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Old 09-11-2013, 12:57 PM   #1
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Default For all the health nuts and athletes...

I've been trying to get in shape, but usually have neglected my flexibility. I'm not really much of an athlete anymore, but I am trying to stretch more now before exercise. I have always been bad with not doing it because I remember how badly stretching hurts and I've always wanted to get my reps in and get it over with. I am just doing some normal hamstring stretches on the floor and it hurts so bad I want to cry. Is that normal? Is it supposed to feel that horrible?
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: For all the health nuts and athletes...

Not a health nut but was a competitive distance runner for many years. In my experience, you should not stretch to the point it is painful. Stretch until you feel a slight pull, do not bounce with the stretch, just hold it steady for x number of seconds.

The more you stretch, over time, the more limber you will become. The further you will be able to extend before felling the pulling sensation. Do not go beyond that point though. It may feel uncomfortable for a while, but that will subside as you become more limber.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: For all the health nuts and athletes...

How exactly are you stretching?? You're not "bounce" stretching are you? Are you going into full stretch from the get go?
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: For all the health nuts and athletes...

I take a hot water yoga class twice per week. Best way of stretching ever!
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: For all the health nuts and athletes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lencho30 View Post
How exactly are you stretching?? You're not "bounce" stretching are you? Are you going into full stretch from the get go?
I think I may be trying to stretch too far because I don't know what I am doing and my arms are pretty short so I think I should reach farther. Also I almost never stretch them so they've gotten tight over the years. I am not really familar with bounce vs full stretching I'll look up some videos on youtube.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: For all the health nuts and athletes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReadR00ster View Post
I've been trying to get in shape, but usually have neglected my flexibility. I'm not really much of an athlete anymore, but I am trying to stretch more now before exercise. I have always been bad with not doing it because I remember how badly stretching hurts and I've always wanted to get my reps in and get it over with. I am just doing some normal hamstring stretches on the floor and it hurts so bad I want to cry. Is that normal? Is it supposed to feel that horrible?
I'm glad you're wanting to increase your flexibility! As a society we Americans do very well with strengthening and cardio, but we have a low propensity to stretch effectively. Trust me, I see it daily as a PT.

PM me if you'd like to get some specific stretches with technique instruction. I can send you some print outs on these. Good luck in any event!!

PS: proper stretching should include pain that is TOLERABLE!! That is not only normal but desirable.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: For all the health nuts and athletes...

As taylorssc said, DO NOT BOUNCE while stretching.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: For all the health nuts and athletes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Yancey View Post
I take a hot water yoga class twice per week. Best way of stretching ever!
True Dat!! Heat helps increase blood flow and relaxes tension from soft tissue. It allows better movement with more comfort.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: For all the health nuts and athletes...

If you haven't stretched in a long time, you will be sore at first. The same goes for pretty much any activity you do...weight lifting, etc. Just don't overdo it and gradually you're flexibility will come back.

I would recommend going to Walmart and buying something like below for $15. I have it and it's excellent for stretching. As you get stronger/more flexible you can add bands to increase the resistance.

Good luck!


http://www.walmart.com/ip/Gold-s-Gym...h-DVD/12167849
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: For all the health nuts and athletes...

Have you tried warming with light cardio up 1st to get the blood flowing to your muscles?
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:13 PM   #11
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Default Re: For all the health nuts and athletes...

You should only do dynamic movements/stretching prior to exercise. Static stretching is COMPLETELY counter-productive. PM if you want more specifics - it's what I do.

Static stretching prior to exercise decreases performance by about 20%. You don't pull a rubberband out of a freezer and pull it do you?
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Old 09-11-2013, 03:19 PM   #12
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Default Re: For all the health nuts and athletes...

I run and am training for a half marathon in a month. I think I am one of the least flexible people you will meet. I do a very light stretch prior to starting my run, usually just to loosen limbs after sitting behind a desk all day. I do stretch afterward, but I dont overdo it. I'd like to think that even though I am still not flexible that by stretching I have staved away some injury
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:44 PM   #13
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Default Re: For all the health nuts and athletes...

If there is anything worse than my flexibility it's my cardio. Jogging and running are extremely difficult for me to do more than short bursts, I'm just trying to get into though. I also bike a bit, I can go a lot longer than running, and I walk a lot every day. And I do all my toning exercises from home. I am not an exercise junkie. I am just trying to lose weight and get in better shape, slowly. If I over do the exercising it increases my appetite and cravings an incredible amount. I've lost a lot but I am starting to plateau in my weight loss so every time I hit a plateau I try to attack a new muscle group I've been neglecting or do more walking, now I am thinking I need to do some cardio and work on my lower body more. I have been having a trouble with legs and my back. It's kind of like sciatica and hip pain and lower back pain. I have issues because I broke my back and hip in a car accident and have metal screws and rods in there, but the aches have never been this bad after several years. I've heard having weak hamstrings can cause back leg and hip pain so I am working on that.
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: For all the health nuts and athletes...

I'm a former cheerleading coach. Laugh if you want but cheerleading obviously all about flexibility.

As most have said, don't push it. The flexibility will come with time. Get in a regular stretching habit and continue with it and you will see yourself becoming more flexible.

When you're holding a stretch, take a deep breath in. As you should be able to go down a tiny bit further.

I absolutely love stretching. It makes me feel great. The best time to stretch is right after cardio and before strength training. I would always make my girls run to get their heart rate up, then circle up and stretch before we began stunting and tumbling.
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