Former magician’s assistant Debbie McGee, 58, has wowed fans of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing with her eye-popping flexibility – which would no doubt be the envy of a woman half her age.
And for those wanting to emulate the effortless way she slides into the splits (or, perhaps even the showstopping standing version), help may be at hand.
A new book, Even The Stiffest People Can Do The Splits, promises that just about anyone can achieve limber legs like Debbie’s – and in just four weeks.
Former magician’s assistant Debbie McGee, 58, has wowed fans of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing with her eye-popping flexibility
Written by Japanese ‘yoga-queen’ Eiko, it sold more than 1.6million copies in her native country.
The former aerobics instructor is now bringing her stretching bible to Britain which, according to exercise experts, could result in a plethora of health benefits for readers.
Eiko’s programme – outlined here – promises to deliver improved circulation, eased back pain, increased flexibility and that ability to do the splits.
All that’s needed, she claims, is four weeks of three daily stretches lasting a few minutes. This consists of two core stretches plus one extra that changes each week
All that’s needed, she claims, is four weeks of three daily stretches lasting a few minutes. This consists of two core stretches plus one extra that changes each week.
With more than six million views on the author’s YouTube tutorial video, the 50-year-old is massively popular and, according to followers, results in agility improvements for people of all ages.
Sugako Nishino, 72, claims to be lighter, trimmer and more limber than her 53-year-old daughter since visiting Eiko’s studio.
According to Eiko, ‘people who have been inflexible since childhood and those whose bodies have stiffened ought to succeed’.
She joins a recent surge in Britons’ quest for flexibility. According to business analysts Ibis, we spend an average of £790 per year on stretch-heavy yoga classes, with the number of Britons practising doubling in the past 20 years.
According to Eiko, ‘people who have been inflexible since childhood and those whose bodies have stiffened ought to succeed’
Tim Allardyce, osteopath and clinical director of Surrey Physio, regularly sees the benefits of stretching exercises in his clients. ‘We get stiffer as we get older because there’s a loss of collagen between our joints,’ he says.
‘Once people get stretching, they usually find a staggering reduction in pain and inflammation. Maintaining flexibility is one of the most important foundations for overall fitness. It allows you to move your body, and an active lifestyle is key to good health.’
Eiko began working as an aerobics instructor in her 20s. ‘I suffered from back aches,’ she said. ‘Yoga movements were difficult for someone as inflexible as I was.’
After identifying the individual stretches that would achieve maximum flexibility, Eiko developed a method that could be taught easily.
So, are you willing to put it to the test? Try some of Eiko’s ultra simple moves for yourself…
Even The Stiffest People Can Do The Splits, by Eiko, is published by Yellow Kite, priced £9.99. Offer price £7.99 (20 per cent discount) until November 5. Order at www.mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640; p&p free on orders over £15.