As a cyclist or runner, I can pretty much guarantee that you have overly tight hamstrings and calves. The problem is that this often leads to low back pain, tendinitis behind the knee, and an overall performance decline.
It's not that often a product comes around that I'm surprised with how well it works. I found something a few weeks ago that has been a game-changer for my flexibility and reducing low back pain (see what it looks like here)
The product is called Castleflexx, and it is elegantly simple. My partner at The Feed, Brandon, and I have been trying it out and love it. I've even bought four of them for my family members to use.
It is like a strap you might use for stretching your hamstrings, calf, ankle, and foot. But it works way better.
Here is how it works:
You slide your ankle in the pocket, and the fabric goes over your foot to put your foot into dorsiflexion. Then you lay on your back and guide the stretch from the brushed aluminum bar, and cork handles.
The secret is the bar has a small 2lbs weight. It doesn't sound like much, but it makes a world of difference, so you aren't pulling on your leg. The weight does most of the work for you.
Here is the science simplified. If you do a stretch for 30 seconds and see your range of motion increase, this is your muscle releasing. But to have long-term flexibility, you also need to stretch the fascia around the muscles; this takes much longer. For example, you might need to be holding a stretch for 2 to 4 minutes to gain more flexibility in your fascia.
I've made it part of my post-workout routine (especially after indoor training, where your hamstrings are constantly in a contracted state). I'll do 2 to 3 minutes per leg.
- Lay on the floor with your ankle in the pocket and raise your leg up to 12 o'clock. I stay here for 30s to 60s.
- Then I sunset my leg to the left side, going to 9 o'clock, stretching my fascia from a different angle, and getting a hip stretch. I stay here for another 30s to 60s.
- Then I go back to 12 o'clock and slowly drop to the other side, always keeping very light tension on the leg.
- To finish, I'll come back to 12 o'clock and play around with going between 11 o'clock and 1 o'clock to find any areas that are tight for the final 60s.
Yes, you could do this with a cheap strap, but it is comfortable and does not put your foot into dorsiflexion. I don't recommend doing this with a stretchy band (The Castleflexx doesn't stretch), as the stretch can provide too much force and cause other issues.
The Castleflexx quality is exceptional. It is a super-premium product that you will look forward to using each day. It also rolls up quickly and is very compact to take with you anywhere or travel with. Take a look at it here.
I'll admit it is not cheap, but it saves me 10x the cost of Chiropractic care, plus I feel great afterward.
You should check this out if you have low back pain, plantar fasciitis, or just generally tight hamstrings and calves. We just got a limited number of them in stock and are ready to ship out today.