I like stretching. I can almost do full splits, and a number of other fun exercises. What do you make of some more extreme stretching exercises, like the yoga Lotus Position?
I thought of working out towards that just for fun, but isn't that just too much on the knee joints? I'm rather flexible compared to the average gym rat, and I found this one for example to be very difficult...
A friend of mine who's into Powerlifting lately thinks being too flexible can have you lifting less. Still, looking at the famous example of Tom Platz, it seems it won't do any harm. What do you think?
Static strength before lifting reduces strength. It is also true that extreme flexibility may make you weaker you can't effectively use the stretch reflex. However, there are some extremely flexible and strong guys, and you'll also have to consider that flexibility will make you more resistant against injuries. Just be aware of exercises that stretch the ligaments because they may cause permanent damage and offer no real benefits.
Having loose joints, and "double-jointed" abilities, this is NOT a desirable thing to have.
Most stretching does not harm joints.
You can loosen them over time with moves designed to do so, but, the joints take a long time to distort this way, and as I said, you do NOT want it.
The yogis you think look cool, well that is a stage act. Like the flexy folks in a circus. I have known quite a few of these folks and you really don't want that kind of flexability in your joints, unless you are born with it or it is your (well paid) profession.
Unless you enjoy having your hips / knees suplocate when walking around, shoulders popping out when benching, fingers dislocating when you grip things.
I have never met such a person who said how great it was.
I've been able to do that from childhood on... Still can without hands. Never trained for that, I just could I guess. My hamstrings are awfully tight though, so I can't touch my toes when standing or sitting with legs straight if my life depended on it
Actual extreme-stretches/fascial stretches/parillo stretches are very useful imo... For avoiding soreness and so on. But yoga? Hm. Not my cup of tea.