Questions tagged [stretching]

Stretching is a form of physical exercise in which a specific skeletal muscle (or muscle group) is deliberately stretched.

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81
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3answers
12k views

Should I stretch after exercise?

Are there benefits with stretching right after exercising? Does stretching afterwards affect the risk of injury?
43
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10answers
115k views

How important is it that a person be able to touch their toes?

For as long as I can remember, I've heard the question "can you touch your toes?" asked by people trying to ascertain another person's physical fitness. I've grown up thinking that being able to touch ...
16
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1answer
5k views

Daily stretch routine to increase flexibilty and overall fitness?

Is there a standard (as much as can be standard) stretch routine that if used regularly over a period of time will increase/maintain flexibility and help my overall fitness level? I have a set of ...
16
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2answers
3k views

Safe training regime to work towards center and front splits

I want to improve my flexiblity to be able to to center and front splits. Is there any safe exercise program to follow which will lead me to this goal? During the week I have time to stretch for 10 ...
14
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5answers
4k views

What is a good early morning stretch routine?

I'm 45 and play squash once or twice a week in the evenings. I am an early riser, but have never been an early morning exerciser. I do enjoy early morning meditation, though. I am finding that I am ...
14
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1answer
4k views

Should I stretch before doing pullups?

I've just gotten strong enough to do pullups for the first time in my life. Should I stretch before I do them? If so, what stretches?
14
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3answers
13k views

Stretching while cold, with no intent to exercise: any benefit?

I can find many opinions and a few scientific articles on stretching prior to exercise, with the takeaway that it probably doesn't help and might hurt a bit for that exercise session. I have very ...
14
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1answer
626 views

Overhead Squat Assistance Work

My next fitness goal is 15 overhead squats with a barbell that has been loaded with my own bodyweight. I just went today and tried my first set. After lots of stretching and warmups, I did three ...
12
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1answer
255 views

What exercises produce longer, higher running jumps?

I want a higher and longer jump. What exercises should I use to jump further and higher? I'm specifically talking about jumping from a running start. I am only interested in bodyweight exercises for ...
11
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3answers
5k views

Should I stretch every day?

For workouts, I know that it's not effective to train the same muscle group every day because the muscle needs time to recover. Does the same principle also apply to stretching? Is it still ...
11
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1answer
15k views

Why is my outer hip tight when doing some inner thigh stretches?

Bound angle pose (pictured below) is supposed to stretch the inner thigh muscles and groin, but I can't even get to the point of feeling anything in in those areas because something in my outer hips ...
10
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2answers
428 views

Recommendations for a weight program to support martial arts competition

Ok, going along the vein of a man who coaches himself has a fool for a client, I am looking for recommendations on a training cycle to support competing in martial arts forms and weapons competitions, ...
10
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1answer
274 views

Does stretching interfere at all with strength gain or injury susceptibility in resistance training?

I searched through the site and couldn't find a good answer to this. Does stretching (to improve flexibility) interact or slow the muscle building and strength increasing benefits of weight training? ...
9
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4answers
566 views

Lower back pain relief

I have been weight training for 18 months, and in the past few months have started to get lower back pain. I particularly feel it when I wake up in the morning. Nothing too serious or painful but I ...
9
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3answers
69k views

Why do my legs hurt while jumping rope?

I used to skip in the past, but always ended up stopping after a week when I could no longer handle the pain in the lower legs, i.e. knees, shins, feet. Looking at these diagrams from Foottrainer.com: ...
9
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3answers
185k views

Sore after work out - can't straighten arm

I'm in good aerobic shape but never did strength training. Yesterday, I did some basic strength work, using both dumbbells and machines. Nothing too crazy - I started light and built my way up. I ...
9
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1answer
262 views

The science of flexibility

Background I have been trying to find more scientific approaches to flexibility. Even here, most answers don't link to studies or cite papers. It seems there is a lot of "this is what I have been ...
9
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2answers
576 views

Is stretching more difficult once the muscle mass is bigger?

I was wondering if, assuming one gains lots of muscle while not stretching regularly, the process of stretching is more difficult or at least more painful after. This isn't about the benefits of ...
8
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2answers
906 views

How to properly stretch muscles in neck

My favorite stretch to loosen up neck muscles had been doing circles and rolling my head around in 360 degrees of motion a few times then switching direction. I've heard from people and on the news ...
8
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3answers
36k views

Strengthening and healing the psoas (leg-lifting) muscle

A few months ago I hurt my psoas muscle and a couple of ligaments around it. I've been off of it since then and it's been healing and I'd like to get back into the things that I had to quit. I'd ...
8
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1answer
459 views

What are workouts or stretches to increase flexibility for the splits?

What kind of workout or stretches can I do to increase my range of motion? I want to be able to do a split (I am quite close). What kind of stretch should I do?
7
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3answers
20k views

Loosening tight muscles?

I have some extremely tight upper back muscles that seemingly no amount of stretching can loosen. What are some alternate or supplemental approaches I can take to loosen tight muscles outside of the ...
7
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6answers
7k views

How can I stretch hamstrings in isolation?

I have strong, very short hamstrings, and a weak, flexible lower back. If I try to touch my toes, I get about 1/2-way down my shins. However, most of that mobility is in my lower back. If I lie on my ...
7
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1answer
520 views

Overstretching to increase flexibility

I attend regular martial arts classes (about 3-4 a week). We spend a lot of time stretching, particularly the hip area and the legs, to increase flexibility. Often after some classes where we do a ...
7
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1answer
1k views

What is a reasonable schedule for increasing flexibility?

I have terrible general flexibility, which both causes discomfort and affects my form when exercising (for example, I fall off balance any time I try and do a squat). This is something that I'd very ...
7
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2answers
28k views

Arm cross stretching behind the back, how to improve it?

My goal is to improve the flexibility in arms: I want to get symmetric flexibility to the right and left. I am right-handed in writing but left-handed in most club games. The right side is becoming ...
7
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2answers
5k views

I can run better after swimming, how come?

I found out that when I go swimming in the evening (from 5:30 - 6:30), that my running (from 8:30 - 9:30) seems to go a lot better. (Eg. I'm less tired, I have less need for stretching - I stretch to ...
7
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3answers
2k views

How to properly stretch your Iliotibial Band?

I've recently heard about having a tight Iliotibial Band and how its important to stretch it. However since I've been stretching it (gentle 30 second stretches, a variety of them in succession), it ...
7
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3answers
959 views

What sort of stretching routines, if any, should be included in the Starting Strength program?

It seems like the Starting Strength program lacks any sort of stretching routines. Should any form of stretching be done after the workouts or on your off days? Or is it completely unnecessary for the ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Where can I find stretching exercise information where it tells you how far you need to go?

I’ve been reading The Complete Guide to Stretching recently in an effort to help find some solutions to muscle aching problems I have. The hypothesis I’ve been operating under is that I have muscle ...
7
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1answer
257 views

Stretching muscles while they are engaged

I've heard a theory that it is better to stretch muscles while they are (lightly?) engaged. The reason was said to be that muscle engagement will cause the muscles themselves, rather than the tendons, ...
7
votes
1answer
181 views

How to keep flexibility after stretching

I stretch almost every day, and I have been doing so for a few months. My hands stop short almost a hand length from my toes. After I stretch, I can touch them. The next day, I'm back to zero. This ...
6
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4answers
38k views

Stretches/exercises to sit cross legged

I'm a reasonably fit male with an athletic background, but can't sit cross-legged. Whenever I do, my knees stay really high and I have to really bend my ankles to get into the position at all. When I ...
6
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3answers
7k views

What are some good stretches to help with squatting?

It seems a lot of form problems with the squats are caused by inadequate flexibility - I think mainly in the hamstrings and also the shoulders. What are some good stretches that can be used to ...
6
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1answer
413 views

Is stretching after bodybuilding workout advised?

I heard many things about stretching but recently, I had 2 different (and opposite) advices about it. Both were from certified trainers. One said that, after your workout, whatever your workout was, ...
6
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3answers
549 views

How should a proper stretching workout look like? How to warm up for it?

How should a proper stretching session look like? How should I warm up or cool down for a stretching training? And how long should they be and what exercises should they exactly consist of? Should I ...
6
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3answers
6k views

What exercises can someone with Ligamentous laxity do for supple and strong muscles

I have been diagnosed with Ligamentous laxity. I have practiced numerous sports, but have hurt my joints repeatedly. I need exercises, preferably using my body weight. I also want to focus on ...
6
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2answers
6k views

Stretches and muscle work for Supination or Underpronation

I've recently had issues with my IT Band, did all the stretches and PT. And it did not work. I recently decided to try out my old pair of running shoes(on a whim), that originally were bothering my ...
6
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1answer
50 views

General stretches for a group of dancers?

I do modern dancing and my teacher asked me to lead the warm-up / stretch for the other students before class starts. I know that individuals have different needs and should probably have specialized ...
6
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2answers
172 views

post stretching tightness in posterior leg muscles

I'm a 28yo female, very physically active (circus arts, martial arts, cycling, yoga), and have been for my entire life. I have partial hyperflexibility (arms, lower back, toes), and have been working ...
6
votes
1answer
247 views

Are mobility exercises treating the symptom instead of the cause?

I have just started barbell training following the stronglifts 5x5 program. Since I am having some problems with the squat I am taking some lessons from a personal trainer. In the first session he ...
5
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5answers
235 views

Distinguish stretching from warming up?

I've recently started running and I'm having a hard time distinguishing warm-up from stretching exercises. I've read that I should do warm-up before running and stretch after running. Is that correct? ...
5
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2answers
12k views

Proper way to stretch the pectoral muscles

What is the best way to do pectoral stretches? A specialist recommended that besides avoiding bench presses and strengthening my back, I should stretch my pectoral muscles as often as possible, as ...
5
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2answers
662 views

How to relax the palm muscles after cycling?

I cycled 200 km. My palms are feeling a bit numb and like a mild electric shock is passed through my palms. Can anyone please suggest any relaxation exercise for my palms?
5
votes
3answers
914 views

Is stretching cold muscles before cycling harmful?

For most of my life, I stretched out before cycling to avoid cramps or pulling a muscle. However, I discovered last year that I could skip stretching exercises in favor of a slightly extended warm-up ...
5
votes
5answers
278 views

Stretches for long periods of sitting

So I've started a new job and due to this I end up sitting for 12 hours a day. 8 hours at my desk and 2 hour commute each way. I know this is bad for me, especially my back. At least during work I can ...
5
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2answers
873 views

Fingers for intensive sports requiring hands a lot? Recoving from ulnar claw?

[Update] Thanks to the answer, I acknowledge now that I am heading towards "ulnar nerve entrapment" where one injury is Ulnar claw -- more common with males particularly training in gym with ...
5
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2answers
660 views

Cramping in the soles of my feet during certain stretches

I always used to be a very flexible person. In middle school, I could do full splits straddle and front-and-back on both sides. Even into high school and college, I continued to be able to do lotus ...
5
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1answer
154 views

Is there a stretching equivalent of the food pyramid?

As most people know, the food pyramid the diagram at the depicts all the essential food one should eat to maintain a healthy diet. The pyramid serves to guide individuals to make better choices when ...
5
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3answers
502 views

Hamstrings and running intervals

I've started doing some running intervals/speedwork and notice that my hamstrings get pretty sore afterwards. I do some off-day stretching, although I probably could do more. Should I push ahead and ...

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