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How flexible are you?


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I read in several published articles that a regular stretching program can increase muscle capacity/size upwards of 20-30%. Do you stretch? How flexible are you?

 

I can do the splits three different ways and touch the ground with my palms behind my feet. I can also, after warming up considerably, put the base of my foot to my ear. (My goal is behind my ear, like a Cirque du Soleil performer.) I was not this flexible as a teen; only though daily stretching sessions did it come about. But I've never sprained anything and never pulled anything seriously. I believe I owe that to happy tendons.

 

What's your story? Do any bodybuilders in your gym actually stretch those guns before they shred them?

 

Baby Herc

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I always do some yoga asanas after exercises. I heard stretching before workouts isn't good idea. It's good to warm up, but real stretching should come afterwards. Maybe that's wrong?

I am really flexible for a guy, all the girls on my yoga classes were impressed with me doing eka pada rajakapotasana

http://a.imageshack.us/img10/2087/32ekapadarajakapotasana.jpg

 

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

 

This is not my pic, of course

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I can put my hands about halfway down the front of my shoes when doing a seated toe touch. Is that decent enough for a bigger guy?

 

Some types of stretching can be beneficial before workouts - when my trainer stretches me out from time to time before deadlifts, I find that I have better performance when I'm loosened up. Though, these are two-person stretches, leg contortion stuff that can't be done by one person (and painful at that!) I think that some evidence is coming about for stretching pre-lifting, but not that bouncy ballistic stretch stuff, more of the "let's crank your leg around until it feels like your IT band is about to tear itself off completely, then hold it for 60 seconds" stretch that brings tears to your eyes.

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Wow, flexibility really does run the gamut out there. I've been stretching before lifting for 22 years and the only problems I've ever incurred are when I don't stretch before lifting. I stretch all during, too, and shake out each muscle group right after working it. I'm just in constant motion, I guess. For some reason, my favorite stretch is my calves--feels so $#%@ good!

 

Herc

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Quite interesting, I don't have great flexibility. What stretches do you recommend?

 

This site (http://people.bath.ac.uk/masrjb/Stretch/stretching_4.html) contains the following info and more:

 

Why Bodybuilders Should Stretch

 

One of the best times to stretch is right after a strength workout such as weightlifting. Static stretching of fatigued muscles (see section Static Stretching) performed immediately following the exercise(s) that caused the fatigue, helps not only to increase flexibility, but also enhances the promotion of muscular development (muscle growth), and will actually help decrease the level of post-exercise soreness. Here's why:

 

After you have used weights (or other means) to overload and fatigue your muscles, your muscles retain a "pump" and are shortened somewhat. This "shortening" is due mostly to the repetition of intense muscle activity that often only takes the muscle through part of its full range of motion. This "pump" makes the muscle appear bigger. The "pumped" muscle is also full of lactic acid and other by-products from exhaustive exercise. If the muscle is not stretched afterward, it will retain this decreased range of motion (it sort of "forgets" how to make itself as long as it could) and the buildup of lactic acid will cause post-exercise soreness. Static stretching of the "pumped" muscle helps it to become "looser", and to "remember" its full range of movement. It also helps to remove lactic acid and other waste-products from the muscle. While it is true that stretching the "pumped" muscle will make it appear visibly smaller, it does not decrease the muscle's size or inhibit muscle growth. It merely reduces the "tightness" (contraction) of the muscles so that they do not "bulge" as much.

 

Also, strenuous workouts will often cause damage to the muscle's connective tissue. The tissue heals in 1 to 2 days but it is believed that the tissues heal at a shorter length (decreasing muscular development as well as flexibility). To prevent the tissues from healing at a shorter length, physiologists recommend static stretching after strength workouts.

 

Herc

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Recommended After Stretching..

- Yoga recommends the same.. Warmup & Joints loosening first.. and slowly more.. end with asanas with more antagonistic direction stretches

- Gymnastics: Coach Sommers.. pretty much similar ...thoughts

- BB (posted above)

 

People might mix some Active Stretching into Statich Stratching.. they are different and the way its done/ degrees etc different. For better understanding.. Coach Sommers is the guy to ask

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I am one of the most inflexible people I know. I used to take a yoga class that had mostly middle aged and senior citizens. I was one of the least flexible. I finally stopped going because it was so embarassing. Which is stupid, but whatever.

 

Do it. Go back.. stick with it.. slowly.. and then watch the changes in yourself.. physically, mentally and so on..

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  • 3 weeks later...

From the waist down I am pretty flexible, I used to be able to touch my head to my toes when sitting, I could put my foot (only one) behind my head with ease and I could almost have my head touch the back of my calves while standing and bending backwards. But now, my belly gets in the way too much for me to do any of that. Im hoping that I gain more flexibility over time and loose my belly so that I regain my flexibility and use that to my advantage to tattoo my legs and feet haha.

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I think stretching can be good, but after your workout, unless it's just some rhyhmic limbering to get the blodd flowing. From my experience working at agym, I am not a great fan of Yoga. It is good, but I really don't think I will ever need to put my legs behind my ears. Most of the injuries that people have told me about, and mine included have been from over stretching. My worst injury, and pretty much the only one I ever had at the gym was from a Yoga instructor forcing pushing me into a deeper Downward dog position. She pushed on my back, and it hurt in a bad way for about two weeks.

Even without Yoga though I can bend over touch the ground with my hands, reach past my toes in a hamstring stretch, and fell like I am pretty flexible.

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I think stretching can be good, but after your workout, unless it's just some rhyhmic limbering to get the blodd flowing. From my experience working at agym, I am not a great fan of Yoga. It is good, but I really don't think I will ever need to put my legs behind my ears. Most of the injuries that people have told me about, and mine included have been from over stretching. My worst injury, and pretty much the only one I ever had at the gym was from a Yoga instructor forcing pushing me into a deeper Downward dog position. She pushed on my back, and it hurt in a bad way for about two weeks.

Even without Yoga though I can bend over touch the ground with my hands, reach past my toes in a hamstring stretch, and fell like I am pretty flexible.

That sounds like she is not a good yoga teacher. Mine never forced me to do anything unless i was ready myself. Yoga helped me not just to put my leg behind my ears but also to get rid of back pains, to improve my relationships, etc. It is not just about who is the most flexible

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I think stretching can be good, but after your workout, unless it's just some rhyhmic limbering to get the blodd flowing. From my experience working at agym, I am not a great fan of Yoga. It is good, but I really don't think I will ever need to put my legs behind my ears. Most of the injuries that people have told me about, and mine included have been from over stretching. My worst injury, and pretty much the only one I ever had at the gym was from a Yoga instructor forcing pushing me into a deeper Downward dog position. She pushed on my back, and it hurt in a bad way for about two weeks.

Even without Yoga though I can bend over touch the ground with my hands, reach past my toes in a hamstring stretch, and fell like I am pretty flexible.

 

The point of yoga is not JUST to be acrobatically flexible. If thats what you think, then you've got it all wrong. There are tons of people who never become as flexible but their bodies benefit from the Asanas because every asana has a specific effect on the internal organs of the body in addition the muscles, joints etc.

 

Even more subtly, it has an influence on the mind and the spirit.

Yoga = Union... with yourself.

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