I am really stiff and I have decent range of motion but very little flexibility. If I were to undertake a hardcore flexibility program, would I sacrifice strength or speed? My main sport is MMA. I am looking at the Thomas Kutz program “Stretching Scientifically.” According to comments from the author and readers, being able to do a split between 2 chairs is an achievement. Does being able to do this translate into any practical application? I do not normally use high kicks because of vunerability issues when in that position. Would this aid in grappling or BJJ?
Spectster, can you please give me more info? You said you have good range of motion, but poor flexibility. In sport, I believe dynamic range of motion is more important that being able to touch your toes … be strong in your full ROM, but if you’re weak while your feet are behind your ears, what’s the use. However, I do believe static range of motion is VERY important for injury prevention, recovery, and can help in developing dynamic ROM. That said, you need to stretch baby! I’m not familiar with the book you mentioned, so I can’t really comment on that, but I think a good mix of both dynamic and static work will do you good. Dynamic: hurdle movements are great as is some more aggressive yoga. Static … you can find a number of books, Pavel has some good ones (Beyond Stretching, etc.). I put this in another post, but skateboarding (which is new to me) has really loosened me up dramatically. Very cool.
Do you feel that lack of flexibility is holding back your MMA progress? Only you can evaluate that.
If you answered ‘yes’, I would highly recommend Thomas Kurz flexibility program for 2 reasons. It promotes dynamic flexiblility [which is what you need when you are not just posing for the camera], and you get results rather quickly. As far as I’m concerned he is the best author on the subject.
please drop us a line so we can try to figure this out. I want to understnant the issue completely but also thinks is great your tackling your ROM problem. In faith, Coach Davies
Thanks gents, the situation is this: I do MMA but mainly that means Bjj/grappling becuase you can’t really train striking because someone would get hurt. I have rolled with some guys who are smaller, weaker and younger than me and have lost and it bothering me a great deal. These guys have a lot more experience than me but they can dominate me fairly easily even though I have 30 lbs on them and much more strength. I am trying to figure out what I am doing wrong. They usually submit me by some kind of lock which hyperextends my shoulders and/or neck - my sholders are damaged to start with. I have good ROM probably because I am long limbed and have played a wide variety of sports. Yet I am really stiff - the instructor in MMA calls me “stiffy.” I wondering if I were more flexible, perhaps I would be more able to withstand submission moves.
Specster, I train in BJJ too, and although good flexibility/ROM is a must, I think you are losing not because of this, but because of your experience level. Increasing your ROM will do very little to help you resist an arm bar, ankle lock, key lock, choke hold, etc. The great thing about BJJ is that size/strength doesn’t matter! (for the most part). It’s all technique, and although you may be physically stronger than these guys, they know how to USE their strength and LEVERAGE efficiently to keep you off balance so you can’t use your strength. I hope I’m making sense. Geez, I know blue belt men who lose to a little blue belt girl. She’s just that good.
I have recently entered into the MMA frey, after 20 years of stand up fighting (some jiu jitsu in the last few years), and I can tell you that what you are experiencing is quite normal. That being said, developing flexibility will help you in your training. The more flexible you are, the less resistance there is when you throw a kick or punch. The path of least resistance equals more power. Also the more flexible you are, the more stress you can withstand in certain holds (I once trained at an Aikido school where one dude was a masseuse, and he could withstand extreme pressure to his joints, because of the free massages he received from school). That being said, if you feel that you have some serious physical problems that limit your flexibility, you may want to consider massage and /or ART(active release technique) therapy, if finances allow.
Thanks again guys,
Bottom line, should I spend time trying to do a full split or is this and similar flexibilty stunts and exercize in futility? Also, will inceased flexibilty compromise strength and speed?
I do. But I come from kickboxing background. While I may not go head high often, it’s nice to have that option. I also find that the more flexible I am, the better my low kicks are. For me it is important to be flexible throughout the body. Another reason to be to do the splits, is I have seen people (and myself) end up in some very awkward positions where not being flexible would have been a bad thing.