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  1. #1
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    Default Stretching advice

    I've been having a problem stretching my legs.

    If I keep my feet shoulder width apart, I can touch my knuckles to the ground, no problem. With my feet together, I can barely touch my toes with outstretched fingers. It's not a gut thing, it's my tendons are really tight in my hamstrings.

    I've tried progressively stretching them to increase flexibility, but it never seems to get any better.

    Any advice on how to make some progress?

  2. #2
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    I'm not convinced stretching has any useful purpose.

    I do do certain movements to retrain my muscles from hours of sitting, but yanking on a muscle in the attempt to make it longer I think is fruitless and even causes injuries.

    Our bodies adapt to what we do, good or bad.

    If you sit alot you need to spend time undoing the sitting posture.

  3. #3
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    "Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too." Voltaire

    "A mile-long rationalization of one's good intentions will not obscure or excuse an inch of violation." Tom Sotis

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elkhunter View Post
    I'm not convinced stretching has any useful purpose.

    I do do certain movements to retrain my muscles from hours of sitting, but yanking on a muscle in the attempt to make it longer I think is fruitless and even causes injuries.

    Our bodies adapt to what we do, good or bad.

    If you sit alot you need to spend time undoing the sitting posture.
    Are you kidding me, that just proved to me and everyone else on here you have no business even posting on a fitness related thread. Stretching is the only means of gaining flexability and aids in recovery and helps avoid injuries. If you guys are wanting to learn more about fitness then you buy the new finess DVD.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr John Meade View Post
    . . . if you apply slow steady traction on the joint. You stretch those muscles slowly, until they relax their spasm.
    That's exactly what I'm doing, slow, progressive stretch.

    Any idea why it isn't "taking" (i.e. I'm just as stiff the next day, and have to start from the beginning every day)?

  6. #6
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    Sep 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr John Meade View Post
    I may have the world's tightest hamstrings. I am almost 50, but I can't blame that. Even when I did martial arts, I couldn't do the high kicks like others my age. I blame the fact that when I was a kid, our coaches stressed exercises that cause contraction and tightening, but NOTHING about stretching. We ended up strong, but so tight we couldn't move! Some of the bodybuilders are the stereotype for this still. I kept up this sort of exercise for years. Now, I am trying to undo decades of tight muscles. All I can tell you is to keep at it, slow and steady and every day!
    Yoga, seriously. You will be able to stick your legs above your head in no time.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    The older I get, the more I stretch and the more I regret not having done more of it in the past. Tight hamstrings can be caused by a forward tilting pelvis - a common problem for people who spend too much time sitting. Look at stretches for your periformis. Get your pelvis right, stretch out your psoas, quads, and periformis and I'll bet you'll see improvement in your ham's.

    Check out PNF stretching. Pay up to join the Crossfit Journal as there is a wealth of information to be had there regarding proper stretching. I had tight ham's for many years caused by spending too much time in a patrol car wearing a heavy gun belt.

    Marc Denny wrote a great news letter several years ago from DBMA regarding proper pelvis/body alignment and I've been waiting for a follow up as the first one was awesome. Hope this helps. R.
    Last edited by RickA; 10-03-2010 at 04:50 PM. Reason: spelling

  8. #8
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    Nov 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by chad newton View Post
    Are you kidding me, that just proved to me and everyone else on here you have no business even posting on a fitness related thread. Stretching is the only means of gaining flexability and aids in recovery and helps avoid injuries. If you guys are wanting to learn more about fitness then you buy the new finess DVD.
    Show me the research that conslusively proves that static stretching improves muscle length, prevents injuires, makes you stronger and all the other wondorous things that propopents claim.

    Thats just it, they cant, study after study cannot prove within reasonable doubt it actually works.

    Its been shown that spending your training time strengthening antagonisitc muscles, doing mobility and stability drills have far more gain to be had for the time spent.

    There is a vast difference between learning to relax a tight muscle and trying to make it longer by pulling on it.

    That is exactly what stretching implies, you can make your muscles longer, which is total bull, you cant.

    If static stretching doesnt injure you and you want to spend the time on it, knock yourself out, but I found a better way that works worlds better for me.

    When I stopped following conventional wisdom and listened to my own body, my pain ended.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shdwdncr View Post
    Thanks for the link! Added it to my favorites.
    You'll take my life but I'll take yours too
    You'll fire your musket but I'll run you through
    So when you're waiting for the next attack
    You'd better stand there's no turning back


    "Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively." - Dalai Lama XIV



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Olympic swimmer Dana Torres credits Bob Cooley and his "The Genius of Flexibility" for her return to swimming and recent gold medals. Olympic legend Edwin Moses (hurdles) credits yoga-like stretching.

    Pavel's kettlebell work says something for stretching muscles other than passively. Can we not turn this into a pissing match and keep it positive? There's something to be learned for all of us here. R.

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