T Nation

Strength and Flexibility

At 54 I’ve always had poor flexibility even when I was 6-1 and 150 lbs as a HS freshman. As everything tightens up even more with age I realize that I should really put more emphasis on flexibility. I feel good about my strength and conditioning and will not back off that work but I find all the stretching routines I’ve tried just too damn boring. I’m looking for advice on yoga or martial arts or something else as a way to improve my flexibility with something enjoyable.

What kind of suggestions do you all have?

Yoga classes or a heavy stretching based MA class could help you if the obligation of going would get you stretching, and maybe you’ll learn how to enjoy stretching. But just showing up isn’t enough to increase your flexibility, if you don’t push yourself to get the most out of it, you’ll just be maintaining what flexibility you have.

I have become a huge beleiver in myofascial release. It has many titles and subtle differences but it really works, for me it was a life altering experience. Now I really know what flexibility is and can actually maintain it. I know of an awesome practitioner in the Austin TX area, but on this site you could probably get help finding one wherever you are.

[quote]texass wrote:
Yoga classes or a heavy stretching based MA class could help you if the obligation of going would get you stretching, and maybe you’ll learn how to enjoy stretching. But just showing up isn’t enough to increase your flexibility, if you don’t push yourself to get the most out of it, you’ll just be maintaining what flexibility you have.[/quote]

I would certainly be pushing myself in a yoga class or martial arts class. Hopefully they would be frequent enough that I wouldn’t have to do stretching on its own in between.

Yoga or Pilates would be worthless for you as a football player. Check out this article I wrote (and the link to one by Mike Boyle as well):

http://thefitcast.com/?p=82

Check out our Magnificent Mobility DVD and practice it daily; this stuff works like a charm.

www.EricCressey.com

EC,

Thanks for the info. I plan to buy M2. After reading the info you pointed to I’m questioning my poor opinion of my own flexibility. For example I cannot touch my toes without bending my knees - could barely do it in HS. This does not/did not seem to hamper any of my other physical activities.

Am I correct in understanding that so long as I have flexibility within the ROM needed for my physical activities I’m where I need to be? I undestand that stability is also important but I wonder if in some instances what is generally thought of as lack of flexiblity is in fact strong stability.

I have been relatively injury free through many years of contact sports and heavy lifting - maybe because of joint stability vs. flexibility?