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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by simo
    a good resource for muscle flexiblity training is the book Rhythmic Gymnastics by Jastrjembskaia and Titov, in cooperation wtih USA Gymnastics.

    Pages129 - 133 have scientific and cutting edge information on Flexibility training. The studies that they used to pull their information on Flexibility training from were studies conducted by the top National teams in the International Gymnastics Federation - so you pretty much can rely on this information and one of if not the top sources available.
    I am a Human Kinetics nuthugger... not sure if five pages is worth the $21 that Amazon.ca is charging for it, though. I'll have to think about that one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
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  2. #12
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    I used to be a fanatic about stretching about 8 years ago before I started training for real. Since I couldn't afford to take any martial arts classes I focused on improving my strength and about an hour a day on my flexibility. My goal (eventually achieved) was to do the Van Dam Lift.

    YouTube - the van dam lift

    I agree that before your body is properly warmed up you shouldn't be doing a lot of static stretching, more dynamic stretches and movements to promote blood flow and loosen up the muscles a bit. After your workout you can focus on a longer stretching session to increase ROM and decrease recovery time. Yoga is also a great option for increasing overall flexibility, as long as you can find a teacher who isn't trying to promote their spiritualism on the class (I find that to be the case with a lot of yoga people)

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by H TO THE IZZO
    I thought this was common knowledge, but if you want to improve your range of motion, don't do it before your training. Your muscles still have work to do, so it's better to focus on moving through your existing range of motion than expanding it by inducing microtearing.

    Immediately after a workout should be fine, and I've been doing a "stretchdown" before bed for a few weeks now. Seems to be working okay.

    Also, Joe DeFranco (the Westside For Skinny Bastards guy) has a pair of articles about stretching on his site - I've read the first one, and it was quite interesting.

    I've heard people talking about the dangers of too much flexibility. It has never been an issue for me, because I've never aspired to gumbi-hood, but might it be possible for someone to work too hard at flexibility and actually increase their chance of injury? Does a certain level of muscle taughtness help prevent a joint from hyper-extending? Is this what they mean by too much flexibility can be dangerous?

    I was thinking I should go with "dynamic" stretching before practice and "static" stretching after practice, but only to the as much static stretching as required to do a decent kagato jime, and no more.

  4. #14
    TheRuss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Lamb
    might it be possible for someone to work too hard at flexibility and actually increase their chance of injury? Does a certain level of muscle taughtness help prevent a joint from hyper-extending? Is this what they mean by too much flexibility can be dangerous?.
    Lots of things are possible (I once had ankle problems because my calves outran my anterior shin muscles), but I think the main point they were making is that if a muscle is too long, you won't be able to generate as much force with it - therefore, optimum flexibility is less than maximum flexibility.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
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  5. #15
    TheRuss's Avatar
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    Speaking of Human Kinetics, has anyone here read Alter's Science Of Flexibility?
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Lamb
    I've heard people talking about the dangers of too much flexibility. It has never been an issue for me, because I've never aspired to gumbi-hood, but might it be possible for someone to work too hard at flexibility and actually increase their chance of injury? Does a certain level of muscle taughtness help prevent a joint from hyper-extending? Is this what they mean by too much flexibility can be dangerous?
    From what I've heard the biggest problem with poor stretching technique is that it stretches your ligaments rather than your muscles (especially when stretching cold). This weakens your joint stability leading to easy dislocations and tears.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by H TO THE IZZO
    Speaking of Human Kinetics, has anyone here read Alter's Science Of Flexibility?
    yes, that is a very good resource as well!

    Sorry about the suggesting the $21 Rhythmic Gymastics book, but if someone is totally serious about the science of stretching then these two books are a great resource.

    Also, of the types of yoga to incorporate into your flexiibltiy routine, Ashtanga Yoga is the only type I would recommend. Anything by yogi David Swenson or his brother is awesome! They get extremely advanced, so make sure to start with series 1, because that is probably all you will need for at least a year or two.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by simo
    yes, that is a very good resource as well!
    Superb. I'll add it to my list.

    Quote Originally Posted by simo
    Sorry about the suggesting the $21 Rhythmic Gymastics book, but if someone is totally serious about the science of stretching then these two books are a great resource.
    No apologies needed, it's a good thought. If I can find it at the library, I'll check it out for sure.
    Quote Originally Posted by Emevas View Post
    Downstreet on the flip-flop, timepants.

  9. #19

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    Pavel and Tom Kurz both mention in their respective books that stretching/flexibility should be a function of strong muscles. What I mean is, some people get "rag doll" flexible, and while they can demonstrate great flexibility, the muscles are weak, too weak too handle impact at the lengths they are stretched to. That doesn't sound like a problem for any of you guys, but if you have trouble doing the basic lifts- squats and deads, they say you should gain strength there before attempting to go all out in full splits mode. From what I recall, abdominal strength is important for this as well.

    Lots of free stuff on Stadion.com, you can basically piece together everything in Kurz's, ahem, pricey manuals from there.
    "Coffee is for Closers" GlenGarry Glenross

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Lamb
    I was thinking I should go with "dynamic" stretching before practice and "static" stretching after practice, but only to the as much static stretching as required to do a decent kagato jime, and no more.
    This is what I have always heard is the proper way to stretch.

    Dynamic stretching before, concentrating on major muscle groups just to get things moving will get the muscles warm, but should not focus on adding flexibility. Don't push into it or throw the limb too hard. A lighter version of whatever you will be doing is 'usually' safest (power walk for a little if you are going run; egg rolls, light back twists, and leg swings for BJJ, etc...)

    After the workout, static stretching is OK, but just don't push too hard. If you just had a high-adrenaline workout, you'll be a little more numb to the pain telling you you went too far. Isometric stretching afterwards is a GREAT way to gain flexibility quickly, but do it in moderation (2-3 times per week) to let your muscles heal properly.

    In lieu of the chair splits on the cover, the book "Stretching Scientifically" is an interesting read and has a lot of medical study and journal references.

    (Updated link)
    http://www.amazon.com/Stretching-Sci.../dp/0940149451
    Last edited by Uncle Skippy; 12/24/2008 9:05pm at .

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