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Old 09-20-2009, 06:50 AM   #1
Adam Carlson
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taking a week off to work on flexibility?

I thought I had my DL form corrected, but apparently not. I was pulling a light load (185) on saturday when my back started acting up. I have tight legs (hams, quads, psoas, and calves), and I think something just spasmed when I did the DLs. My legs have tightened up, and when I stand up after sitting for some time, I have a hard time straightening out: I lean forward slightly and my knees are bent a little. I have a feeling that this time the quads/psoas are more to blame than the hammies, but I could be wrong. I'm seeing a friend who is a physio on Tuesday, and possibly going to another (physios are hard to find in Tokyo).

Meanwhile, I was wondering if maybe taking a week off of doing regular WODs and focusing on flexibility would help? I was thinking of warming up, hitting lots of dynamic stretches, doing some 'squat therapy' (since doing the movements helps gain flexibility), and then finishing with some contract/relax type stretches over the course of 45 minutes to and hour might help. Of course, I'll be stretching off and on through out the day too.

Does this sound like a worthwhile venture?

Also, I get mixed messages about static stretching. Some say it helps, especially if done multiple times through the day, while others dismiss it outright. Would doing multiple sessions of static stretching (roughly 5-10 minutes each) throughout the day help with flexibility? I read on the SFCF blog about how muscles can handle so much tension and that static stretching doesn't help, and then in a later post I read about how people need to stretch often to get the muscles to lengthen, and I'm confused
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Old 09-20-2009, 08:50 AM   #2
Steven Low
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Re: taking a week off to work on flexibility?

Sounds good to me.

Statics are best done multiple times a day if you can. But one big session works if thats all you can manage.

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I read on the SFCF blog about how muscles can handle so much tension and that static stretching doesn't help, and then in a later post I read about how people need to stretch often to get the muscles to lengthen, and I'm confused
That's Starrett's way of saying he doesn't like "static stretching" and prefers PNF... which is technically a neuromuscular facilitation exercise (although 99% of people would consider it static stretching... me included).

PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) is the heavy duty stuff which optimally requires a partner if possible. If you can do PNF that would be good because it produces the fastest results.
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Old 09-20-2009, 09:31 AM   #3
Kevin Burns
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Re: taking a week off to work on flexibility?

Adam,

I am going through the same thing now. My lower back started getting tight a few weeks back and I wasn't really doing much to recover from it. Last Wed during a workout it tightened up really bad and I had to stop the WOD.

I am going through Bill Starr's rehab protocol. I highly recommened it. My trainer convinced me that even though my back is just tight that I might have a small injury. After 2 days I believe it so I am going throught the rehab protocol here: http://www.************.net/forum/showthread.php?t=700 (WFS).

Also ice your lowerback several times a day. 3-5x a day for the first week or so. Also do some trigger point work on your lower back. This involves taking a soft ball ( i use a t-ball ) and putting it in various spots on your back that hurt. Lay on the sore spots and relax. It might take a couple minutes for each spot but your muscle will relax and the sore spot will be gone. Keep moving that ball around your back until you can't find anymore sore spots.

This fixes trigger points. Small injured areas in the muscle which contribute to spasms and entire muscle tightness. Just a few small areas can cause tightness in an entire muscle.

I just bought the Trigger Point book. Everyone I've talked to swears by it.

http://www.amazon.com/Trigger-Point-.../dp/1572243759 (WFS)
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:00 AM   #4
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: taking a week off to work on flexibility?

Just don't decide that you're "done" worrying about flexibility after a week. It's really something that needs regular attention on an ongoing basis. Stretch for 15 minutes daily for a month and you'll see real progress. 15 minutes once a week...not so much.

Katherine
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:18 PM   #5
Adam Carlson
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Re: taking a week off to work on flexibility?

curious thing that I've noticed as I've been working on flexibility:

I've mainly been working on hamstring and quad flexibility. As they get looser, I've noticed other muscles in the hip feel tight. My guess is that as the big muscles get loose, the smaller ones that were just as tight are starting to make themselves known. Am I right on that one?

Katherine: how much time do you spend on flexibility maintenance per day? what kinds of things do you do?

Thanks to everyone for the input!
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:09 PM   #6
Steven Low
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Re: taking a week off to work on flexibility?

Gotta stretch everything dude!
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Old 09-25-2009, 02:45 AM   #7
Adam Carlson
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Re: taking a week off to work on flexibility?

flexibility has seen some improvement, had a friend who is a physio work with me, plus found some info on doing PNF-type stretching on my own, and I feel much better, especially when I do it multiple times per day.

My next question focuses on timing of stretching:

I have read about how static stretching limits muscular strength for some time after doing it. So...

1) is foam rolling before working out better, or does it also hamper strength?

2) same thing for PNF-type stretching, would that limit strength?

I'm just thinking of trying to increase some hamstring length before doing squat-type exercises.
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:09 AM   #8
Steven Low
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Re: taking a week off to work on flexibility?

1. Foam rolling is a form of myofascial release, so no it does not limit strength
2. do any static/PNF after your workouts. Except hip flexors... do hip flexors before workouts.

read this wfs
http://www.eatmoveimprove.com/2009/0...ic-stretching/
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:48 AM   #9
Lawrence "Bo" Boland III
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Re: taking a week off to work on flexibility?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
1. Foam rolling is a form of myofascial release, so no it does not limit strength
2. do any static/PNF after your workouts. Except hip flexors... do hip flexors before workouts.

read this wfs
http://www.eatmoveimprove.com/2009/0...ic-stretching/
Steven, other than the Sampson stretch, what do you feel gets the hip flexors good? I've looked up a lot online, but it seems like they're all a variation of the sampson. I have one hip flexor thats been "meh" lately.

/hijack
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Old 09-25-2009, 04:32 PM   #10
Steven Low
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Re: taking a week off to work on flexibility?

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Originally Posted by Lawrence "Bo" Boland III View Post
Steven, other than the Sampson stretch, what do you feel gets the hip flexors good? I've looked up a lot online, but it seems like they're all a variation of the sampson. I have one hip flexor thats been "meh" lately.

/hijack
There's some type of PNFs you can do with a partner, as well as getting someone who knows how to massage them to get in and hit them up.

Other than that, I think you're pretty much stuck with the lunge-type hip flexor stretches. Make sure you're keeping your torso upright, and focusing on pushing your hip joint forward and into the ground. It should feel like it's ripping.
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