Vigor Improvement Practices (VIPs) – FlexSkill #6

Want to feel better than you’ve ever felt? 

Here’s another excerpt from my 10th book, The Secret of VigorHow to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance and Reclaim Your Natural Energy


Some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions every year are:

*Lose Weight

*Get in Shape

*Reduce Stress

*Get Healthier

*Win the Lottery


The Secret of Vigor can help you with 4 out of 5 of the most popular resolution goals, so I’ll be posting excerpts from the book for the next several weeks – so please stay tuned for each installment. 

If you simply can’t wait, then you can certainly get a copy at or at your favorite library or bookstore.


VIP: FlexSkills

In addition to the twenty-eight-minute walking program outlined above, you should consider also adding the flexibility exercises described below to further improve your circulation, balance, and strength. I call each of these ten exercises “FlexSkills,” and I’ve used them to help elite athletes in virtually every type of sport improve their stress resilience, flexibility, and resistance to injury. 

For each FlexSkill, you want to “hold” the position for thirty to sixty seconds. Each “cycle” of ten exercises, then, takes only five to ten minutes and can be performed either as a warm-up/cool-down on the days that you also do your Interval Walking or as an exercise circuit on its own. For example, you could go through all ten FlexSkills two or three times as your workout instead of walking. You may also want to use a floor mat or large towel when performing these skills.


6. Figure-8 (Targets: lower back and hips)

Also called “the Pretzel” and “the Seated Hip Twist” in some forms of yoga, the Figure-8 FlexSkill is one of my personal favorites. As a runner and cyclist, my hips and lower back are in a constant state of stress, so this movement is vital to maintaining optimal flexibility and mobility in these important “core” areas.


From a seated position, with your legs straight out in front of you, keep your right leg straight and cross your left foot over to the outside of your right knee. Grasp the outside of your left knee and gently pull it toward the ribs on your right side. Slowly pull and continue breathing slowly and deeply until you feel a stretch in your left hip, butt, and lower back. Hold for twenty to thirty seconds. Slowly release the stretch, extend your left leg, and repeat the movement on your right knee.

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