Does Stretching Increase Flexibility

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by DGS49, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. DGS49
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    DGS49 Gold Member

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    I have been in ongoing discussions with friends about this for literally decades.

    I maintain that a person's innate flexibility is very limited, and cannot be significantly increased by stretching. People who are flexible at 16 years old remain flexible throughout life (unless they become more or less inert in their lifestyle), and people who are inflexible when young will remain inflexible throughout their lives.

    I started running for health reasons in 1975. Before and after each run, for 35 years, 3-4 times a week, I stretched my various leg muscles and back. When I could no longer run, I continued my stretching regimen in The Gym, and I stretch basically every other day. That's OVER 40 YEARS of stretching faithfully on a regular basis.

    And I am no more flexible today than I was on that first day in 1975. While seated on the floor, with both legs stretched out in front of me, I can barely get within a foot of my toes with my fingertips. After ten minutes of grunting and groaning, I can get to within 6 inches.

    And I use various "tools" to help me go past the point of comfort: ropes, belts, and so on.

    Do you know of anyone who has significantly increased their flexibility by stretching (or Yoga)? I don't.
     
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  2. Marion Morrison
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    Marion Morrison BANNED

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    That's an interesting question! Do you hold your stretches for 45+ seconds?
     
  3. DGS49
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    DGS49 Gold Member

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    Not generally. 15 seconds or so, then repeat three or four times.
     
  4. Marion Morrison
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    In order to gain flexibility, you have to hold for 45 seconds or more. After 15 seconds, the muscle will actually contract back shorter than it was before, kinda like a rubber band that's been snapped back.
     
  5. Cellblock2429
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    Cellblock2429 Gold Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    /-----/ Same with me. Take a Senior Yoga class for adults (not the ones for 20 year olds) You'd be surprised how much it helps. Here you hold the stretches for at least 30 - 45 seconds.
     
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  6. MaryAnne11
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    MaryAnne11 VIP Member

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    My stretching is done in the pool. Stretching helps back pain. And exercise in the pool keeps my legs flexible.
     
  7. Marion Morrison
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    I actually do know someone, and she's really into it. I've witnessed her getting more flexible since we were 14. It's a bit creepy how much she's into it, though, like a religion.

    Yeah, I'm not doing the Lotus thing today. :eusa_naughty:
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
  8. DGS49
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    DGS49 Gold Member

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    I have tried increasing my times to 45 seconds. It is a pain, but I'll give it a few weeks.
     
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  9. Bob Blaylock
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    Bob Blaylock Gold Member

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    For some reason, in the solar power industry, it appears to be a standard practice for installation workers to start each day with a series of stretching exercises. I've worked for two different companies doing solar power installation, and both had this practice. With my current employer, the only project I've been on where we didn't have stretching exercises was also the only non-solar project that I've so far been on with this company.

    As I've grown older, I have increased in strength and robustness, but generally decreased in agility. However, since I've been doing solar, I have noticed an increase in my agility compared to before I was doing this kind of work. I cannot say for certain that it is the stretching exercises that have caused this,but it certainly is the most obvious conclusion.
     
  10. DGS49
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    Tai chi? It works wonders for millions in Asia.
     

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