Full Body Flexibility

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jackthestrat
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Full Body Flexibility

Post by jackthestrat » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:52 am

Does anybody have any links to full body stretching "programs"? I want to incorporate an hour or so worth of stretching on my rest days.

I took martial arts for 8 years when I was younger and was incredibly flexible by the time I stopped. Now that I'm older and bigger I want to work on getting back to where I used to be (full splits, kick over my head, full back arches, flat butterfly stretches, etc). I don't remember all of the streches I did when studying, though.


teafan
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Post by teafan » Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:14 am

I had a book by a guy called Thomas Kurz called "stretching scientifically"... was really good! Got my kicks to vertical, side splits, about three inches off the "van damme" splits...

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Post by Jungledoc » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:10 am

What do you need this flexibility for? There can be a fine line between "flexible" and "unstable". I also used to do martial arts (I wasn't as flexible as you describe). We used to do stretching that I would never consider doing now. In particular, rotational stretching of the lumbar spine can be dangerous, and is rarely useful. An hour of static stretching is a lot. Why do you feel this would be worthwhile?

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Post by jackthestrat » Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:36 am

Jungledoc wrote:What do you need this flexibility for? There can be a fine line between "flexible" and "unstable". I also used to do martial arts (I wasn't as flexible as you describe). We used to do stretching that I would never consider doing now. In particular, rotational stretching of the lumbar spine can be dangerous, and is rarely useful. An hour of static stretching is a lot. Why do you feel this would be worthwhile?
Right now I can't touch my toes without bending my knees significantly.

My concept of fitness involves being able to participate in almost any physical activity without getting myself hurt. To do this I need to increase my flexibility. I am not trying to turn into a contortionist - but as of right now it is a weak spot in my training.

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Post by KPj » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:11 am

jackthestrat wrote: Right now I can't touch my toes without bending my knees significantly.
Can you touch them whilst seated on the floor?

KPj


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Post by jackthestrat » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:52 pm

KPj wrote:
jackthestrat wrote: Right now I can't touch my toes without bending my knees significantly.
Can you touch them whilst seated on the floor?

KPj
Yes - it's pretty uncomfortable though, right behind my kneecaps.

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Post by Jungledoc » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:34 pm

jackthestrat wrote:
Jungledoc wrote:What do you need this flexibility for? There can be a fine line between "flexible" and "unstable". I also used to do martial arts (I wasn't as flexible as you describe). We used to do stretching that I would never consider doing now. In particular, rotational stretching of the lumbar spine can be dangerous, and is rarely useful. An hour of static stretching is a lot. Why do you feel this would be worthwhile?
Right now I can't touch my toes without bending my knees significantly.

My concept of fitness involves being able to participate in almost any physical activity without getting myself hurt. To do this I need to increase my flexibility. I am not trying to turn into a contortionist - but as of right now it is a weak spot in my training.
OK, good example. What I'm getting at is that you should not think "I can't touch my toes and everyone should be able to touch their toes for some reason so I have to touch my toes". You should think "my range of hip flexion is limited, and I need more range in this movement for the following reason". If you can't think of a reason why you need more ROM at that joint, then maybe you shouldn't bother with it.

By the way, don't confuse touching toes by flexing the hips (usually a good thing) with doing it by flexing the lumbar spine (usually a bad thing).

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Post by KPj » Fri Aug 20, 2010 4:10 am

jackthestrat wrote: Yes - it's pretty uncomfortable though, right behind my kneecaps.
You've got to ask yourself why you can do it on the floor but not on your feet? It's unlikely to be a "stretching" issue, otherwise you wouldn't be able to do it at all. What changes when you get on your feet? The answer is that you add a stability component.

Try the following - get tennis ball. Stand up and rub your each foot on the tennis ball (which will be on the floor). One at a time obviously, about 1 minute or so per foot. Really dig your foot in so that it's quite uncomfortable - you're basically massaging yourself. Really get in at the archs especially as you'll most likely be quite tight here. Atleast 1 minute per foot then try and touch your toes again.

I'm really not trying to be a smart a$$, just trying to get you to ask questions - WHY?

I don't think the toe touch is a great measure of "flexibility". Really it looks at a movement pattern, and for an expert, would then help determine what else needs looked at. You have hip, thoracic spine, and lumbar spine flexion all going on. It's not just a lower back thing and it's not just a hamstring thing and, evident in the difference in peoples sit and reach vs standing toe touch, it's a stability thing, too.

KPj

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Post by caangelxox » Sat Aug 21, 2010 4:15 pm

KPj wrote:
jackthestrat wrote: Yes - it's pretty uncomfortable though, right behind my kneecaps.
You've got to ask yourself why you can do it on the floor but not on your feet? It's unlikely to be a "stretching" issue, otherwise you wouldn't be able to do it at all. What changes when you get on your feet? The answer is that you add a stability component.

Try the following - get tennis ball. Stand up and rub your each foot on the tennis ball (which will be on the floor). One at a time obviously, about 1 minute or so per foot. Really dig your foot in so that it's quite uncomfortable - you're basically massaging yourself. Really get in at the archs especially as you'll most likely be quite tight here. Atleast 1 minute per foot then try and touch your toes again.

I'm really not trying to be a smart a$$, just trying to get you to ask questions - WHY?

I don't think the toe touch is a great measure of "flexibility". Really it looks at a movement pattern, and for an expert, would then help determine what else needs looked at. You have hip, thoracic spine, and lumbar spine flexion all going on. It's not just a lower back thing and it's not just a hamstring thing and, evident in the difference in peoples sit and reach vs standing toe touch, it's a stability thing, too.

KPj
I tried that rolling under feet thing with a lacrosse ball, I can rarely get passed my knees. I think its due to tight hip flexors, I dont understand what rolling the bottom of feet due other than make the bottom of your feet feel good and feet posture gets better. doesnt do anything for my hamstrings.

why do a lot of people think that tight hamstrings is do to inflexibility there? I think its the hip flexors because I can try to stretch my hamstrings like crazy (used to stretch them), and flexibility would not improve even one bit. too much sitting shorts the hamstrings and tightens the hip flexors

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Post by ApolytonGP » Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:58 pm

Take a yoga class. You can oggle the hotties.

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Post by KPj » Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:43 am

caangelxox wrote: why do a lot of people think that tight hamstrings is do to inflexibility there? I think its the hip flexors because I can try to stretch my hamstrings like crazy (used to stretch them), and flexibility would not improve even one bit. too much sitting shorts the hamstrings and tightens the hip flexors
Not everyone is the same. People can have "short" hamstrings, it's just not very common. "tight" can mean anything but everyone just believes a feeling of tightness warrants some stretching. A stretch will also provide temporary 'relief' so it can feel like it does something positive. However tightness can mean a muscle is short, too stiff, or even too weak.

I've said it around 1.2 million times but, I think you need to stop worrying about "tightness" and just lift heavy things. In many cases, especially with women, getting stronger/more stable can make you more "flexible".

KPj

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Post by TimD » Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:25 am

Amen, KPJ. Dan John made the comment that for better flexibility, just do the lifts ( in his case, it meant the O lift variations, OHS, Fr Sq, RDL) starting very light. Once you get the form nailed down, keep trying to push it deeper, add weight and flexibility will come.
Tim


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