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    Drlove's Avatar
    Drlove is offline Senior Member
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    Stretching to increase flexibility

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    Hey,

    I wanted to ask about stretching. If I want to increase my flexibility, (particularly in my hamstrings) can I just do static stretches throughout the day without a warm up?

    Thanks in advance.

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    EagleRiverDee's Avatar
    EagleRiverDee is offline Senior Member
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    I stretch all day long and it does help. I don't find that not warming up hurts me, but I start my stretches gentle and slow, and never push to the point that it hurts. A little discomfort is fine, pain is not fine.

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    Drlove's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EagleRiverDee View Post
    I stretch all day long and it does help. I don't find that not warming up hurts me, but I start my stretches gentle and slow, and never push to the point that it hurts. A little discomfort is fine, pain is not fine.
    Seems legit. That's pretty much what I thought. Thanks!

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    Hamstring tightness could be due to a lot of different factors. So the short answer is that just stretching your hamstrings through the day may not release them. The tension might be in your hips or even your back or thighs (quads) that's creating the problem.

    That's why yoga is so good. You can get a full range of motion through the body and ultimately solve the problem.

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    kot's Avatar
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    I have been reading that dynamic stretching is better. My son swears by Magnificent Mobility and my wife would +1 on the yoga.

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    I do muscle release stretching, which is very much like dynamic. It's amazing how much deeper you can go in the stretches when using a dynamic method rather than static!

    I used to think I had tight hamstrings (and probably do), but it's actually my calfs that are so tight I can't put my palms flat on the floor.

    Yoga, Magnificent Mobility, or MRT (Muscle Release Technique) are all awesome programs that will give you a greater range of movement. Focus on the whole body, not just the one area. When you focus on just one area, you're asking to be injured somewhere else from one part being more flexible than the others. Not fun, trust me

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    stretching has been getting knocked around a lot lately. hell, you have to call it 'mobility' now, you can't even say stretching.

    whatever, stretch! i admit that i don't like static stretches before lifting weights, but the idea that they have no place (which is in vogue) is throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

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    dbalch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakey View Post
    stretching has been getting knocked around a lot lately. hell, you have to call it 'mobility' now, you can't even say stretching.

    whatever, stretch! i admit that i don't like static stretches before lifting weights, but the idea that they have no place (which is in vogue) is throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
    My problem with stretching is that is it often abused by people. By that I mean that in many cases, people are destabilizing their joints in order to increase their flexibility.

    We are all born with a certain genetic predisposition toward a particular range of motion. It's a big mistake to observe someone bending their body with an extreme range of motion and try to emulate them when your body is not capable of that same range of motion. Many foolishly injure their joints, including their backs, as a result.

    So, yes, there is nothing wrong with stretching per se, as long as it's done intelligently and responsibly. Personally, I do very little. Just some light stretches before weightlifting and sprinting. I believe it's more important to strengthen my joints and bones through resistance training.

    And I'm a golfer!!! I have every reason to attempt to increase my natural range of motion. But I don't think the risks are worth the rewards. i.e. yes I can increase by range of motion by aggressive stretching, but not to the freaky level of a pro golfer anyway. It's much more likely I'll injure myself and not be able to play golf at all, rather than marginally improving my golf game.
    Last edited by dbalch; 12-28-2012 at 08:02 AM.

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    Without doing something to counteract it, we lose both muscle mass and flexibility as we age. And that means we start losing both of those at about age 35.

    The reason you don't want to stretch to pain is that muscles will contract in response to pain. This means you'd be sending conflicting messages to your muscles and that could lead to discomfort.

    I like stretching after exercise rather than before because it just feels better than a cold stretch. Nothing contortionist. It can be something as gentle as standing on a step with my toes and lowering my heels until I feel the stretch. Just a little something for each muscle group so I'm still able to get in and out of a car without assistance when I'm 90.
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    good,I stretch all day long and it does help. I don't find that not warming up hurts me, but I start my stretches gentle and slow

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