T Nation

Stretching and Flexibility?


#1

Ok so Ive read several things sayig you should stretch, warmup, then workout... to be more limber and avoid injuries. Good deal.

Now most people I know that workout often lack flexibility.

However, in my case, I am extremely flexible and even double jointed in a few areas. Its actually caused my shoulder to somewhat (not sure the wording so Ill say...) dislocate once during a bench press. I was lucky and was only sore for a few days.

My question is... in extreme cases of flexibility, should I SKIP stretching? Or is it even more important for someone like myself to stretch?

Thanks!
T-Islander


#2

I got a feeling im going to get slammed for the dislocate comment. But anyway im not sure what that is called exactly.

But I can do the same thing to my shoulder without injry or weights... any time I want. There is no pain involved.

Problem was during the bench.. when it happend it basically shut down the muscles in the area making that side drop down quickly.


#3

I won't touch the dislocating shoulder thingy... see a pro for that.

As for flexibility, train strength to get stronger, train endurance to get more enduring, train flexibility to increase flexibility.

If you are flexible enough, don't train for it.

BTW, don't using static stretching as a warm up; it will hurt more than help.

Rolo.


#4

So anyone know much about this or.... what?

I could always post my before (and not after pic) or claim to be a chick or ask some mundane creatine questions or even insult some Veterans - if that'll spark a response :stuck_out_tongue: hahah JK

BUMP!


#5

OK, here's the run-down, IMHO-

best sequence is warm-up, then active flexibility or ROM work, then workout, then static stretch IF neccesary.

If you are super flexible by nature, then it is most important for you to work strength at the ends of your ROM in order to protect your joints and connective tissue.

I think rather than stretching everything, people should ask themselves "Which of my athletic movements is hindered by a lack of flexibility?" Then work to see improvement for a specific goal. Once you have sufficient flexibility for the exercises or sports you perform, you do not need more for the sake of more.

google on "active stretching", "dynamic stretching"


#6

I am not an expert on this subject, but since you have the flexibility you need for your lifts, I see no point with stretching before workouts. A decent warm-up should suffice. At least it's enough for me and I'm not super flexible, only flexible enough. As a stretch of thought, I can imagine that you should control the weight with your muscles all the time and not let it rest on your tendons. Therefore the importance of proper warm-ups.


#7

One of the authors on here (I'm thinking Cressey maybe?), once said that athletes should seek "optimal flexibility" rather than "maximum flexibility." There is a continuum between flexibiity and stability in a given muscle. When you gain flexbility, you lose some stability. CT's "Black Book of Training Secrets" contains some great tests you can perform to test for hypo-extensibility (lack of flexibility). You might want to check that out.


#8

T-Islander,
I have the exact same condition. I can partially dislocate my shoulder at will also. I am also hyperflexible. It does cause some problems, especially with lower back rounding. I need to really concentrate to keep my spine straight/arched. Anyway, I have also had my shoulder partially dislocate during benching. It hasn't happened in many years however. Upright rows are the worst culprit. My guess is that the problem is a lack of surface area on the socket portion of the shoulder joint (maybe I'm wrong). I've found that concentrating and rotator cuff work has helped.

Goofus


#9

I heard on the radio a while back or on the TV that double jointedness does not actually exist. All it is is someone with exceptionally flexible joints = hyperextension.