44 and resuming stretching, BUT

Post questions and tips on stretching for children and for the elderly.

44 and resuming stretching, BUT

Postby kevp951 » Dec 16, 2009 10:37

Hi everyone. Back when I was 30 I bought Stretching Scientifically and got to splits with a warm-up after about 8 months. After receiving the book and getting started back then, almost immediately I began to see results and the stretching felt very good. Now I am 44 and have not stretched for 10 years. I am using my Stretching Scientifically book and doing as before about 6 weeks now but am seeing no real progress and not getting that good feeling of my muscles responding like in my younger years. Yes, I know that my muscles are much weaker than years past, and I also weigh 170 pounds instead of 150 pounds like when I was younger. Anybody have information for me??? thanks, Kevin
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Re: 44 and resuming stretching, BUT

Postby CSta » Dec 16, 2009 18:42

The following is taken from Article 30 (http://www.stadion.com/column_stretch30.html):

"Can you improve your flexibility if you are fifty or sixty years old? Why not? Eighty-year-old people can. How far you can improve in absolute terms, i.e., what range of motion you can achieve, depends on the initial level of your flexibility and strength.

Below are relevant excerpts from the current edition of Stretching Scientifically [article published Nov. 2003].

Our method of stretching depends on making your muscles stronger in stretched out positions. It means that you can improve your flexibility as long as you as you can increase your muscular strength. So, if you can make progress lifting more and more weights or overcoming more resistance in any strength exercises, you can stretch more too.

Even elderly men and women over seventy years old can increase their flexibility (Brown et al. 2000; Lazowski et al. 1999). With strength training the elderly, even in their 90s, can increase their strength and muscle mass—not as fast and as much as young people, but they can (Fiatarone et al. 1990; Lexell et al. 1995), and the responsiveness to strength training determines the effectiveness of isometric stretches—the most intense stretches—as long as the structure of the person's joints is not an obstacle. (Full references are in the book Stretching Scientifically.)"

I'm guessing that last paragraph applies to you, although to a lesser extent--it's going to take longer for you to increase your strength, particularly if you've lost your fitness base, which it sounds like you have.

(disclaimer: I'm not the real deal, here. I have very little experience. I just regurgitate the knowledge Kurz shares and apply it to facts.)
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Re: 44 and resuming stretching, BUT

Postby kevp951 » Dec 18, 2009 02:38

I was only doing the afternoon routine ( 5 minute warmup, dynamic stretching, cool down, relaxed stretching) but I think I will add the dasily morning warmup & dynamic routine to see if it gets my body revitalized and responding. I've gotten pretty good at gymnastics since buying the Stadion dvd 2 or 3 years ago when it came out. So far I got the backflip, frontflip and just getting the back handspring down at open gym. I'd love to get my webster requires to much flexibility and I'm afraid I'll pull a muscle if I don't get more dynamic flexibility. I wanna give these young kids a run for their money and show them 44 is not to old to "put it down" in the gym ! :) I'll keep you posted if the addition of the daily morning routine helps. thanks for your input, Kevin
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Re: 44 and resuming stretching, BUT

Postby tyciol » Jun 07, 2010 10:46

I believe I read something like when you're older, sometimes while training to improve you should pay special attention to adequately warming up. Furthermore, conditioning the muscles and connective tissue with isotonic movements to increase their strength and endurance in an active manner might help to train oneself for the strenuous isometric holds which are done to improve the RoM later. I think it was something ilke whenever you reach a sticking point in stretching you should switch back to stuff like that, the standard example that comes to mind being those adductor flies which are done to prepare for side split.
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