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How do I increase flexibility in my legs?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by toldyoubefore, May 27, 2008.

  1. toldyoubefore Banned Banned

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    I'm 31 yrs old. I recently had an inner thigh injury but am rehabing that. It's feeling stronger already. What I'm already doing is stretching my legs every other day. I normally will do 20 min on exercise bike then stretch since I heard it's better to stretch once you are warm. I've been stretching my legs regularly for the last 2 months but off and on for the last 6 months and I feel like I'm not getting anywhere. The injury didn't help I guess. Do I need to stretch everyday? Do I need to stretch maybe twice a day everyday to increase flexibility? I'd like to be able to kick near head-level again like I did as a teenager. I can't kick above the waist right now. I also have shorter legs due to genetics. Anyone increased their flexibility have recommendations?
     
  2. Urban Savage Mystic

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    Overhead squats.
     
  3. RoscoDiaz Orange Belt

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    I had some flex. problems with my legs, main problem was not being able to squat low enough. I did 50 bodyweight squats every morning for a few days and it really increased my flex, not only for a squat, but in general.
     
  4. ratman201 S&P's resident Chef

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    Dynamic flexibility for the high kick is best trained by trying to kick higher more often. Throw in some abductor and hip flexor exercises and some static stretching at the end of your workouts on top of it and you will get there. It takes time.
     
  5. Donut62 Black Belt

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    The one thing I have found about flexibility is that once you get it up to a certain level, maintaining it is relatively easy and it seems to stay with you. Getting it to where it needs to be is hard as hell, but it pays off.
     
  6. Forcetti Orange Belt

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    This is so true, I think I recall a coach saying it takes about 4hrs a week of stretching to be able to reach your full potential in a few weeks, but after that you can maintain with less than 1hr stretching a week.
     
  7. Ian Coe Silver Belt Professional Fighter

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    Get someone to rench you about and ignore your crying


    I usually stretch people to JUST below where they begin shaking/spasms.

    I've had people physically shake because they knew what I was looking for after I told them. Unfortunately I know the difference and they paid.
     
  8. joshetc butthole hurts from teh gay

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    The thing Jean Claude Van Dam gets put on in "Kickboxer" would be perfect for increasing your high kicking ability.

    Anyone that's made their own power cage or squat rack wanna go ahead and give making one of those things a try?

    edit: PS. That movie is awesome.
     
  9. Ziltoid In search for the Ultimate cup of Coffee

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    And painful looking as hell.
     
  10. PariahCarey Purple Belt

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    Dynamic stretching with flex/jumpstretch bands. I just started doing it and already i'm more flexible.
     
  11. Yoga is pretty good.
     
  12. Ian Coe Silver Belt Professional Fighter

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    I stretch people out in a similar way, where they are standing up and I wrench their other leg.


    ps- its a classic, but I wouldn't say awesome
     
  13. Wild Dan Hibiki Black Belt

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    pnf stretching much?
     
  14. Saith UFC poster boy

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    Stretching with a partner can be potentially dangerous and provides little benefit over a solid dynamic/static flexibility development program.

    Stretching statically past the pain threshhold (where it starts to hurt) is useless for increasing flexibility. Think about it, if you're already stretching the muscle, what good is stretching it further going to do?

    For your goals (kicking high) you should put your hand out in front of you and dynamically try to kick your palm, gradually lifting higher as you go. Do about 30-45 repetitions for each leg, but quit if your kicks start to get lower (your body remembers the height at which it last stretched, and will set itself at that level).

    After your dynamic stretching go ahead and ride the bike and do some static stretching. You may want to wait an hour or two after a strenuous workout (lifting, training session) to do static stretching because it is very stressful on the muscles.
     
  15. Zenon White Belt

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    FightingArts.com - Stretch Yourself - 5:Right Stretches for High Kicks with No Warm-Up
    Below is the standard dynamic stretch series <-- the "WALKING STRAIGHT LEG KICKS"

    I do about 10-15 repetitions for each leg, 2-3 sets, at morning when i get up and in the evening before going to bed. But i guess anything in the 10-30 repetitions range is ok. If done right, it is also a nice addition to your normal cardio (fast pace). Not saying it can replace cardio, just give you a little extra exhaustion if you do it after training.

    I also do about the same thing, but sideways for sidekicks and also for roundhouse kicks. It's really the same, hold your arm out horizontal to you side, raise the leg sideways to your hand and go back down again. Just watch that your upper body is upright (well, a little tilt to the other side for balance purposes doesn't matter) because there is no tendon connecting both legs. that means if you shift your body to the side, even if that way you get more height, as far as stretching is concerned, you should really just move the one leg you're training at the moment to the max.

    Dynamic stretching is really the way to go for higher kicks, as that way you can kick high without warming up, which is basically what a fighter wants. And the progress is just amazing.

    Just watch that you don't overdo it, especially when you do it for the first time. The key to this sort of stretching is that the momentum of your leg will pull the leg a little further than the maximum range of motion for a short amount of time, contrary to static stretching, when you don't raise the leg as much but for a longer amount of time. But because dynamic ones are momentum driven, if you just jerk that leg up as fast as you can, you could seriously injure yourself or at least it could be counter-productive. So start slow and look how fast you have to kick to get it just to that point where going further would seriously hurt. That's also what raising your hand is for, to better target that point.

    Of course if you want to do the splits, it's a different story.

    I have had hamstrings that are a little to short for as far as i can think back and half a year ago stumbled upon dynamic stretching... now i can almost kick myself in the face ;) If only i'd knew earlier that progress could be that fast.

    Oh about keeping flexibility up, i read somewhere that while dynamic stretching can get you results faster, you will also lose flexibility faster (compared to static one), so you have to do it regularly to keep it up. I don't recall the source for it, but it seemed quite scientifically founded.
     
  16. vince89 Banned Banned

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    Leg Swings and 30 second static stretches.

    And really deep squats.
     
  17. bychance Orange Belt

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    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/pf-QGJvDsoA&hl=en" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" height="355" width="425"></object>


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    Which sucks for impatient people like me.
     
  18. vince89 Banned Banned

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    Also for me a good way to warmup is to lightly kick the bag as high as I can. Obviously do a few leg swings and stuff like that first but for me nothing stretches out my hips better than doing some kicking.

    Static partner stretching is crap. Its the kinda thing they make you do at training to keep you busy but Id rather just stretch by myself.
     
  19. Saith UFC poster boy

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    It's rather dangerous too. You're partner can't know the physical cues that let you know you're in danger so you risk hyperextending and tearing the muscle.
     
  20. Ian Coe Silver Belt Professional Fighter

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    Shadow box, light warm up then stretch with a partner


    I would make you cry with the stretches little man


    *kisses biceps*
     

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