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Assessing Your Fitness: Flexibility

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  • Assessing Your Fitness: Flexibility

    I just posted part three of my assessing your fitness series. This post focuses on assessing your flexibility. Thoughts and opinions are always welcome (feel free to post right on my blog).
    "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

    "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

    My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

    sigpic

  • #2
    Aww... the hip stretch felt good :-) I guess I am considered "flexible"...

    I watched this video on stretching that Tony Gentilcore posted on his blog that took a look at that traditional hamstring stretch... While most people assume a dorsiflexion of the feet, pointed up, it was actually reccomended that the feet assume a PLANTERflexion because otherwise you can only go as far as your sciatic nerve will give. I found that to be interesting, but haven't done any further investigation...

    For the shoulder stretch, I have also read that it is only necessary to get your wrists on the ground... Which I can achieve easily... But have trouble getting my whole ARM on the ground... Is this important?
    On a mission to help others master movement, build unbreakable strength, & eat MORE food (can't beat that.) Weekly fitness, health & nutrition articles at indulgentfitness.com.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by primal_jessjane View Post
      Aww... the hip stretch felt good :-) I guess I am considered "flexible"...

      I watched this video on stretching that Tony Gentilcore posted on his blog that took a look at that traditional hamstring stretch... While most people assume a dorsiflexion of the feet, pointed up, it was actually reccomended that the feet assume a PLANTERflexion because otherwise you can only go as far as your sciatic nerve will give. I found that to be interesting, but haven't done any further investigation...

      For the shoulder stretch, I have also read that it is only necessary to get your wrists on the ground... Which I can achieve easily... But have trouble getting my whole ARM on the ground... Is this important?
      Congrats on passing the flexibility assessment, Jess. You raise an interesting point about the foot position in the sit and reach stretch. I'll try to investigate further.

      Yes, wrists on the ground tends to be the standard for the shoulder test. If you can get your whole arm that means you have above average flexibility but it isn't going to help you much in most activities to have the extra range of motion. If you can get your wrists down without bending your elbows too much, you're probably good to go. But ultimately, that's up to you to decide.
      "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

      "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

      My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

      sigpic

      Comment


      • #4
        Passed all tests with ease. I'm no ballet dancer, but if there's one fitness thing I can boast about, it's my flexibility.

        What I DO wonder is whether or not there is an inverse relationship between flexibility and muscle mass?

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        • #5
          praise be .. one of al's metrics that doesnt have me weeping and reaching for a sack of chips in frustration .. i too found these pretty easy .. having said that after 9mths of bikram yoga, if i didnt id be worried ...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jeffy87 View Post
            What I DO wonder is whether or not there is an inverse relationship between flexibility and muscle mass?
            I've seen lots of jacked dudes with good flexibility. Jean Claude Van Damme comes to mind:



            As does pro wrestler Rob Van Dam:



            Maybe you just need to be named Van Dam to pull it off.

            I've also seen lots of tight people with very little muscle mass. So while there is often an inverse relationship between the two, it's not necessarily the case.

            Originally posted by kiwineil View Post
            praise be .. one of al's metrics that doesnt have me weeping and reaching for a sack of chips in frustration .. i too found these pretty easy .. having said that after 9mths of bikram yoga, if i didnt id be worried ...
            Everyone's got strengths and weaknesses in their game and you get better at what you practice. Glad to hear this post didn't lead you to indulge in any highly salted snack treats.
            "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

            "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

            My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

            sigpic

            Comment


            • #7
              Al, I realy gotta start visiting your blog more! Fortunately you also post here when a new post comes up.
              I'm not surprised I failed hip and shoulder mobility, but I though after months of doing satanding hamstring stretches 5x20s (foot up on a waist high object) I'd at least come close to the hamstring stretch. Shoot.
              Any stretches you recomend in particular?
              sigpicI'm not old, I'm Vintage!

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              • #8
                There are lots of ways to stretch your hamstrings - try lying on your back and wrapping a towel around your foot, then pulling your leg in toward you with the towel.

                Improving flexibility takes time. It's probably the slowest aspect of fitness to improve. I've been stretching my shoulders and upper back daily for months now and I am only recently starting to come close to reaching a full range of motion.

                Also, you might benefit from taking a yoga class.
                "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

                "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

                My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jeffy87 View Post
                  What I DO wonder is whether or not there is an inverse relationship between flexibility and muscle mass?
                  People just have different focuses...

                  For example, "most" people who take yoga (i know its not all about flexibility) don't do a ton of strength training. Most guys who bodybuild, don't spend a ton of time stretching.

                  I persoanally like to mix it up.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by arthurb999 View Post
                    People just have different focuses...

                    For example, "most" people who take yoga (i know its not all about flexibility) don't do a ton of strength training. Most guys who bodybuild, don't spend a ton of time stretching.

                    I persoanally like to mix it up.
                    Good point. You get better at the things you practice consistently. It seems obvious, yet many people would rather waste time looking for a shortcut or making excuses.
                    "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

                    "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

                    My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com

                    sigpic

                    Comment

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