Newsletter no. 10 – Thursday 19 August, 2021
This is the web-based version of Stretch Therapy Newsletter no. 10
The Secrets of Stretching
By Kit Laughlin
Lately I have had quite a few inquiries that go something like this: I need to get flexible for gymnastic strength training; I don’t have time to read all the stuff on the forums. I have been doing program X, and making no progress, and my GST has stalled too, because I do not have enough ROM to do the movements. Please just tell me what to do!
Well: if I could do that, I would have done it (and saved myself a lot of time, too). If it were simple, everyone would be flexible. And in our work, we distinguish between mobility (we call it limbering) and stretching. Limbering is re-attaining yesterday’s flexibility. Stretching (using many techniques) takes you into new ranges of movement. So, with no more ado, the secrets to becoming more flexible are these:
Read the full article.
We have written many times about the importance of stretching the muscles of the front of the thigh – quadriceps – and front of the hip – hip flexors. These two exercises have a similar form, as you look at them, but doing them will reveal vary significant differences. Please try both and let us know how you find them via the comments section.
Combination quad–hip flexors
This exercise lets you stretch the hip flexors to prepare you, then adds a quadriceps stretch to the fundamental hip flexor one. Many people on workshops who have loose quadriceps have been amazed when the two movements are combined: a powerful unique effect is achieved.
And some of you may be surprised to know that many flexible people have back problems – and doing this combination exercise has helped many of them.
The unique aspect of this exercise is that is targets rectus femoris, which in most people is the major limiter of hip extension. This version is idea for runners and cyclists.
Wall quad–hip flexor
This compound stretch works quadriceps and hip flexors, and has many variations built in. It is infinitely scalable; everyone will be able to do a form of this.
The key variables to play with are:
1. Distance from the wall in the start position (this affects knee angle, from open to closed; this moves the stretch from the top (hip) end to the knee end); angle of trunk to the floor (closer to the floor, the less the hip flexor effect; the closer to vertical the more the hip flexors are worked)
2. How far you move the hips away from the wall when you increase the stretch. The point of maximum intensity can be varied and moved to wherever you need it.
3. How close to vertical you bring your trunk.
All these variable change the stretch in unexpected ways; play with all of them, in time.
A note from a student
Rui R., Canada
*** Next week will be the final one in which we send two newsletters. From Monday 30 August we will send one newsletter each week.