.

Don’t think you’re not making progress if your level is not increasing every single session, or every 2-3 days.  Take it as it comes; just do it.

That’s what it is.  This is an exercise in consistency.  Even if you don’t want to go all the way toe to head, achieving a nice comfortable head to fist is a very good level of forward flexion for most people.

Most people will be very happy with that.  You don’t have to push it all the way to the limit; just follow the process, give it 28 days, and you’ll see some massive increases in flexibility.  I guarantee that.

Next, if we have an actual plateau, there’s a couple techniques I like.  An actual plateau is you achieve a certain level of flexibility, say you go head to fist and just can’t progress past there.  It’s not moving.  You even give it a few days to stabilize.

You can start adding a small static stretch at the end of our sets, 30-40 seconds.  About 10-12 in and out breaths, trying to hold ourselves in that position.  We can use our hands to pull ourselves down, hold ourselves statics, trying to maintain that intense stretch.  It’s quite an intense method.

We can also add a very, very, very gentle pull as we cruise into our end range.  What that would look like is we go down, using our muscles to pull ourselves into that stretch.  Just as we begin to lose power, we tuck very gently to get you to cruise through.  It doesn’t mean you do a massive one.  Once again, as little as possible, just to break that sticking point.

If they’re not breaking it, we can combine these.  We can hold every pulse for a two-count.  A longer time spent in that pulse, with a little pull.  That’s the real combo breaker of a plateau breaker.  You don’t want to use it every time as it’s intense, but it does work.

These are basically the 3 main ones I’d use.  But the main thing is, have I actually plateaued, or is the body getting acclimated to the stretch?

That’s all the main questions I’ve had.  If you do have more, ask them on YouTube, ask them on Facebook.  Ask them on Instagram, you know where to find me.  That’s fine.  If you want some form checks, Instagram and tag them with #EmmetLouis.  I’ll form check them for you.  If you get some good results please share them.

If you’re more generally interested in this type of stretching and what we’re doing, visit us on the Kit Laughlin forum, KitLaughlin.com.  We’ve got loads of other people experimenting with this, it’s not just me.  Join in, give us your feedback.

I’m going to leave you there for awhile.  Any questions, you know where to find me.  We’ll be back next week.