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  1. TKDist is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/26/2003 10:22am


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    All of the flexibility and stretching materials, videos, seminars and whatnot suggest that following a consistent stretching routine will continually improve flexibility...

    Well, my question is this:
    Is stretching capacity dependent on body type, meaning is there a limit to how flexible a person can become based on their individual body type. Like no matter how much you stretch you can only achieve X amount of flexibility or is flexibility something that should consistently increase regardless or your body type/muscular make-up?

    The reason I'm asking is because I feel as though I've hit a plateau with my flexibilty. I stretch every day and think my flexibilty is decent, but I'd really like to be able to do a full chinese split. Try as I may, I just can't get there. Some days I'm more limber than others and get down closer to it, but never the full split. It's not like I've been rushing it. I've been at this platuea for a while and when I try to push a little further I can feel the hamstring muscle behind the knee getting stretched and it feels like I might be "over stretching."

    Any thoughts? Are some people just not capable of a full split or is it something everyone should be able to do and I need to maybe try so different stretches or something?
  2. Haksaeng is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/26/2003 11:10am


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Well, flexibility is not dependent on body type to my knowledge. However, certain factors affect muscular elasticity.

    For example, people who drink plenty of water throughout the day - not just while training - will be able make noticeably faster gains in flexibility than someone who tends to drink a lot of sodas and eat salty foods. Keep in mind that sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade are great for rehydration, but not the best for daily consumption and not just for flexibility reasons.

    The second is muscle memory versus daily range of motion. If you stretch out your split every day before and/or after training, your muscles aren't going to stay limbered out to their full potential. Stretching first thing in the morning versus in the evening after you have been using your legs all day is totally different.

    If it is that much of a goal, try stretching out in the morning, doing something light on your feet to warm up your legs and then stretching out your split as much as you can. Stretch it again in class. Again before you go to bed. That could help.

    As far as overstretching: You are overstretching if you feel real pain. Unless it really hurts, you should be fine feeling a tight twinge. That what stretching is for. Just watch the ballistic stretching (bouncing). That is a great way to injure yourself. Hope I helped.

    When I was a kid, I could drop into a full middle, left or right side split at will. As I grew older and spent less of my time active and more behind a desk, it got harder. After an ACL reconstruction, I am working my way back to even being able to do a split at all. If anyone out there has more flexibility tricks and tips for me and TKDist, I'm all ears.
  3. TKDist is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/26/2003 1:15pm


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    people who drink plenty of water throughout the day - not just while training - will be able make noticeably faster gains in flexibility than someone who tends to drink a lot of sodas and eat salty foods.
    I drink more water than I used to, but probably still don't drink enough of it throughout the day. Something I've been trying to change. I'm rather partial to the iced tea and soda beverage choices. I'll try drinking more water. It's something I should be doing anyway.

    About stretching in the morning...I don't have time to do much of a warm up in the morning, but will make an effort if you really think it would help. Why is it better to stretch in the morning, though? And why would the muscles not "stay limbered out to their full potential" if I stretch out my split before and after class. Please explain.




    Edited by - tkdist on August 26 2003 13:17:59
  4. PizDoff is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/26/2003 1:49pm

    supporting memberstaff
     Style: Grappling

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    "Any thoughts? Are some people just not capable of a full split or is it something everyone should be able to do and I need to maybe try so different stretches or something?"


    Yes.

    www.stadion.com
    haven't been there in a while, check the "Column" and surf around

    pretty solid info imo

    READ IT ALL!!!

    :)

    --
    Hard Work, Patience, Dedication

    Fighting Multiples - http://bullshido.com/article_read.asp?id=162

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  5. Haksaeng is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/26/2003 2:45pm


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I drink more water than I used to, but probably still don't drink enough of it throughout the day. Something I've been trying to change. I'm rather partial to the iced tea and soda beverage choices. I'll try drinking more water. It's something I should be doing anyway.
    Actually, unsweetened iced tea - if it is actually steeped and not ready made Nestea, or pre-bottled stuff - is excellent for you as a hydrator and an exceptional anti-oxidant.

    About stretching in the morning...I don't have time to do much of a warm up in the morning, but will make an effort if you really think it would help. Why is it better to stretch in the morning, though?
    Sorry TKDist. It looks like I communicated my point poorly. I was illustrating a point. First thing in the morning, you are much less limber than any other point in the day because your muscles are cold from the hours of disuse while you slept. Getting your muscles warmed up and limbered up often throughout the day makes them more flexibile overall because - just like lifting weights trains your muscles to be stronger - constant activity and stretching trains them to elongate. When you challenge your body, it will adapt to meet the challenge.

    And why would the muscles not "stay limbered out to their full potential" if I stretch out my split before and after class. Please explain.
    Again, I apologize. I failed to communicate my point. You stated that your flexibility had plateaued. If you have plateaued, your current stretching regimine at class is probably no longer enough to really challenge your muscles. It just limbers them up to their current maximum flexibility. Consider the effect of lifting the exact same weight for the same number of reps and sets for two years straight. At a certain point, you will no longer get any stronger unless you up the weight, reps or sets or a combination of all. If you have done MA for years, stretching before and after class will not yield you the gains in flexibility it once did. Therefore, you must challange your body in a new way to make it adapt.

    I was only suggesting some points in the day when you may find time to "wake up" your muscles and keep them limbering so that maximum potential increases. The morning - right when you wake up - is opportune because it is when your muscles tend to be least flexible. However, find times that are good for you.
  6. Jenfucius is offline

    Shogun of Long Island

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    Posted On:
    8/26/2003 3:59pm

    Join us... or die
     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    what in the world is a "chinese split"?
  7. FingerorMoon? is offline

    The man they call FoM

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    Posted On:
    8/26/2003 6:22pm

    supporting member
     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Flexibility like muscle size and strength is highly dependent on genetics.

    If you concentrate time and effort on flexibility training you may become as flexible as someone who is like that naturally - then again you may not.

    The same goes for training for increased mass or strength.

    Although I am not genetically inclined to hold large amounts of muscle, my dad, my brother and I are all very flexible - I can touch my knee to my shoulder as can my brother, with little to no specific flexibility training.

    Pizdoffs link is good. Kurz is a stretch master.

    Try Pavels stretching ebooks at http://www.dragondoor.com as well. Worth the price.
    The Wastrel - So attractive he HAS to be a woman.
    - Pizdoff
  8. PizDoff is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/26/2003 7:22pm

    supporting memberstaff
     Style: Grappling

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    lol, stretch master!

    without any training, i found that i could kick over my head one day, wtf is up with that?

    only with my right leg
    and i can/ have maintained this flexibility over 3-4 years with minimal right leg stretching

    --
    Hard Work, Patience, Dedication

    Fighting Multiples - http://bullshido.com/article_read.asp?id=162

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  9. TKDist is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/27/2003 1:37pm


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Actually, unsweetened iced tea - if it is actually steeped and not ready made Nestea, or pre-bottled stuff - is excellent for you as a hydrator and an exceptional anti-oxidant.
    Unfortunately I tend to grad the Diet Snapples. Unsweeted - yes, but ready made none the less.

    If you have plateaued, your current stretching regimine at class is probably no longer enough to really challenge your muscles. It just limbers them up to their current maximum flexibility. Consider the effect of lifting the exact same weight for the same number of reps and sets for two years straight. At a certain point, you will no longer get any stronger unless you up the weight, reps or sets or a combination of all. If you have done MA for years, stretching before and after class will not yield you the gains in flexibility it once did. Therefore, you must challange your body in a new way to make it adapt.
    Good point. I added a few new stretches to try to diversify my routine. Some of the stretches I've been doing don't present much of a challenge anymore. Partner stretching always challeneges me and I find that after doing partner stretches I get further down in the split. I just need to con someone into stretching with me after class.

    One of the guys at my school was a professional dancer and has ridiculous flexibility. I asked him for a few pointers about the split and he told me to do what he described as "power stretches" after class. While your legs are still warm, go half way down into your split, tense the muscles in your legs and stay there for 20 seconds, then your legs relax and go down a little further. Keep doing the tension, relax, stretch further thing until you are as low as you can go then tense the muscles for 20 seconds relax and hold that position for 30 seconds.

    I've heard of this stretching method before, but it was called something else. I don't remember. Anyway, this guy says this kind of stretches is really effective and should signifigantly improve my split within a couple months. We'll see.
  10. TKDist is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/27/2003 1:48pm


     

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Flexibility like muscle size and strength is highly dependent on genetics.

    If you concentrate time and effort on flexibility training you may become as flexible as someone who is like that naturally - then again you may not.
    Agreed. I'm not naturally limber. Flexibility is something I've really had to work at and if I don't do it every day my legs get tight really quickly. There are a few people at my school who are so naturally flexible that they can get a good stretch with little to no effort. (I secretly hate them...just kidding)

    Edited by - tkdist on August 27 2003 13:54:29
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