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Monkey Girl
Sep 25, 2008, 09:33 PM
OK - so I am going back in after 8 years out. Had more flat tires on my poor old body than I care to talk about. Presently, I am a body-weight fan that teaches Body Pump, so I am indeed "fit". (and I use USA and can do pullups and massive pushups - NOT the girlie kind)

FLEXIBILITY is my question. It's been a long time since I've done splits, and my back, wuile letting me clean and press heavy weights, has ZERO flexibility.

Anyone have any suggestions as to a "ramp up" for me? It's my legs and back mostly that lack. I want to achieve flexibility like I've never had before along with power and cardio stamina. Suggestions?

cheesedog
Sep 26, 2008, 01:55 AM
The usual practice is dynamic stretches before your workout, such as leg swings, arm circles, deep squats and lunges, toe touches and so on, with static stretches after the workout. If you can stand some pain to achieve gains much faster try PNF stretching. Google it!

CSta
Sep 26, 2008, 08:54 AM
If your back is strong enough to handle them, good mornings are a good exercise to stretch and strengthen your hamstrings. If your back is not strong enough for good mornings, start out with back extensions on the floor and then progress to back extensions on a bench, eventually adding weights. If you reach the point were there is too much weight on the bar for you to safely do good mornings, switch to stiff leg dead lifts.

olinek
Sep 26, 2008, 11:53 AM
You don't really need back flexibility. At least not lower back flexibility unless you are a contortionist. But for martial arts as in most athletic activities, you want a stiff lumbar. Your back flexibility should be in the thoraic spine.

The book "Stretching Scientifically" is the single best piece of literature I have ever read on stretching (it is aimed at martial artists btw). Pavel's super joints and relax into stretch are also good.. (you can... find some rather long quotes from them... if you know what I mean).

http://www.trickstutorials.com/index.php?page=content/flexibility

This is a good summary of what is inside Stretching Scientifically, without the intense science lesson.

CSta
Sep 26, 2008, 03:07 PM
The book olinek refers to has a companion DVD (sold separately) that provides a lower body workout to help you achieve front and side splits. Go to Stadion.com. Another flexibility/conditioning DVD source is ElasticSteel.net. In the great debate over which source is better, I think there is no answer. Incidentally, Stretching Scientifically happened to be at my local library, in case you're as cheap as I am.

P.S. check out the Stretching Reference Thread (Sticky) in the Training Reference section.