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Brandon Enos
04-05-2008, 07:44 PM
I have noticed a decrease in my flexibility. I was never very flexible, but for a guy my size, I surprised many people, coming just centimeters from my toes and maybe somwhere between 6" and 1 foot of a full side split. But as said, Im losing flexibility, especially in my hamstrings. I know its just going to get worse as Im going to be doing starting strength next week so I need to get some more stretching into my 'program'.

My question is, how beneficial is yoga compared to say something like Pavel's Relax into Stretch? Should you do both, yoga and static stretching, just vary nights or what not? Im not looking at necessarily becoming very flexible, just regaining my lost ground (though wouldnt turn down gaining some more in the process).

sarena kopciel
04-06-2008, 08:15 AM
I started threads about this a while back as I noticed I was losing some flexibility as I was lifting more. And I am a yoga teacher to boot!

http://www.performancemenu.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2085&highlight=yoga
http://www.performancemenu.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1931&highlight=yoga

Garrett Smith
04-07-2008, 06:55 AM
Stretching:

Just do it. Often. Hammies twice.

Mike ODonnell
04-07-2008, 07:59 AM
Ever see a Tiger stretch out before it runs? (random nature observation #325)

Do full ROM dynamic movements....full squats, lunges, etc.....that and get plenty of Magnesium....helps keep the muscles more relaxed.

Also...too much flexibility may lead to joint instability which could also translate to loss of power in movements.....so don't overdo it.

Garrett Smith
04-07-2008, 10:48 AM
Animals stretch all the time...
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d4/Siberian_Tiger_by_Malene_Th.jpg

Chris Lowndes
04-11-2008, 04:28 AM
Hello,

The animal shown there is pandiculating, i.e. contracting the muscles alongside the spine, and not necessarily stretching the muscles on the abdomen. All vertebrates contract muscle groups on awakening or after a period of sedentary activity. This is different to lengthening by pulling and risking the invoking of the stretch reflex; this reflex is there for a purpose.

So try lengthening by contracting, similar to pnf but without the lengthening or stretching aspect at the end of the movement. Lengthen within your natural ROM; unless that is you partake in an activity that desires extreme ranges of movement i.e. martial arts or gymnastics.

Chris

Garrett Smith
04-11-2008, 06:43 AM
Chris,
After looking up pandiculating definitions, it would seem to be the same thing as "active" stretching (http://people.bath.ac.uk/masrjb/Stretch/stretching_4.html#SEC31), or concentrically contracting an agonist on one side which therefore eccentrically lengthens the other side.

I believe what you're differentiating it from is "passive" stretching, which I'm not a big fan of either. I am a big fan of improving ROM of natural movements, I have also found that I will not make much progress on my hamstrings without some devoted attention and time spent in a "stretched" position. That being said, I do nearly all of my hamstring stretches in a standing position, both straight- and bent-kneed, using my hip flexors to maintain lumbar lordosis as the hamstrings are reaching the end of their "active" flexibility ROM.

I think we're on the same page, and I sure believe that the "downward dog" that the tiger in the picture is doing is definitely stretching both the muscles in the back of its rear legs and possibly on the abdomen. Contracting one side to stretch the other after a period of inactivity would seem to kill two birds with one stone IMO.

Chris Lowndes
04-11-2008, 07:01 AM
Hello Garrett

I think we are on the same page, just words. I prefer to contract to lengthen on the other side, may be stretched on the non contracting side [if tight] but generally i get unstretched lengthening from the passive side, that make any sense?

I think the problem comes with extreme ranges of movement which do come with a problem, that of instability. Also people "warming up" with stretching, you dont cook a piece of meat by pulling it. Saw some people on a snowy river bank last weekend being coached [kayaking] and bouncing and touching there toes, made me wince.

Lengthen with awareness.

Regards

Chris

Arden Cogar Jr.
04-17-2008, 10:37 AM
I've been an avid Yoga practicioner for about five or six years now. I originally started with classes then moved to private instruction. Over time, I developed my own routine and I follow it religiously. I probably do it about 10 to 15 times per week. Always Pre and Post Workout. Sometimes before bed or upon waking on days I compete or have heavy event training planned.

I've found that these preworkout sessions and pre-event training sessions are better since I incorporated some foam rolling into the mix. For some reason it loosens me up even further.

The older I get, the more important this sessions become and more I add to the routine to hopefully improve my overall fitness.

There's a lot of good and bad press for passive stretching pre workout. I don't consider a lot of the movements I perform passive by any stretch of the imagination. While I'm limited by my size from doing a lot of the more advanced poses, I do my own versions that I feel in the areas that I need.

To me, just about anything that furthers our fitness goals is a good thing. Yoga/stretching is necessary from my thoughts.

All the best,
Arden

Mike ODonnell
04-17-2008, 12:04 PM
Like already discoursed about...animals stretch usually after being sedentary...which according to my dogs is an all day event....but then again I've seen her go from laying asleep to a full sprint to chase a squirell and never came up short holding her hammies....

Anyways....stretching before workouts/sports I would never recommend as you are creating muscle tears and will most likely reduce performance and increase risk of injury due to joint instability and muscle imbalances....active warmups with increasing dynamic movements to increase ROM & body temperature and quick burst of movement to increase CNS activation...I would always suggest.

In the end...if you pull a muscle chances are it's not solely because of tightness but antagonistic muscle imbalances that create the issue in the first place.

Dave Van Skike
04-17-2008, 12:14 PM
Like already discoursed about...animals stretch usually after being sedentary...which according to my dogs is an all day event....but then again I've seen her go from laying asleep to a full sprint to chase a squirell and never came up short holding her hammies....

Anyways....stretching before workouts/sports I would never recommend as you are creating muscle tears and will most likely reduce performance and increase risk of injury due to joint instability and muscle imbalances....active warmups with increasing dynamic movements to increase ROM & body temperature and quick burst of movement to increase CNS activation...I would always suggest.

In the end...if you pull a muscle chances are it's not solely because of tightness but antagonistic muscle imbalances that create the issue in the first place.


Isn't it a matter of degrees Mike? I know a lot of people find a combo of mobilty work and light streching to be essential to their warm up. I lean a little more towards the mobilty side of things but I a lot of big guys aI know, 285 plus, really see to thrive on actual static strechting. I know the recent scienctificals may suggest otherwise but I see it work for a lot of people in varying degrees.

Mike ODonnell
04-17-2008, 12:23 PM
Isn't it a matter of degrees Mike? I know a lot of people find a combo of mobilty work and light streching to be essential to their warm up. I lean a little more towards the mobilty side of things but I a lot of big guys aI know, 285 plus, really see to thrive on actual static strechting. I know the recent scienctificals may suggest otherwise but I see it work for a lot of people in varying degrees.

Of course it is all matter of degrees. I would even bet there is a direct relationship to increased amount of muscle to increase in muscle tightness....kind of like more muscle means more tension and forces applied to any movement....which could also translate into more chance of injury as directly proportional to the increased force output of those muscles. But that is not to say that a person may not also be deficient in Magnesium which helps muscles to relax, dehydrated, or overtrained so muscles are not recovered 100%. There are alot of individualistic qualities to it.

In the end...the old saying goes...if it works for you....stick with it. That and there is no down side to yoga if the class is all women in tights.

Tom Rawls
04-18-2008, 07:56 AM
I would even bet there is a direct relationship to increased amount of muscle to increase in muscle tightness....kind of like more muscle means more tension and forces applied to any movement....

That sounds like the old theory that if you lift weights you get "muscle bound."

Mike ODonnell
04-18-2008, 08:33 AM
That sounds like the old theory that if you lift weights you get "muscle bound."

Who knows...but I personally notice less injuries of pulled muscles over the years playing sports directionally proportional to the leaner I am and the less I workout. Could also be due to improved dietary intake (and also less calories w/ IF) and less inflammation as well.

Eric Kerr
04-18-2008, 09:19 AM
Like already discoursed about...animals stretch usually after being sedentary...which according to my dogs is an all day event....but then again I've seen her go from laying asleep to a full sprint to chase a squirell and never came up short holding her hammies....



I think this is at least partially because animals don't suffer from over thinking.

If they decide they are going to do something they do it full on. Which is why pound per pound, animals seem so much stronger than humans. They don't hold back.

Unlike humans which think about things like watching the ground to make sure they don't step in hole, or how dinner last night is sitting a little awkwardly, or a myriad of other inconsequential things that result in mind and body getting out of sync.

John Alston
04-18-2008, 09:28 AM
I think this is at least partially because animals don't suffer from over thinking.

If they decide they are going to do something they do it full on. Which is why pound per pound, animals seem so much stronger than humans.


They are stronger. To look at our closest genetic relatives, the smaller chimps, they are stronger, simply due to more powerful muscles. Their muscles can produce more force, their tendons can handle it, and there is no psychological element to enter in.
Hominids chose the smart but slower, weaker route evolutionarily.
It's a lot easier to get a chimp in roller skates than it is to get him to pump iron--hence, most of the data on chimp strength is anecdotal and decidedly unscientific.
In tests at the Bronx Zoo in 1924, a dynamometer--a scale that measures the mechanical force of a pull on a spring--was erected in the monkey house. A 165-pound male chimpanzee named "Boma" registered a pull of 847 pounds, using only his right hand (although he did have his feet braced against the wall, being somewhat hip, in his simian way, to the principles of leverage). A 165-pound man, by comparison, could manage a one-handed pull of about 210 pounds.
Even more frightening, a female chimp, weighing a mere 135 pounds and going by the name of Suzette, checked in with a one-handed pull of 1,260 pounds. (She was in a fit of passion at the time; one shudders to think what her boyfriend must have looked like next morning.) In dead lifts, chimps have been known to manage weights of 600 pounds without even breaking into a sweat. A male gorilla could probably heft an 1,800-pound weight and not think twice about it. (http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_001b.html)