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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 11-10-2004, 10:24 AM   #1
Shane Tucker
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Can anyone post a good stretching routine that they have used successfully? If you could, include when you stretch, what stretches you use, how long you hold them, etc. The only thing I am truly lacking is flexibility, I've never been flexible because I have never worked at it. Thanks.
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Old 11-10-2004, 12:12 PM   #2
Keith Wittenstein
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Have you thought about yoga?

A good stretching routine should begin when you are warm and it should hit all the major muscles from a variety of angles. It should also balance passive, passive/active and active stretching and balance agonist and antagonist muscles.

A good yoga class usually gets the job done. If that's not for you, then there are numerous books and videos and references available on stretching. What you do is not as important as how much you do. Pick a routine and stick with it.

Just like when you are trying to put on muscle you can't expect a lot of growth from one medium to hard workout a week. Similarly, you can't expect great progress in muscle length to be made by a once a week effort. You should try to do a little everyday and give yourself a lot of time to see changes. Put a few stretches into your warmup and a few more into your cooldown. Try to get a couple done after you wake up and/or right before bed.
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Old 11-10-2004, 12:40 PM   #3
Shane Tucker
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Thanks Keith,

I guess that I have just read about so many different stretching methods that I was wondering what the best ones were. I have Kurz's book and one of Pavel's books, but then I read a lot of people say that their methods lead a lot of people to injury. I had asked a question on another board about dynamic stretching such as the ones Kurz does, like leg swings and such. I asked at what point do they cease being dynamic and start being ballistic, but the people who replied said that there is no reference anywhere stating exactly what point that is.
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:38 PM   #4
Keith Wittenstein
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Shane

I'm not familiar with either books but would be interested in checking out Pavel's but I haven't seen it in my local barnes & noble yet.

I think intelligence is the first key to avoiding injury. Make sure your body is warm (i.e. sweating) before going deep or fast. There are good reasons to do static stretches as well as ballistic/dynamic stretches, but don't over do either of them.

Think about creating a stretching routine similar to Tyler's idea of a ring routine: http://www.powerathletesmag.com/pages/ringroutine.htm

Start with the basic crossfit warmup to get yourself warm and pretty stretched out since you should have done all the exercises with full ROM.
Then do some gentle neck rolls (yes, no, circles).
Do some arm swings and circles.
Hip circles, knee circles, rotate your ankles. Do some leg swings.
Do some twists, side bends and forward bends.
You can also do some wrestler's bridges and handstand pushups and sommersaults and cartwheels.

I would consider that a good warmup stretching routine. For a cooldown routine I would do more static stretches and partner stretches. But that's me.

Reading about stretching ain't gonna make you more flexible...stretching is. If you can't do anything else find six stretches you can do for 5 minutes each while watching TV. Most people have a lot of theories about stretching, but few actually do any stretching. It's easily overlooked in most workouts. It ain't sexy or tough and most people can't be bothered to take the time to do it before or after their workouts. If you applied Pavel's Grease The Groove theory to it, you would make a lot more progress than most people. Take a simple forward bend/toe touch/pike type stretch. Do it for 30 seconds and then repeat it throughout the day. Submaximal training for maximal effect.

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Old 11-10-2004, 07:03 PM   #5
Rene Renteria
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I'm relatively inflexible everywhere, and that is impeding my ability to do several exercises (like snatches and cleans) because I can't seem to stay on my heels and keep the weight over my center of gravity. So I'm trying to add more stretching to my workouts and life. Easier said than done!

Anyway, for my hamstrings, I stretch these every morning and evening while brushing my teeth. Now, whenever I find that I'm brushing, I also find that I put a leg up on the tub and lean into a stretch without really thinking about it. Making it automatic like that has really been helpful in terms of doing it everyday, although I don't really know if it's enough to make any difference. It feels good, anyway.

I would like to find similar points in my daily activities that get linked to some stretching or act like cues, like standing with a light bar in the clean or overhead position if I watch TV to work wrists, shoulders, and elbows. Not that I should be watching much TV...
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Old 11-11-2004, 03:16 AM   #6
Shane Tucker
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Thanks guys.

Keith, I actually got Pavel's book at my local Barnes and Noble, so if you asked them to get it, they could order it for you. It is the Beyond Stretching one. It is fairly expensive, but I had heard some good things about him, so I got it. Then I heard a lot of people talking about injuring themselves doing both his and Kurz's routines.
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