The beginner's guide to flexibility

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Van Zandt, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    More than welcome :cool:
  2. Alvaro92

    Alvaro92 Valued Member

    Great guide! But I got two questions.

    First, in the guide you mentioned that the isometric stretches are not for children, or for people going trough growth spurt. Since im 16 years old I am still groing ( uhm well I hope so).
    I really want to become more flexible, should I tense the isometrics less or just dont do isometrics at all. Or will skipping these ruin the whole flexibility workout?

    Second, when attempting a side split, I feel my knees are hurting a little bit. Can I reduce this by doing strength exercises like squats and leg curls?
  3. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Isometric stretches are very effective for increasing flexibility, but you can increase flexibility without them. At 16 you're technically still growing, so if I was you I would avoid them until you're a year or two older.

    Yes :cool:
  4. Alvaro92

    Alvaro92 Valued Member

    Thanks for this fast reply.
    I'll start my stretching routine tomorrow and skip the isometrics.
    I bought a benchpress with leg curles so I'll be fine :cool:
  5. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    You're welcome, and best of luck :cool:
  6. zcrowley

    zcrowley Valued Member

    Wow! Such great information. You should write a book. I will try the advice you have posted here, but don't be surprised if I have questions!

  7. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Thank you for your kind words -- and all the thanks :cool:
  8. righty

    righty Valued Member

    Err I was going to write a really complex background to a really simple question. But I'll go with simplicity.

    With the rear leg raise, exactly which muscles are being targeted?

    Presuming it's the quads, is it OK to modify it a bit to more target these muscles, if I don't think I can feel it well. For example, I may bent the knee to my heel comes towards my butt to targer the quads. Or to bend the supporting leg more if I find myself bending over forward and stretching the hamstrings in the supporting leg before the quads in the raised leg.
  9. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    I have been able to do the splits since the age of 19. Probably because when I started training at 17 I used to stretch all the time.
    Well, years have passed and although I am still fairly flexible, I am nowhere near where I was (can just still do the splits though). I do not have the feeling of fluidity I had as a yougster when I stretched all day everyday.
    I was looking to start a stretching programme, not for kicks so much, but for my health and feeling of wellbeing as I get older.
    I would like to extend my thanks to Dan for an excellent post, which I have shared with both my Instructor and other Instructors in our school.
    Not only will the information help me, but also the way I teach flexibility.

    Thanks for an excellent post Dan.
  10. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    I appreciate your kind words.
  11. takahura19

    takahura19 Valued Member

    i need help. Now I am for few months doing relaxed streeches but it doesn't help. My legs are ****in strong. I can do side split for my height I am 186cm tall, quite easily now, and sometimes I can do 10 cm more, but I am kind of a stuck. My problem is that I train cycling and taekwondo, I have to train cycling 4-5 times a week, and taekwondo from monday to friday one hour. My daily training is like that. I wake up. Than in 45 min time it depends, sometimes earlier I go jogging for 15 minutes. [ame=""]Master KANG, Shin Chul: stretching exercises - YouTube[/ame] Than I do this streeching exercises for 30 min, than I do relaxed slide split. I sometimes go to school or If I go cycling I rest for an hour than go cycling. I come home at 15 from cycle, than I rest for 2hrs and half and Have taekwondo lesson. After taekwondo I do either, horse stance 2 a week and press my muscles or I do like kurz's exercise, when you lie on your back, lift your legs 90 degree than you do side splits, like repetitions up and down. After I come home i rest for 30min or 45min than I do relaxed stretches. What is wrong with my routine as I see no evidential progress and I really have to do splits, and what should I do after cycling training as I have to train cycling lol, I can't abandon this sport. regards
  12. takahura19

    takahura19 Valued Member

    And also What I noticed is that I am very inflexible after my taekwondo lesson I don't know why?
  13. liero

    liero Valued Member

    Its probably fatigue...thats a lot of work load!

    Even though you don't want to abandon either sport, you need to work out a better training schedule
  14. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Relaxed stretches take time; incorporate isometric tensions and your balls will touch the floor in 8-12 weeks tops. (Assuming you're a dude.)

    This is your biggest problem. Cycling works your muscles through a narrow range of motion and decreases your flexibility. Cut back on your cycling or do more stretching.

    You're doing: 1) too much, 2) the wrong exercises, or 3) doing things in the wrong order. Until you change your routine (you need to drop something other than stretching or you will stay as you are - or get worse - permanently).
  15. takahura19

    takahura19 Valued Member

    Well I'll tell more about my cycling training schedule, I get it in April, but in Taekwondo coach said I improved but it's still far. I think I should do isometrics but my problem is that after my workout I don't have time, to stay in gym to do them. So I cycle 1.5 mile to my home and should I do them Imediately when I come home? Another thing is that I really would need your help about routine, as my coach is not that expert. He told me do easy in mroning so I just jog and do static streeches like master kang, than cycle than little streech, than 3 hrs rest than taekwodno workout and when I come back home after one hour I do relaxed streeches, and sometimes I do little bit of isometrics but just for few min, not 30 min. Guys I really need your advice, only flexibility is missing otherwise I have very good speed and body for taekwondo :D But if I work too much how than professional athlets can train for 6hrs every day :D
  16. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Pro athletes usually break up their routine into bite-size chunks, e.g. 3 x 2-hour workouts with correct nutrition and plenty of rest (they often take "power naps" during the day), in addition to access to a professional sports team (physiotherapists, strength training experts, etc).

    That is why they are professionals.
  17. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    Has anybody ever tried the door frame stretching method? One leg on one side of the door frame (above your head), use both hands to pull the door frame until your groin area also touch the door frame.

    One UT coach invented this stretching method many years ago. Ask your opponent to hold on your legs as tight as he can. You try to open your legs as hard as you can. After you get almose exhausted, your opponent lets go his holding, now you can do a perfect split on the ground with comfort. I think the theory here is if you force an object to bend into one direction, when you release it, that object will bend into the opposite direction.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  18. takahura19

    takahura19 Valued Member

    I know about professional sport, and I kind of a use their technique. I do morning exercise than nap, than cycling, than rest and taekwondo at last. Should I do every day streeching at least Relaxed, or Can I have day off. Because I do them every day streeches, and really what kind of streeching should I do after cycling and is good to wait for an hour in evening and than do relaxed streeches. regards
  19. takahura19

    takahura19 Valued Member

    Hi guys. I want to say that since I started doing running (10-15min)+master kang streeches in morning ([ame=""]Master KANG, Shin Chul: stretching exercises - YouTube[/ame]), than in evening after workout relaxed streeches I am doing well . Even though I cycle I am getting more and more into side split. Today I reached 2m and I am 1 86cm high and around 30cm are missing to the floor. My problem is that when I do that my hips are not in line but left is like more in front than right. What to do about that, and once I was doing isometrics than I had for few days pain around my right groin, after that I stoped with isometrics. All the best regards
  20. Patrick Smith

    Patrick Smith Tustom Cuser Uitle

    Van Zandt, I have a question regarding isometric stretches.

    Because I am still recovering from Patellofemoral Syndrome, doing isometrics in the standard upright (standing) position is not an option. My knees aren't stable enough yet. However, I have been advised to do them while sitting against the wall (spreading your legs and then pushing yourself against the wall) to reduce pressure on my knees. This removes the pain entirely, but if feels like my muscles are too flexible for my hips (if that makes any sense). Even when I don't feel any tension in my adductors I still can't get into a deeper stretch because my hips hurt. I tried to replicate this situation while supporting myself with a chair in the standing side split position and despite how I twisted and turned I still had the pain. Even if I rotate my pelvis to the greatest extreme I still experience it strongly. Another problem is that my hip joints stayed sore for a day afterwords. Have you ever experienced something like this before?

    I know you said:

    I don't want cartilage damage and a hip replacement!



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