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Thread: Flexibility and nutrition? Other causes for LACK of flexibility page

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    Eklecktika's Avatar
    Eklecktika is offline Senior Member
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    Flexibility and nutrition? Other causes for LACK of flexibility

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    I have NEVER been flexible. I have worked HARD at gettign flexible, and never, EVER got it. Even in high school, when I had 6 years of dance, and four years of track, weight ligting and cheer behind me, with plenty of time and motivation to GET flexible. I never got to a full split, in any form, was never able to drop down and put my hands on the floor. My hamstrings and hips especially are tremendously tight, regardless of how much I work at it.

    Are there any possible nutritional deficiencies that could be the missing key? I can't imagine why it is that after much work-and I'm not talking about 10 minutes here or there, I'm talking serious effort.

    I spent WAY more time working stretches-hips, hams, etc-than anyone else on my various teams, and got far less results.

    Any brilliant ideas as to why? I can't accept that 'some people just can't do it' as a good answer.

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    jon tall tree's Avatar
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    even though it is advised against in PB the best martial artists got to the point of being able to kick straight up (a standing split) by stretching everyday. also light stretching will do you better than really trying to force it. what do you do for stretches??

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    Mizz Hawaii's Avatar
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    Are you drinking enough water?? I did yoga for several years than started loosing flexibility because I was so dehydrated. I'm really bad about drinking fluids. Also dont push yourself into your stretch breathe into it. You will get much more flexible if your not forcing yourself and focus on breathing into the stretch. Hold your stretches for a few minutes. Also we hold a lot of emotional stuff in our hips so if you have a lot going on they might be really tight.

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    Eklecktika's Avatar
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    I do typical ballet stretching-splits, side, forward, everything you learn in dance class, plus a little martial arts here and there-pretty much everything encompassed here and here.

    I always hold until the 'tension'-for lack of a better word-releases, warm up lightly prior to initial stretching, and I do stretch after work as well.

    No bounce, just light tension. Never to the point of pain, and I'm never truly 'sore' after stretching-just loose. But, there seems to be point at which no matter what I do, I can't get beyond it.

    I was told by various instructors that some people 'just can't', but I'm calling BS. Thoughts?

    Edit to add: MizzH-I have always been pretty good about staying hydrated, and as far as emotional crap...I have my fair share, but I don't know if it's more/less than the so-called 'average bear'....?
    Last edited by Eklecktika; 03-07-2011 at 10:26 AM.

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    Do you wear high heels often? I wear them daily (I have since high school) and in addition to having a desk job and sitting a lot, I find that my hams are always rediculously tight. I can get some improvement after a moderate stretching session, but I've also never been very "open" and I think that heels are a large part of why.

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    Eklecktika's Avatar
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    Only on very special occasions-and then I throw caution to the wind and rock my 4"+ KMOAFM shoes. My riding boots don't even qualify as they are quite lowheeled-3/8"-just enough to qualify, and keep the 'tradition police' at bay.

    Most of the time I run around barefoot-even at work/school (I was forever getting 'jacked up' for not having shoes on in school) or in flat huaraches-style shoes-even before they were 'cool'. My oldest pair of sandals are exactly like hauraches. I've limped them along for over 15 years and still wear them.

    One thing I have noticed is that from years and years of reining and WCH, I have a horrible habit of 'rolling my pelvis' under-as if you're trying to hide your pockets. I've only consciously started UNDOing that within the last month or so. Surely that couldn't be the whole problem, could it?

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    AndreaReina's Avatar
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    Try maintaining the tension, instead of the position. Increase the intensity of the stretch as you can without it hurting too much (a little pain is ok). You might be sore the next day -- this is ok, just rest and don't do the stretches (or do them with less intensity).

    As far as nutrition, I hear sulfur is good (think garlic and onion), as are the minerals and aminos in animal joints. Make chicken soup with a whole chicken -- simmer the chicken for a half-hour to an hour, then take it out, let it cool, and shred the meat off the bones. Return the bones to the pot and simmer another four hours or so. Make sure the liquid has some sort of acid -- vinegar, tamarind, tomato, etc -- to better extract the good stuff. Remove the bones, put the meat back in, add any veg you want in there and simmer a final 30 minutes or until the chicken is heated through and the veg cooked. Canned salmon or sardines with skin and bones are also good -- eat the bones, they're soft enough. When you're eating steak, eat the gristle. If making chicken stock, get some feet or heads (ask your butcher) to put in the pot. If making beef stock, ask for gelatinous bones.

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    Coach Palfrey's Avatar
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    What kind of weight lifting are you doing? I often notice poor flexibility issues as a result of either poor exercise choice or reduced ROM during said exercises. You mention hips and hams - how is your spinal mobility, shoulder flexibility?

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    Eklecktika's Avatar
    Eklecktika is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach Palfrey View Post
    What kind of weight lifting are you doing? I often notice poor flexibility issues as a result of either poor exercise choice or reduced ROM during said exercises. You mention hips and hams - how is your spinal mobility, shoulder flexibility?
    Good, I think...? I don't really know how to test spinal mobility, for example, but I don't have any trouble/pain anywhere, nor do I have rounded shoulders (think lift shoulders, rotate backwards, drop down). I just (as in, end of last week) ditched my office chair in favor of standing. I can lean against the wall, rotate my scaps through a full ROM, and maintain contact-thats the only real test of mobility that I know of for the spine. And, I can do broomsticks at shoulder width plus one hand width on each side-backwards is not a big deal, but back to front is less comfortable-never has been, hasn't worked out yet, I assume for the same reason(?).

    IOW, I don't have the foggiest if that is good, bad, or 'average'.

    Re H&H, I do full ATG squats with no problem, and make a regular habit of the socalled indigenous squat -again, no idea whether that is an indicator of anything other than "doing ATG squats with no problem."

    The large majority of lifting I do is

    bowflex-based (It was free, and I'm cheap/poor)
    LHT (haybales (55-60 lbs, deadlift, carry, snatch and throw-extra points for more than two 'layers' overhead) but only once a week
    saddles (doesn't really count but...50# carried for a hundred yards to and fro adds up),
    grain (80lb sacks),

    or homemade/scavenged stuff-tires, poles, etc. Squats are done w/ kettlebells,

    I do a lot of bodyweight stuff for lack of free weights.



    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Eklecktika; 03-07-2011 at 12:44 PM.

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    arthurb999's Avatar
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    What specifically do you need more flexibility for?

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