what an awesome article!
in the last few months after a couple of groin strains during the lacrosse season I’ve lost flexability - I used to be able to do the (easy) splits now I can just about touch my toes!
due to not having enough time for a whole-body stretching routine every day, I was thinking of compromising with a 30-45min/day; 6day/wk routine with each muscle group being stretched 3 times per wk.
On the advice of Thib, Im now waiting for the postman to give me a compex sport 400 EMS doohickey (woo!) - which claims to have a “stretching” program, aiming to “optimise effects of voluntary stretching, by means of a reduction of muscular tonus obtained by specific activation of the antagonist of the streched muscle (reciprocal inhibition reflex)” which sounds like the CRAC method Cantazaro discussed. however my understanding of PNF is that there is a 6-8sec contraction of the agonist (the muscle being stretched) before it is further stretched… does anyone know where the antagonist comes into this?
Also I’d love to hear some examples of stretches so I can kick high (yeah I dont “know kung-fu” but i wanna do the kick-arse van-damme move where he holds a high kick and gestures for the opponents to come-get-some! respect for male ballet dancers!) and stretches so I could get back in the splits soon.
With regards to form for stretching, how long (in seconds) should we take over easing into the stretch to prevent firing of the myostatic strech reflex?
I remember from T-mags fantastic article on stretching for hypertrophy that optimal stretch time is circa 30 seconds, how does this tie in to the reccomendations of AIS? - is AIS like PNF in that the athlete will be unable to achieve the extreme met during stretching, but will have increased his flexibility?
Perhaps my questions will be answered in part 2, god knows “stretching” is the new “free weights or machines” - incidentaly I recall some studies in military recruits concluding that stretching was not a valid injury prevention intervention, while warmup was (p>=0.05).
Does anyone else have questions about stretching? or have any info that I should know before embarking on this daring program to get my leg over (my own head)?
With any luck after my exams in a couple of months I’ll be getting down to some hardcore training; goin’ TURBO max steel stylee with the EMS jobby; and will have my stretching program sorted by then, if y’all seem interested I’ll post it on here then.
Criticisms and abuse are also more than welcome - does anyone think only stretching a muscle group 3times/wk is a fundemental flaw? like I said I’ve got exams coming up and dont have time yet to search pub med and go through my textbooks for help (although I will be re-reading sports sup review 3rd edt’n, which has an interview with Tobjorn Akerfeldt by Bill Phillips! (Tobjorn came up with Anabolic Burst Cycling, as well as the joys of stretching the endo & perimesiums (sp?))