T Nation

Follow up to Flexability Poll

A follow up to the flexability poll by Scott - Do people generally feel some people are inherantly more flexable and others are less, as if there were a genetic predisposition? I have tried to stretch for years and years and can never substantially improve my flexibility or range of motion. It has been my observation that many people who are naturally strong are naturally less flexible. If I really push the stretching, which I need to do to get any results in terms of flexibility, I end up injuring myself. Any insigt welcome.

There’s no question that flexibility is an inherited trait. Genetic factors would include tendon insertion points, bone/joint structure and history of flexibility. I would recommend PNF training to increase your flexibilty. Basically your body doesn’t want you to get more flexible. It’s ironic because this is to prevent injury. Big terms like muscle spindles and golgi tendon organs keep the muscle/tendon from stretching past a certain point so you’re not on crutches for 3 months after trying to replicate a 16yo gymnast. With PNF, you take your muscles to maximal (yet not painful) stretch and then contract those muscles maximally. This will decrease the signals being sent out to prevent further flexibility and allow top achieve a greater stretch. Do about 3/4 times 3 times a week. Hope this helps. Check out Human Kinetics for a solid book on flexibility training.

Check out"Science of Flexibility"by Alter
it will pretty much cover everything you want to know about the subject.