Getting on the right track

Post questions and tips on making your stretches or your whole flexibility training most effective.

Getting on the right track

Postby Matt90 » Sep 11, 2008 11:22

Any advice is appreciated

I have been training martial arts for several years now. My "natural flexbility" that being the flexibility I had before training was pathetic, I was extremely inflexible while training partners who started at the same time as me found themselves able to perform high kicks cold after several weeks training in spite of no additonal flexbility training or knowledge. So for the last few years I have tried to increase my flexibility. To begin with, that is before i bought Stretching Scientifically, in order to be able to perform what are commonly known as round house kicks and side kicks I had to perform several static stretches. After a few minutes of stretching I was able to perform kicks to a far greater degree of height speed and power. I made considerable progress in these static stretches, becoming very close to side and front splits. My stretch routine consisted of similar stretches to those on page 72 of Stretching Scientifically for the trunk but I did these to feel a stretch in my hamstrings and inner thighs and hips. I also did versions of the stretches shown on page 82, along with lunges moving into front splits. (I only detail my lower body stretches because what I did for my arms and back and trunk matches the methods advised by Mr Kurz already)

So this routine worked fairly well for me, before doing it I was incapable of performing a round house kick at anything above knee height, after 5 minutes of this "routine" I could kick at head height comfortably. This flexibility never lasted though, within a few hours I would be reduced to my old height of kicking. It appeared that no matter how many times a day I did my "routine" the results would deminish quickly.

That is when I decided to look into stretching properly and found Stretching Scientifically.

Now my question is when I perform the dynamic stretches as a warm up prior to training, I find though I am able to make an improvement in the height of my kicks the dynamic stretching routine does not seem to be able to acheive the height I was previously able to acheive using static stretches. All it takes is to drop down into side splits, move my hands from each leg and shift my weight from each leg (in essence very similar to the relaxed stertches in the book) and I am able to kick far higher then with dynamic stretching as my warm up. With the dynamic routine I feel a slight pain in the outside of my hips or on the inside of my thighs when kicking that is not present after doing some static stretches.

So is this decrease in flexibility normal for one new to dynamic stretching and something that will improve over time as I did read in the book
"passive flexibility usually exceeds active flexibility in the same joint."

I never got injured while stretching my ignorant way, I was simply unhappy with the fact I couldn't perform anything cold. I understand dynamic stretching 3 times a day will allow this within a few months but I find it strange that there is such a difference to the height of my kicks after doing static stretches and after doing dynamic stretches. Again, is this normal and will improve or does it point to the fact I am performing my dynamic stretches wrongly?
If the latter is the case, I perform all of the stretches depicted in the book for around 15 reps per set until I feel limbered up, every other kick feels nice and loose apart from the roundhouse. I don't believe I am performing any of the stretches wrongly though my problems may suggest otherwise.

Any suggestions are appreciated
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