T Nation

Mike Mahler -- Stretching

Mike, I enjoyed your Combat article and I’m looking forward to the next installment. I’m currently in a different training routine, but I was wondering what you do for stretching, partcularly legs. I roll from time to time (and I’ll probably pick up to twice a week very soon) and I’m the most unflexible person in the world. Because of this, it’s hard for me to do some submissions from the guard as I can’t wrap my legs around as I need to. I have been doing the bridge lately which is a great help, even though I get a head rush after 15 seconds! How the hell do you touch your nose to the mat!?

Thanks for the compliments and I will have my second article sent to t-mag soon. I really do not do anything special to stretch my legs. The hindu squats really loosen up my legs and the bridging really stretches every bone in my body. To touch your nose to the mat, practice rocking back and forth until your nose touches. Once you can do that, try touching your chin to the mat!

Thanks Mike … chin to the ground? You crazy!!! I’ll keep working …

Growth, it took me a couple of weeks before I could touch my nose to the ground. It feels awesome when you can hold it there for a while. You get in a zone. In the new Grappler magazine Fuhrey talks about incorporating deep breathing with bridges. I’m going to have to try it out my next workout. Peace

The Deep breathing while bridging really helps! I started doing it a week ago and it really makes bridging more enjoyable. I take a deep breath, hold it for four seconds and then breath out, hold for one and then start again. I did 25 breaths yesterday and when I checked my stop watch, it revealed that I had been in the bridge for 5 minutes.

I will try the deep breathing technique, thanks. Maybe aim to go for at least one extra breath per bridge to work up to higher times. Maybe I’ll try outside … my neighbors already think I’m weird, LOL.

I know what you mean. When I bridge at the gym, people think that I am nots. Handstand pushups and reverse pushups get a lot of attention as well. People always come up to me and state that they have never seen anyone train like me and wonder what I train for.