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57

Stretching is clearly a very controversial subject Instead, use of stretching as a prevention tool against sports injury has been based on intuition and unsystematic observation rather than scientific evidence. (Source) A second major reason that many coaches and athletes still view static stretching as an important preactivity ritual is the belief ...


28

After doing some research, Ivo's response is correct in that stretching before and exercise may not prevent injuries: Karl Fields et. all in Current Sports Medicine Reports had this to say: Typical of the findings was a randomized trial of 421 runners with stretching, warm up, and cool down before and after running. This trial showed a slightly lower ...


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 ...


11

Don't "Stretch" Doing static stretches before working out is not good. It cools you down and relaxes you, which is the opposite of what you want while you're exerting yourself. What's worse is that by stretching your muscles, you decrease the amount of force that your muscles can exert, and make yourself vulnerable to injuries like muscle pulls. Static ...


10

Optimal Jump Training Without Restrictions "Arioch" recommends squats, plyometrics, and speed work with submaximal weights to improve jumping height: An athlete wishing to improve his vertical jump should not only squat, but perform a variety of assistance work specific to both improving squatting strength as well as specifically improving jumping ...


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

It sounds like you've got a few things going on here, and I would suggest seeing a physiotherapist to get a personalized assessment and treatment prescription. What I'll say here is only a guess, so take it with a grain of salt. The calf muscles are major players in skipping. When they contract, you foot goes into a plantar-flexed position, helping to power ...


8

KL, Your pectoral has two portions and two muscle groups: the upper portion and the lower portion, the pec major and the pec minor. So to effectively target both portions and both muscles, here are two simple stretches that you should try: Corner stretch for the entire lower and upper chest and mainly the pec major This corner stretch to mainly target ...


7

Some people may say the best time to stretch is right after exercising. Your muscles are warmed up allow you to get a nice deep stretch. Stretching afterwards will begin the process of relaxing your muscles, something I find really helpful after lifting heavy weights. During my years of martial arts I have found that stretching after a workout will allow me ...


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

I've found success with two approaches: Yoga, whatever flavor or sequence you happen to like. What I did was go to classes several times a week for a month, then practice at home in the morning with intermittent ventures to group classes. Tom Kurz' morning stretch and warm-up series, recommended for combat sports and general health. You take a few minutes ...


7

Strength training builds muscle. In other words, the forcible contraction of your muscles against resistance is what stimulates them to get stronger or more firm. While stretching has a role, it's not to build or tone muscle. NOTE: the amount of body fat you have can accentuate or hide muscularity, so a certain amount of "toning" is done in the kitchen. ...


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

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

As I answered here , I personally don't recommend stretching unless the workout requires it. Witvrouw et al found that: Recently, it has been shown that stretching is able to increase the compliance of human tendons, and as a result increase the capacity of the tendon to absorb energy. ... When the sports activity contains no, or only low SSC movements ...


6

According to the Exercise Prescription (ExRx.net) site, there are a few exercises and stretches you can do. Testing: Ober's Test Affected Exercises: Barbell Lunges Barbell Stepup Corrective Exercises and Stretches: Standing Iliotibial Stretch Lying Glute Stretch Lever Seated Hip Abduction


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

Several factors are involved: Your body warmed up enough --> thus less need for stretching Swimming actually regulates your breathing system, it is like some sort of "heavy" yoga breathing session, specially if you "crawl" or do "Butterfly Stroke" which both require some time below water and thus deep breathing when above water to recuperate. Thus you ...


6

Upper back tightness can be caused by weakness and/or bad posture. I'm a Pilates's teacher and most people I see with soreness in the upper back area often have weak deep neck flexors and weak upperback muscles (a muscle can be both weak and tight). Stretching or foam rolling will be good to release tension but it could be useful to find the underlying cause ...


6

I really doubt that you have a palm muscle problem at all. The palm of the human hand has very little muscle (basically just a muscle for the thumb and for the little finger[1]), with no muscles in the middle of the palm. Most of the muscles for your fingers are actually in your forearm. More likely things: You compressed the medial nerve in the carpal ...


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

These guys are in the Swedish national team in Shorinji Kempo. They compete in Embu (sort of form) In this video they won the European competition. They are now practicing for the world championship next year. They only do exercises for speed. They want to be faster since the Japanese are smaller and faster then they are. They do thrusters at about 60% of ...


5

Thanks for providing the information about your workout. I agree with @Informaficker that the best way to deal with a back problem is to seek professional expertise. Lots of people have back pain and lots have advice about what worked for them. However, all back pain is not alike and there are many contributing factors, so treat your condition as unique. ...


5

A pair of tennis balls are your back's best friends. You can stretch and release the spinal erectors by rolling up and down from base of the rib cage to base of the neck along the outside of the spine. (Some people lie on two at a time, I like to do one side at a time.) You can then work on the lats/shoulders by starting with the ball outside the spine ...


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 ...



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