Stretching tor Flexibility (For Dummies)

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by HULKAMANIA, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. HULKAMANIA

    HULKAMANIA Blue Belt

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    A while back, EvilEyeGouger displayed some serious understanding of the stretching and advised interested folk (like me) to search for some old threads about flexibility to hear his thoughts in full. Search I did. However, I couldn't find jack. EvilEyeGouger, if you're around, help please?

    In the meanwhile, I'll try plan B. If some of you guys know of some good threads/sites on stretching, please post them up. But wait! Before you go running off to your favorite places folder, let me tell you what I'm not after.

    I don't need some in-depth scientific treatise on flexibility theory. I don't need a comparative study of the benefits of PNF versus dynamic vesus static active versus oblique retransitory stretching. And I don't need something that is going to take hours a day.

    I'm looking for a simple, effective stretching routine. I'm not training to be a contortionist or a yoga master, I'm training to be big and strong. I'm need to stretch, however, so that I can retain my flexibility (hopefully get a little more going on) and help prevent injury. I've noticed lately that my shoulders feel really tight and inflexible. I feel like they're injuries waiting to happen, but I didn't have this problem before I started intensifying my OHP and bench work a couple months ago.

    So what would make me happier than anything is to have a list of specific stretches to do on a daily basis and a description of how I should do them (stretch and hold, make them PNF, dynamic swings, etc.). I would love for a routine which would improve my overall flexibility in order to loosen up my body, make me feel less sore all the time, and help stave off the ripping and tearing of muscles and tendons. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Evil Eye Gouger

    Evil Eye Gouger Gold Belt

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  3. HULKAMANIA

    HULKAMANIA Blue Belt

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    You, my friend, rock.

    Well I hope to take MMA in the future but apparently Alabama is devoid of MMA schools. So I might take up boxing if I can afford it. Really I just want "all-around" flexibility if there is such a thing. I might be betraying my lack of knowledge there. But what I'm getting at is that I don't want to feel too inflexible in the weight room, running, doing G.P.P., etc. I want to feel like I have good, general limberness (limbertude? chances are neither of those are words).

    Now to check out these threads. Thanks again.
     
  4. HULKAMANIA

    HULKAMANIA Blue Belt

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    Having checked out the threads, I feel unoriginal. Why couldn't I find any of these threads when I searched for Evil Eye Gouger? Or Flexibility? I think I even searched for stretching for that matter.
     
  5. Evil Eye Gouger

    Evil Eye Gouger Gold Belt

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    Well, if you want to be flexible all around, then you'll have to stretch every single muscle group and I guarantee you that it will take quite a while.

    In reality, though, most people are flexible enough in the upper body, because we use a bigger range of motion for our upper body in every day life than we do for legs and hips.

    The flexibility you need is specific to the sport you want to do. If you want to kick, you'll need very good dynamic flexibility in your lower body, if you want to grapple, then static flexibility is quite important.

    I'm sorry, but I can't give you a list of stretches or any sort of programme if you don't have specific goals, short of listing all possible stretches. So I recommend figuring out where you are tight, and then stretching those muscles. You may want to strike a bit and grapple a bit even as a n00b to figure out where that is. Remember, dynamic stretches in the morning, every morning, in sets of 12 until you reach your maximum range of motion, and always stop before fatigue. On top of this, PNF stretches 3x a week, and if you wish, relaxed (NO PAIN! especially in joints) stretches on the off days to have your body get used to the length. Start lightly with PNF stretches and increase the stretch and intensity in the following weeks as you get a feel of it.
     
  6. HULKAMANIA

    HULKAMANIA Blue Belt

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    I really appreciate your input man. Let me list off some of my biggest worries about my inflexibilities here, and see what you would recommend.

    1) My shoulders: When I do rotator cuff exercises, I can barely achieve the full ROM. I also can't rotate my shoulders back very far. We did a "shoulder flexibility test" in my health class--trying to make your hands meet in the middle of your back with one going over your trapezius and the other snaking around from below--and my fingers were five inches apart, the worst of anyone there by far.

    2) Olympic lifting: I am learning the snatch primarily. Again a problem area is my shoulder girdle. It feels strained when I am doing the grip properly.

    So yeah those are my biggest concerns, well they're practically the same thing. The thing is, I feel like I know how to stretch out most my body. I'm fairly limber in the legs, but my shoulders and upper torso seem overly-tight. I don't think I can attribute it solely to my bulging muscles.
     
  7. Evil Eye Gouger

    Evil Eye Gouger Gold Belt

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    Am I right in understanding that your shoulders are pulled forward, thus rounding your back? If so, you want to stretch your pecs and deltoids most of all.

    And many strength exercises (particularly partials and isolation) can really destroy your flexibility, which is why many bodybuilders are not flexible. Sounds like this could be the case for you, in which case you should start by addressing the muscle imbalance in addition to stretching.
     
  8. HULKAMANIA

    HULKAMANIA Blue Belt

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    I stay away from partial ROM exercises as best I can, and I haven't done isolation work in a while. I think that's why the problem is concentrated in the shoulders. I don't ever have an exercise where I need to rotate my shoulder joint backwards past the point where the bar rests on my torso in the bench. Nor do I ever rotate my shoulders backwards with my arms above my head because I do my OHPs in front of my face. I think it's just become neglected and tight. I printed out that treatise on stretching you linked to in another one of your threads. I decided I would stop being lazy and actually learn how to stretch. It has been a great help so far. I did some PNF stretching after my workout tonight. It felt good.

    Anyway, thanks again for your help.
     
  9. Evil Eye Gouger

    Evil Eye Gouger Gold Belt

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    This could still be a result of muscle imbalance. If your back muscles are too weak, your chest and deltoids will pull forward all the time and you won't have enough power to overcome them. Do you do enough rowing motions? Tried face-pulls?
     
  10. Madmick

    Madmick Cerebrage Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    I just got "Ultimate Flexibility for the Martial Artist" by Sang Kim, the Hapkido master. There's a section devoted to MMA. I haven't been through it, yet, though, so I won't review it. I also got it because I wanted a more practical guide to stretching, not a stretching theory book.
     
  11. farmboy

    farmboy Banned Banned

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    Thanks, Evil. I plan on reading those posts. I need the help. I can't seem to get quite past a certain point! It's getting a little frustrating.
     
  12. peanut butter

    peanut butter Blue Belt

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    ive been stretching on and off for about a year, ie 3 months every day, then off for a few and back doing them again. i found hardly any notable gains in hamstring flexibility( touching toes), a little in the quads ( sitting back on your ankles) but rather a lot in my groin( butterflys). ive switched the lengths, types and sequences of the stretches, but with only marginal success. EEG, do you recommend any special ways of helping overall leg flexibility.
     
  13. my big toe

    my big toe Yellow Belt

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    If you want increase your shoulder flexibility get the ROM Strap, it works great.

    http://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/swimshop/shop_detail.asp?iPid=181&iCatId=19
     
  14. HULKAMANIA

    HULKAMANIA Blue Belt

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    I've given this a lot of thought. I don't think I have a proportionally weak back. I have always rowed, performed pull ups, and shrugging motions in my work-outs. I think my pulls compare to my presses as well as they should.

    However, I might have an imbalance in my deltoids themselves. Is that possible? I train my anterior heads with Incline DB Benches, Military Presses, Plate Raises and the like, but I can't remember the last time I did an exercise which specifically shoots for the posterior head. Would face pulls remedy that? It also seems that the posterior head pulls a lot in the snatch. I suppose that could be my problem. What do you think?
     
  15. Sean S

    Sean S Brown Belt

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    Eh I would stay away from any flexibily book written by any traditional martial artist. Usually a lot of them are based on stuff passed down without any scientific proof.
     
  16. Evil Eye Gouger

    Evil Eye Gouger Gold Belt

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    Read the posts I linked to. You want dynamic stretches and PNF stretches.
     
  17. Evil Eye Gouger

    Evil Eye Gouger Gold Belt

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    Well, what you could (and probably should) do is trying to stretch in the snatch position. You can use the smith machine or something.

    Get under the bar in a snatch position, and use PNF stretching to improve the ROM. Not before actual snatches though!

    Stretches work best if done in the same position where you want to use this flexibility. so, get into the snatch position (with a fixed bar, a pullup bar or something) and stretch like that.

    P.S. And keep in mind, maybe it's simply your shoulder girdle, and not anything to do with muscles?
     
  18. HULKAMANIA

    HULKAMANIA Blue Belt

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    Alright, I'll give some PNF Stretching on my snatches a try next week.
     
  19. Evil Eye Gouger

    Evil Eye Gouger Gold Belt

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    Just to make things clear:

    Do not stretch BEFORE you snatch. Some light dynamic stretches, OK, but certainly not PNF.

    By stretching in a snatch position, I don't mean a free-weight barbell, but a fixed bar that doesn't move, like a pullup bar or a smith machine, where you can simulate the shoulder position of a snatch.

    And do it lightly at first. Your joints shouldn't hurt, but your muscles should feel some discomfort.
     
  20. Todd Gack

    Todd Gack Dutch

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    EEG just a quick question. I've read some stuff before that relates ballistic stretching to dynamic stretching basically calling them the same thing but after reading your posts and the links provided, they're actually not the same are they? I've been doing what I thought was dynamic stretching doing leg kicks in the morning but I've been doing them in a more swinging/ballistic nature, I'm gonna start doing them in a more controlled manner (lifting the leg rather than swinging it), but should I continue doing at least SOME ballistic type stretching movements?
     

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