how much can you really improve your flexibility

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Dead Roman, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. Dead Roman

    Dead Roman Orange Belt

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    Ive been training for about a year now, and stretching fairly regularly. My hip flexibility hasn't improved much at all. I cant come close to doing the splits, and in butterfly my knees are about 8 inches off the ground. I do the s stretch and am seeing goo improvements there and I can bend straight over and put my palms flat on the floor. I have been trying to get my hip flexibility to where I can do high kicks, but the best I have been able to do is a high ribcage shot. Is it possible that my hips are layed out in such a way as to limit my range of motion in these areas? or do I just need to stretch more often?
     
  2. Back

    Back White Belt

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    what is stretching fairly regularly for you?
     
  3. Dead Roman

    Dead Roman Orange Belt

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    atleast a half an our of stretching 3 times a week before class. and about 10 minutes a day at home
     
  4. Uezama**

    Uezama** Brown Belt

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    you should be doing at least 30 minutes of stretching a day. notice the "at least".
     
  5. DiscipleOfPog

    DiscipleOfPog Green Belt

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    The way you stretch is almost as important if not more important than how often you do it. You have to stretch ferociously to improve flexibility.

    Stretch at any time, all the time, and hard. By hard I mean don't stretch slowly and hold, this will not increase your flexibility when you want it, which is when you're training, rolling, and sparring. You need to stretch to your max point fast and repeatedly, pushing a bit more each time. If you wanna put your foot behind your head, grab your foot at any time during the day and just try and blast it behind your head.

    Of course, don't yank once you've reached your max, you don't want to injure yourself. But just remember, if you pulled your muscle out of your body, it would be extremely flexible, by stretching your are training your brain to accept a new movement/position, not actually changing your muscle tissue.
     
  6. newerest

    newerest Purple Belt

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    i just started stretching correctly 3 months ago and now rubber guard is so easy. i can do everything in rubber guard with the exception of the sorcerer (crazy ass double arm bar...good luck anyone on this forum do to it)

    there's no limit to getting flexible. I used to think since I was 180 lbs at 5'7 that I was too muscular to get flexible. It was just an excuse...

    in butterfly stretch push ur knees to the mat.. if you seriously can't even do that yet then you are not stretching hard enough...
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  7. Graunie

    Graunie Blue Belt

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    Blasting any stretch out of nowhere is a bad idea. The whole post sounds like a terrifying idea. I would instead say make sure you are doing the right stretches, make sure you are stretching the most after training when you muscles are warm (very important, and stretch outside of class on a daily basis if you can.

    Flexibility is a lot like other physical attributes that you can train to get better, but like everything else has its limitations.
     
  8. Shemhazai

    Shemhazai Black Belt

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    Stretching is good for you, but jiu jitsu shouldn't require much flexibility. The whole rubber guard mentality of having to become a contortionist in order to pull off whacky tricks is just stupid, IMO.
     
  9. insomniacl

    insomniacl Blue Belt

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    Would you ever fight muay thai without the flexibility to throw a high kick?

    Its not about pulling off wacky tricks, its about not limiting yourself to techniques.
     
  10. Dead Roman

    Dead Roman Orange Belt

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    This is my thinking. I dont believe in the rubber guard and its not a part of my game. Im not trying to get any crazy flexibility or anything. I would like to be able to high kick though and I am not even close, and thats pushing it to the absolout limit of my flexibility. I have actually had quite a few partners tell me that I am very flexible after a roll, I think that has more to do with being able to handle being stacked in half and have good hips though.
     
  11. Shemhazai

    Shemhazai Black Belt

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    I'm not saying not to stretch. I'm saying that moves that require an abnormal amount of flexibility are moves that aren't mechanically sound. Good Jiu jitsu is about using superior leverage and mechanical efficiency at all times - a joint pushed to the limits of its flexibility has neither. Needless to say, it is also much more prone to injury.
     
  12. insomniacl

    insomniacl Blue Belt

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    Maybe thats where you don't get it? Breaking down your opponents posture with a high guard IS mechanically sound and leverages your bottom position to "hang off" your opponent. An opponent with broken posture cannot punch you as easily, and gives you offensive options, so it provides a defensive/offensive benefit.

    Furthermore, it isn't abnormal flexibility at all. Anyone can become flexible if they stretch; the same way that anyone can build muscle if they lift weights. It also has little to do with joint flexibility; your joints only function in one direction like a door hinge. Its your hip and groin muscles that you are stretching that offer flexibility. Your knees open and close in one direction, just like your elbows. Its not suppose to twist, and it doesn't. That job is for the hip muscles.
     
  13. nni

    nni Orange Belt

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    Some people will never be very flexible. You can improve it with practice but it goes away very quickly once you stop and there are physical limits to how much you can improve.
     
  14. insomniacl

    insomniacl Blue Belt

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    And this is based on what evidence?
     
  15. Shemhazai

    Shemhazai Black Belt

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    So what if building flexibility is just like building muscle (both of which are limited by genetic potential)? Since when is BJJ about getting really strong and just muscling things?

    My point is that if you have to force your body into unnatural positions, you're doing it wrong.
     
  16. BJJ_Rage

    BJJ_Rage Gold Belt

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    I have a damm big problem with this issue, I used to swim when I was a kid, from 7 to 14 years, and was THE most inflexible guy in the whole squad, at the same time, I was doing TKD, and though I was able to kick pretty high, wasnt very flexible for the regular TKD practitioner (I got to be a red belt, wich in TKD is just prior to black)... anyways, Im just a not very flexible guy, hell ppl laugh at my flexibility now... im 30 already and eventhough I do stretchs, I just seems to not work, I thought on doing yoga to try to improve it, but I think at my age, wouldn't make much difference... what do you guys think?
     
  17. Rod1

    Rod1 Titanium Belt

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    This is the worst possible advice i have ever seen in the internet, EVER.
     
  18. Rod1

    Rod1 Titanium Belt

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    No, flexibility is strictly a neural issue, it has no bearing on genetic potential.
     
  19. Rod1

    Rod1 Titanium Belt

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    Ok ill let you the "secret" of stretching, as secret i mean its not a secret in the vast majority of the world and to the vast majority of persons, but it is in our modern western culture.

    Flexibility its not the elongation of the joints or the muscle, ANYONE has the potential of bending like a contortionist, but we don't. Why? because the body its not stupid, the body has a limit of known "normal postures" and will quickly take over control of muscles when they get outside of this normal posture.

    Its called the stretch reflex and high level olympic gymnasts have almost entirely suppresed it. If you take a stiff computer drone who has never stretched and completely sedate him you can move his limp body as if it was the body of a gymnast,

    Why? because the muscle has lost connection to the CNS and won't flex whenever it feels its being stretched outside of normal range.

    Doing hard and aggresive stretching will be counterproductive for it will

    1.- Stretch joints and ligaments leading to potential injury (you want tight ligaments and joints)

    2.- It creates stress which will cause the brain to remember that posture as unnatural and dangerous furthering shortening the range where the reflex kicks in.

    The best way to increase flexibility, its to increase the strength of the muscle through all range of motion so that newer ROM feels safe, and to slowly increase muscle range through static stretching where there is no sense of stress or pain.

    This is what Yoga and many eastern arts does to increase flexibility, some require meditation and such.

    But for our normal western man, who believes that its all BS, then i recommend a book by Pawel Tsatsouline called Relax into Stretch, in any sense you will require discipline and patience.

    Its disappointing that in the age of scholar google, wikipedia and broadband internet, people can't take less than 1 hour to research about any particular subject and still maintain archaic and dangerous practices.
     
  20. insomniacl

    insomniacl Blue Belt

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    Suit yourself, if you choose not to learn rubber guard and high guards because you feel like its wrong, then thats your loss.
     

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