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19

Your flexibility is inversely related to how injury-prone you are. The more flexible you are, the less likely you are to accidentally injure yourself during training. This is true of major injuries, but it is also true of minor injuries that leave you stiff and sore for 3-4 days (when you should be bouncing back after 1 day of rest, ideally). Flexibility ...


17

I would say that a stretching routine is something that should be personalized to be the most effective. To help you set up your own routine here are some suggestions. Assessment - First do an assessment to see if you have any areas or muscles with tightness or limitations of movement. (Check neck, back and trunk range in all directions, shoulder ...


11

The more flexible you are doesnt always mean you are less likely to injure yourself... sometimes being too flexible is a detriment and your strength is lacking. If you are extremely flexible but lack the strength to maintain certain exercises you are equally as prone to injury as someone who is inflexible. The key is determining where your body lacks ...


9

Any activity that requires a large range of motion will increase your flexibility, assuming you do it consistently and strive for proper technique: gymnastics, olympic weightlifting, martial arts, break dancing, parkour, climbing. Of course, dedicated stretching is going to be most effective of all, but doing some of these is better than nothing.


9

I have also never been able to touch my toes, not even close, even in military basic training. I found out much later that I have an extra vertebra. It was never an issue of limberness. It wouldn't hurt to ask your doctor why you can't, everything else is pure conjecture.


8

Body shape has a lot to do with it. I've got really long legs and short arms, so it would take a huge amount of angle for me to be able to touch my toes (which I can't). My 80 year old grandmother always used to be able to (and might still), but her legs are very short compared to her arms... She can do it without stretching anything at all, whereas for ...


8

There are actually quite a few studies that address this question. If you search on google scholar for musculoskeletal fitness and health, you'll find a lot of good reading. In a summation of them, there are basically three components to musculoskeletal fitness, which are strength (ability to perform work), endurance (how long you can do said work) and ...


8

My source for flexibility is Stretching Scientifically, by Thomas Kurz: Kurz has this to say: Isometric stretches, to increase flexibility, should be done at least twice a week, but it all depends on your recovery. If your muscles are sore then no isometric stretching should be done as long as soreness is felt. Wallin et al. (1985) recommends ...


7

The basis of any exercise for muscle strengthening is a stretch and a contraction. The type of aggressive stretching you are doing is actually similar to a strengthening exercise, and soreness is to be expected. You're actually tearing your muscle fibers to create that soreness and your body will repair the muscle afterward making it stronger, but that is ...


7

For those that are not aware, Dollyo Chagi is a roundhouse kick, and Yop Chagi is a side kick. Flexibility is key for Tae Kwon Do (TKD), as the style heavily favors kicking, and especially for World Taekwondo Federation type sparring (Olympics) it is the major scoring technique. Very little scoring in WTF is done with hand techniques. From the description ...


6

As I already wrote a lengthy piece about stretching I won't repeat myself too much, but stretching is actually 'meant' to be painful. Your muscle has several proprioceptors (muscle spindles and Golgi tendon organs) that protect the muscle against possible injury. Basically, its supposed to hurt! While this pain gets less due to habituation of the CNS to the ...


6

Here is another 'strange' person for you. I have been slender all of my life and I still am. However, I have never really been able to touch my toes, and one gym teacher in middle school gave me an "F" in gym one semester because I couldn't - even after lots of stretching exercises, the best I could do was BARELY touch the floor with my middle fingers. ...


6

With work, you can improve your static-passive flexibility at any age. However, the gains you will see in time will significantly decrease as your age increases: the older you get, the harder it is to gain flexibility. Stating that it's impossible would be entirely incorrect, though. See the "How Aging Effects Flexibility" section of Stretching and ...


6

Think of it as a gentle meat tenderizer. But instead of weakening the muscle by pulverizing it, the added pressure and use simply promotes blood flow to massaged areas. Foam rollers are great recovery tools because they generate similar benefits as a sports massage, but can be performed by one's self.


6

Yes splits are possible, but it's a question of how comfortable you are whilst doing the exercises. Sumo wrestlers in Japan (and across the world) can usually do the splits, as it's predominantly the underlying muscle that needs stretched for splits. The most useful link I ever found was here and I've used it successfully through martial arts training. ...


6

A full answer does require some feedback on what your goals are with lifting. However, regardless of your goals, proper technique for any lift is very important. What many people fail to realize is that many lifts require a fair amount of flexibility to perform correctly. If you cannot perform a lift correctly, your chance of injury goes up. Let's start ...


6

Not everyone is built for conventional deadlifts. Whether it's due to flexibility issues, or simply the geometry of how they are built, crouching down into a conventional deadlift start position is just not working. A common group of people that fall into this category are folks with long legs. Another common group would be folks with short arms. Put ...


6

I would recommend routinely doing the Diesel Crew shoulder rehab protocol and the associated shoulder warmup. The rehab protocol is good as both prehab and rehab for a shoulder that is causing pain due to muscle imbalances. There are good exercises in the protocol that address the external rotation, as well as many other uses you're probably not thinking ...


5

Looking at the two poses you can see that in the first pose, bound angle pose, the hip goes into flexion, abduction and external rotation. In the second pose, the hip is flexed and abducted, but appears to be in neutral rotation. So it would seem that the key to your difficulty with the first pose and not the second is the inability to externally rotate ...


5

You are probably lowering the barbell too high up your chest which causes your elbows to flare out. Try moving the barbell lower down your chest on the way down so you can keep your elbows more tucked in (perhaps < 45 degrees to your body instead of 90). This will make sure the bench press is a chest and arm workout and not a dangerous shoulder workout. ...


5

AskMen.com has a nice beginners' exercise ball routine including: Trunk Extensions for your lower back. Core Crunchers for your abs and core. Basic Crunches for your abs. Elevated Pushups for your pecs, shoulders, triceps, and abs. Bent Knee Bridges for your gluts and hamstrings. Abdominal Rolls for your abs. Opposite Limb Extension for your lower back, ...


5

You should try a standing hamstring stretch. Which will allow you to keep your back reasonably straight while stretching out your hamstring. Image from http://www.abc-of-fitness.com/leg-stretch/standing-hamstring-stretch.asp There's also this one (follow link to see image) from about.com: Stand one foot from a wall and place your hands on the wall at ...


5

There's a few stretches you can do to help your shoulder flexibility: shoulder dislocations pec stretches foam rolling This article on prepping for the overhead press also has some good mobility/stretching exercises that will help you. So yes, there's a lot you can do, and flexibility is important to having good form. Just a note on hand position on ...


5

Take a look at this article on the "Third World Squat". It will help you identify what the problem areas are from sitting all day. The problem we see is this: Lack of strength in the posterior chain. You aren't using these muscles while sitting in a chair. Lack of flexibility in the hip flexors, calves, hamstrings Too much flexibility in the glutius ...


5

Should you be Concerned: Actually you don't have to wait until you are old to be badly affected by lack of flexibility. Anytime you have an area of your body that does not move correctly, it affects other parts of your body by making them substitute their normal motions with movements that compensate for the tight areas that are not doing their part. ...


5

There are two elements to front-splits: The hamstrings and the hips. Both will need stretching to accomplish what you want. You'll also need to strengthen the surrounding musculature, or you'll be stretchy but not strong enough to safely get into and out of the position(s) you want. The length of time it'll take you to achieve this will depend on your ...


4

These things take time, don't worry about it. If you are consistent you will see results, but plan to evaluate at least every few months, not weeks. If you have difficulty maintaining your motivation, join a class, that really helps a lot. You don't want to give up on holding that position when the person next to you is still doing it (even though they are ...


4

Two weeks isn't adequate time to make a determination if you're not in good shape to start. You will improve if you are following the directions properly. Just don't give up, and stick with it. From your question, it sounds like you're probably also doing this at home via multiple sources, media, or routines. Pick ONE, and stick with that one. Don't try to ...


4

I may be misunderstanding your question, but it seems that what you are asking for, would depend greatly on your goals and many other factors. “Optimal normal overall body flexibility” varies depending on age, gender, health, body type/size, level of activity and functional needs. There are many variables. For example, flexibility goals for the hamstrings ...


4

You could start your deadlifts with the bar elevated higher off the ground - either on the lowest rack setting, or with the barbell-loaded plates resting on a stack of horizontal plates. Pavel Tsatsouline advocates this approach in Power to the People, saying that it used to be called the "health lift". I found that squatting under heavy weights quickly ...



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