T Nation

Chris Shugart: Flexibility Program

“I would really love to see a complete article in T-mag outlining a complete stretching program including what to do for warm-up, post exercise, off days, before/after cardio, etc. I think it is an area that has not been extensively covered although Ian King and Charles Staley have touched on the topic.”


Chris…I just wanted to echo the sentiments of Jason N. Of the “Five Components of Overall Fitness” (Weight training, cardiovascular training, diet, recuperation and flexibility training (which, by the way, is VERY important as we age)), flexibility seems to still be the least covered and least studied in terms of program comparison, etc.


Now, I know there is going to be someone who gives the following two arguments, to which I have these replies:


“There is PLENTY of information out there; Pavel, Ian, Poliquin, etc.!” Yes, but not in an effective program that has been devised to incorporate into our overall resistance training program. I have both Pavels book AND videos, with a lot of theory and examples of exercises, BUT NO PROGRAM! That leads to the SECOND argument you often hear:


2)“Hey…pick a few exercises, and do 'em…” A lot of people on this site, and “Testosterone” in particular, don’t do things so haphazard. Do we say “pick a few foods, and eat 'em?” “Pick a few exercises and do 'em?” No…we have “Massive Eating”, “T-Dawg”, “Meltdown”, “Limping…” etc., etc,.


So…Chris…hope you, TC , the contributors…whomever…can come up with something. That would help to put a “final piece of the fitness puzzle” in place. As always…thanks!

We hear you.

BTW, keep in mind that every expert on the staff would write a different program, so we couldn’t exactly call this a definitive stretching program. Too many varied opinions about the topic. King’s “perfect” program would look very different than Alessi’s or Staley’s etc.

Be your own strength coach, as Tc once wrote. It sounds like you’ve read a lot of information on this topic. You have many verities of stretching at your disposal. Choose a few stretches to go a long with your training. It really is not too hard. Charles Staley wrote a very good article about worming up and stretching for t-mag, some time ago. Does your mom still tuck you in at night? ARGGGGGGGG!

-LOL- Yeah, while you’re at it CS can you write an article on how to dress too! What is T mag’s official stance on breathing (tempo, chest vs diaphramatic, etc…)? Here’s a thought! Find out which of your muscles are tight and stretch them on a regular basis. And if you want to get really fancy you could stretch before you work out too!

I think Mufasa’s points are excellent, no need to criticize, that is just an article he wishes to see. I would also like to see some more information on flexibility. Maybe instead of programs have a article with different experts with their varying opinions on stretching so we can “mix and match” and see what works for us

Bite me. I’m glad you guys are experts on a topic that even Trainers with years of experience can’t agree on. My feeling is that by your cynacism, you probably do something along the lines of an outdated gym class. What I’m looking for is the most “cutting edge”, up-to-date, proven program that progressively increases flexibility and allows you to maintain it essentially for life, and does it in the most efficient way possible; by incorporating it into my overall fitness program.


That takes thought, evaluation and eventual execution…and a lot more than going in the gym doing some half-assed toe touches and windmills like you guys probably do…

This is an extremely useful thread. Your right about trying to find the perfect and most recent program because of all the confusion of when and which way is proper for before and after a specific workout. I myself use a static method for before and after, it just varies on the time as far as the hold goes(before workout hold for 10 sec., after hold for 45 sec.). I have also read about dynamic stretching methods for before but have not found any, anywhere, about what exactly a dynamic stretching routine is. I train under Coach Davis for football and the stretching program I do is long but very productive. You might want to ask him for some assistance. Good thread to start, thanks and good luck.

One other point for “the experts”:


There’s a BIG difference between “stretching” and Flexibility Training, much like the difference between volleying (which many people do) and playing tennis, or “lifting weights” and Resistance Training. The latter is 1) Goal specific 2) Progressive and 3) Aimed at the lifelong maintenance of flexibility. The former is not.

Wouldn’t this be more appropriate to send to Reader Mail? You just asked for an article, and the post didn’t really ask for anybody’s feedback.

You’re probably right…it seems like Chris S. moderates this board a little more. I wanted to make sure he got the request.

Man! Not much flexability with attitudes here either.
I think this is a good question, and it was asked for simple reasons.
T-mag is known for it’s cutting edge information… the science behind supplements, routines and physiology.
I for one don’t know everything, but would like to, I’m interested in learning more about flexability than my wife’s yoga tape contains.
If some of you guys know all there is to know. hey! that’s great! Menza will be proud to include you!

Some of us here feel a day isn’t complete until we have learned something new, I’m an information junkie and would appreciate some informative facts.

From observations at my gym, few people have a clue about flexability (the most knowledgeable trainer just walks around asking others to pull his finger).

mufasa…i think your question is valid…i think t.c. mentioned that paul checks book on golf bio-mechanics was invaluable…i agree w/ him 100%…it gives you simple tests to find where your range of motion is limited…then tells you what stretch to do for it…as was mentioned in one of the other replys,it focuses on only stretching those muscles that are restricted…once you read it,it helps you apply all the other things youve read on stretching as well

Coach Davies just put a program up on his website – I think you can link to it at the bottom of his 9 Exercises for Functional Strength article in T-mag Issue #170.