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Old 12-31-2003, 05:04 PM   #1
Henry Landis
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Has anyone taken the hormone "Relaxin" to improve flexibility for yoga practice. Relaxin
is produced during pregnancy to prepare the woman's body for delivery. It allows body structures (hips, abdomen, skin, etc.) to relax and stretch for childbirth. It has the same effect in all joints. It can actually promote hyperflexability. Relaxin is available over the counter (non perscription). Has anyone takebn it for this purpose? What doseage?
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Old 01-01-2004, 10:10 AM   #2
Ryan Atkins
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Henry,

Welcome to Crossfit.

Although I've never supplemented with any hormones before, I've read in at least one source that it's usually not a good idea. From what I understand, anytime you take a hormonal supplement, the body's natural production of that same hormone is reduced in an attempt to maintain it at normal levels. So, even if you get the effects you want from Relaxin, chances are you would have to take it for the rest of your life to maintain those effects and, if you stop, you're likely to realize some negative effects because your body's production of it would be lower than usual. This doesn't begin to cover the issue of how tampering with levels of one hormone may have adverse effects on the levels of other hormones that it interacts with. Many sources (The Zone, NHE, etc.) indicate that the best way to regulate hormone levels without side effects is through diet.

Also, I was curious if hyperflexibility is a desired trait or not. I was under the assumption that flexibility training, if taken to the extreme (and especially when done with no resistance training) could lead to instability of the joints and contribute to potential injury during athletic endeavours. Anyone know for sure?

Henry, please keep in mind that I'm not a doctor, biochemist or toxicologist. The author of the most recent book I read on the subject is a lawyer. You may want to take my opinion with a grain of salt.

Hope this helps,

Ryan
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Old 01-01-2004, 12:40 PM   #3
Michael Halbfish
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Regarding hyperflexibility I've read some things about this being a danger and a cause of increased injuries in sports. I don't know if those things are true or not. I do know that a good rule of thumb is to develop and strengthen a joints full natural range of motion. Also, I find it interesting that in Beyond Stretching Pavel Tsatsouline was advocating against stretching unless it is necessary for your sport. He fave some interesting examples. He said that weightlifters avoid too much hamstring flexibility because it causes them to go down too low. Boxers need to avoid too much twist flexibility to keep the power connection with their hips. He stated that the only reason that he does splits is that he needs to be able to do it for the audiences at his seminars.
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Old 01-05-2004, 08:52 AM   #4
Roger Harrell
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Hyperflexibility in some ways can be dangerous. It's really where the hyperflexibility occurs. Eg hyperextension of the knees and elboes can be extreemly dangerous in a dynamic sport as a heavy impact or load when arms/legs are hyperextended can result in a disabling injury. However if the athlete is strong and aware of their hyperextension these injuries can be prevented. An example is a Tung Fei. He was a world class gymnast in the early 80's. His arms hyperextended dramatically, yet they guy was strong enough to prevent injury. His iron cross looked pretty bizarre though.

What you stretch is critical. An example is the "hurdler's stretch". This stretch can destabilize the knee and lead to injury. No stretch should ever twist a joint (a couple specific exceptions for socket joints), or stretch it in a non normal direction.

As far as the hormonal thing. I would stay away. All the flexibility you need can be gained without any hormonal supplimentation.
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Old 01-05-2004, 01:53 PM   #5
Steve Shafley
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This sounds like a remarkably bad idea. Roger summed it up in his post above.
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