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Need help with stretches and flexibility.

Discussion in 'Fitness, Health & Nutrition' started by YeshuamySalvation, May 5, 2012.

  1. YeshuamySalvation

    YeshuamySalvation Senior Member

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    Only three months back i began taking Kungfu classes. Kungfu sparked an interest in me i never had, thought of, nor cared. The interest it sparked was to work on becoming more flexible. Mind you, when i first began taking classes i was embarrassed, i was having trouble raising my leg 2 inches of the ground when side kicking. When stretching down with my feet together i had trouble reaching my knees. I was the stiffest person in class and possibly in the world. Heck, even the people that started the same day i started were far more flexible than i. I began to stretch hard on my own. It's been 3 months now and i'm still having trouble reaching my toes. I can reach my toes when i'm warm with some effort and surprisingly i am able to hold it. However, this is not convincing to me. I want to be able to touch my toes without putting any effort and i feel i should have been there by now.

    I am pleased however on how far i am able to go on my straddle split considering i am not that far from the floor. Though what i've accomplished with the straddle split is nothing short of amazing in my opinion, i am still displeased with the fact that i have no hip mobility while i'm on the split. It would be very displeasing to me to be able to fall on the split but not to be able to throw my body forward because my immobile hips and stiff back wont allow me to. I stretch my back backwards (Cobra) and forward everyday and i still feel it's pretty stiff.

    What really frustrates me about my hard work in becoming more flexible is the fact that every part of the body that i stretch is always pretty sore, and soreness dates to 3 months back with no recovery, but i put the pain behind me and for the past three months i've been ignoring it and working through pain. I've conditioned my mind to think and believe that the reason why i'm always sore from stretching could be because i am putting my body through something that is totally foreign to it. However, i cannot explain why has 3 months past and i still feel sore every single day from stretching. Is stretching and becoming flexible really this hard? In my youth i was a weight lifter and a heavy one, i remember being very successful at everything i wanted to accomplish and i can assure you of one thing, IT WAS NOT as PAINFUL as acquiring flexibility.

    Women are amazing, we have some new girls in class that are out of shape and they still stretch further than i lol. I guess Women are just naturally elastic.
     
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  2. DaisyDay

    DaisyDay blind squirrel

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    Women are generally more flexible, but this comes with the downside of weaker joints.

    It may be a mistake to force flexibility rather than to relax into it. As you breathe out, relax down a bit further, but not so much that you feel real pain. You can injure yourself by forcing yourself through pain.

    Many people, ballet dancers included, have had good results using the rubber resistance bands.
     
  3. YeshuamySalvation

    YeshuamySalvation Senior Member

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    You ain't kidding. I don't know about weaker joints, i have very weak joints myself and i was as stiff as a brick wall. I have a huge problem with my Illiotibial band that causes the outer part of my right knee to weaken and hurt on almost every strenuous workout. I've worked through a lot of pain these past 3 months Daisy, i have no idea how i'm doing it, but i'm no where near where i want to be. I would like to see faster results.

    Yeah, when i first started taking Kungfu i didn't know this, it was the instructors that continued telling me to focus on my breathing. Breathing comes natural to me now after so much repetition. At first it was extremely hard to relax into the stretch no matter how affective i was at breathing out, but with practice i got better at it. I try not to stretch beyond what my range of motion permits, i just get kind of desperate at not seeing much results. I stretch every day Daisy and i haven't seen any results in the past 2 weeks. I mean how long does this take?

    Women are a marvelous creation of God, i knew i needed the advice of a woman to get the tools i need for what i'm doing. You haven't the slightest idea how much you've helped in your very short post. I went to sports authority today and bought those rubber resistance bands i knew nothing about prior to our conversation. Thank you Daisy. Only problem is that i don't really know, or rather don't understand how to use these things. The yellow band is light, the Red band is medium and the blue is heavy. What is the meaning of this? I am not one to conjecture, but my first thought was that most probably the heavy one creates tension and muscle something i really have no need of creating more of. Am i understanding this correctly?
     
  4. DaisyDay

    DaisyDay blind squirrel

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    Perhaps if you go to Youtube and look for "resistance bands flexibility" you'll find what you're looking for.
     
  5. makeitwork

    makeitwork Newbie

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    sometimes your hips and hamstrings play apart of your flexibilty too.

    there's a stretch i do its called the pigeon pose...this will stretch out your hips (look this pose up on the web)

    what i do for my hamstrings i have a stretch band, (you can use a towel too) put it on your foot, lay down, put your leg up, foot flex, and hold for 20 seconds.

    hope this helps.
     
  6. YeshuamySalvation

    YeshuamySalvation Senior Member

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    Great suggestion, i'm going to look this up immediately.

    Yeah, i recently purchased a stretch band, but i noticed it is not the best out there. I saw a pretty good stretch band online that does not elastically bend towards you, rather it forces you stretch. Maybe i'm just having trouble understanding my stretch band lol. I have questions for you. Have you any idea how often we should stretch the same muscles a week? I stretch them everyday and i get the feeling i am not giving them time to recover and that is why i am always in pain. I've doubled my flexibility in 3 months, however, if pain is always persistent, well, lets just say there has to be something i am doing wrong.
     
  7. makeitwork

    makeitwork Newbie

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    you should stretch before and after your workout.

    hold your stretch for 20 seconds release and do the same stretch other side.

    be careful not to over stretch, you will know if you over stretch when your in pain.

    also try the butterfly stretch you sit down, bring your feet in, don't force the feet let them go where it feels comfortable for you, and stay in this position for 20 seconds. this releases an stress on your hips, inner and outer thighs, and lower back.

    sumo wrestler stretch~stand up, spread your legs apart, point your toes to the corners of the room, squat down, place your hands on knees, or place your elbows inbetween your knees and fold your hands in prayer position, again hold this stretch for 20 seconds. this too will stretch your inner and outer thighs.

    i've been doing yoga for a year, and i still can't bring my feet inbetween my hands, but that's ok i am getting closer.
     
  8. YeshuamySalvation

    YeshuamySalvation Senior Member

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    I've been doing Kungfu since January of this year and i will be advancing to red sach on June 1, 2012. I was reading an article online on yoga poses, diets and supplements you must take that contribute in enhancing flexibility pretty rapidly.. Here is the link Yoga Poses & Yoga Exercises are NOT Enough for Flexibility..

    Yoga must be pretty fun.. I need your expertise on this one. I got to admit that Yogis are pretty flexible lol.
     
  9. makeitwork

    makeitwork Newbie

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    i do yoga at home, i am a beginner/intermediate.

    this has really helped my lower, hamstrings, and calves.

    in 07 i was in a car accident, two cars hit me in the front, while i was at the stop light.

    the pt helped me some what, but not as much as yoga.

    i get massages its called swedish massage, but now i want to do the hot stone, and i am thinking about doing acupuncture, but i am still chicken.
     
  10. YeshuamySalvation

    YeshuamySalvation Senior Member

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    I see.

    I'm going to have to start taking hatha yoga. I hear that in yoga different muscles are stretched everyday meaning that each muscle in the body is stretched once a week. Is this true?

    I'm sorry to hear this. Thank the almighty yoga was the answer to your problem.

    I done the Biomagnetic Therapy.. This raised my PH levels from acidic to slightly Alkaline, and ever since i took the therapy i changed my diet and i don't get sick as much as i use to.. I want a swedish massage, my body aches so much from all this stretching specially after kungfu class yesterday. Don't be afraid of acupuncture, i hear it's extremely beneficial.
     
  11. tashaleeministry

    tashaleeministry Newbie

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    i have been extremely inflexible for most of my life. the last few years i started switching my diet to include a lot more raw fruits and veggies. this have greatly lessened the amount of time i need to recover from workouts. also, eating fruit immediately upon cessation of exercise really has helped with recovery.

    in these last few years my flexibility is getting better and better, and i really think it has a lot to do with my diet, because i tried before and did not really improve much. like you, i am finally getting close to the splits and straddles, and this is something i have never been able to do in my life...and now getting close (as an adult)...i am just amazed.

    here is a video i made a while back of stretches i do before and after workouts...i guess for someone who does yoga these are probably nothing but they really helped me improve bit by bit to where i am now, so maybe they can help someone else. :)

    oh i guess i can't post the link. my youtube channel is "healthyskinnybeauty" and i have a fitness playlist.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
  12. YeshuamySalvation

    YeshuamySalvation Senior Member

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    Hello, and thanks for replying. Truly, i'm to the point where i am getting frustrated.. My flexibility is improving far to slow for my patience. I eat lots of organic fruits and veggies daily and i remain very sore every single day of my life because of my workouts and Kungfu training. I also buy amazing grass organic supplements, raw reserved organic super foods and take it on a daily bases. I am now taking MSM with glucosamine hydrochloride, and what do you know, i still get super sore and my flexibility has improved very little in the past month. Seems that my flexibility was improving at a rapid rate when i first started stretching specially after the first 2 months. The past three months i feel it has improved very slowly and i am frustrated as can be:mad:

    I saw your aerobic warmups. In Kungfu, our warmups are very different. I am going to try warming up like you do and then get to stretching. Your warmup seems far less frustrating than Kungfu really..

    Thanks a million for the link. I am going to put some of the things i learn from you into practice. I am losing my patience with all of this but i don't believe in quitting. If you have any other ideas on how to get more flexible rapidly please share it with me.

    Blessings.
     
  13. tashaleeministry

    tashaleeministry Newbie

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    so glad you were able to get some ideas that might be helpful!
    hmmm...some other thoughts to consider:
    one thing I have learned recently is that it is so important to rest. the more we exercise, the more rest we require. kenyan marathon runners train for 4 hours a day and then are horizontal for 20 hours in the peak of their training season.
    eating fruit right after exercise is really helpful...but also resting enough so the body can re-build what has been torn in the workouts...if we keep tearing down and not allowing the body enough time to re-build, we won't see positive results. do you sleep 12 hours per night? or lie in bed that long? most people have no idea how much sleep they really need because they use stimulants like coffee and soda, or even sugar, to get through the day.
    if you can fall back asleep when you wake up in the morning, your body needs more sleep...
    drinking lots of water is important too...and avoiding eating and drinking things that acidify our bodies--which happens with just about everything except raw fruits and veggies. :)
     
  14. YeshuamySalvation

    YeshuamySalvation Senior Member

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    I imagined they trained that hard. Those people run for miles without tiring.

    No, i sleep 6 to 8 hours when i come from work at 5Am and on my three days off i sleep another 8hrs at night.. Sundays are my really bad days at work since its a 15hr shift and i still manage to get at least 6hrs of sleep from 5Am to about 11Am or 12pm. By 2 O'clock i have to be at work and i don't get out until 5Am again. I think for the most part i do get pretty good sleep.


    I didn't realize coffee was so bad, specially the ones they sell with Ganoderma which is a very healthy herb. Further research has lead me to conclude that coffee is terrible whether it contains Ganoderma or not for those of us who are trying to acquire more range of motion from our training.. Coffee makes us stiffer and when stretching it becomes much easier to tear something. Let me not even speak about how awful sodas can be, not only for range of motion, but for over all health and weight as well.. I believe soda to be the #1 contributer in today's unhealthy and obesit people. Soda is like a drug to most. Some people say they hate water and can only drink soda or fruit juice. I can't deny the fact that fruit juices are just as bad not only because of the amount of sugar they contain, but also because of the kind of cheap sugar it has in it. High Fructose Corn Syrup is nothing to toy with. I don't understand why people resort to these types of unhealthy processed fast foods filled with preservatives when the healthy ones are so much better tasting and healthier..

    Alkalinity is something far to important for me. For the most part, i buy Organic foods, it is only the few fruits that i cannot find Organic that i am forced to buy none Organic. For instance, i cannot find Guanabana that is Organic, i think it is Soursop in English if i am not mistaken. Well, in Spanish we call that fruit a natural chemotherapy for cancer patients.. Why can i not find this fruit Organic in Florida.. I shy from buying it most of the times because i cannot find it Organic. I drink plenty of water as well. Like i said before, i am also taking MSM with Glucosamine Hydrochloride and. This has strengthen my right knee a great deal. I suffer from iliotibial band syndrome on my right knee and the MSM and Glucosamine have strengthen my right knee so much to the point where i do not feel any discomfort when training. Usually my knee would swell after training and sprinting, that is not happening any longer ever since i started taking MSM with Glucosamine. I am still not satisfied with the slow gains in flexibility.. Is there something i might be doing wrong? I also take the many super foods our body needs for recovery in a supplement ones daily called Amazing grass raw reserved.
     
  15. tashaleeministry

    tashaleeministry Newbie

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    wow, so funny! someone just mentioned that to me about guanabana and soursop the other day. :) i am in florida too--south florida. maybe we are neighbors! :)

    i am not sure what else i can tell you...i just try to do the basics...fresh air, enough sleep, rest/relaxation, vitamin D, pure water, etc.

    for me, diet has been the biggest factor in my changes. what do you typically eat in a day?

    i think also since changing my diet i have been much more in tune with my body and much better able to "listen to it". so if it is tired, i rest. in the past, i trained anyway.

    oh here's something...the simpler we eat, the less our body has to spend energy on digesting and the more it can spend energy on healing (and re-building what is torn down). so i often eat mono-meals (one type of fruit, like 5 bananas is my meal). i feel a lot more energetic and like things heal faster the simpler i eat.

    i used to have IT band syndrome. i remember how glucosamine helped for it. now i try to do low-impact stuff. i think i burned out my knees playing soccer for many years and then aggravated my knee with tight hamstrings and imbalances in my muscles. i am very conservative with exercise now because i don't want to get knee replacements like so many of my soccer and running friends...some with disastrous results. it is odd since i have had to re-think everything i have believed my whole life...resting instead of overdoing, listening to my body, being conservative and moderate.

    i read a book from health101.org called "Avoiding degenerative disease" and it is one of the best books i have ever read. i learned so much in there and it jived so much with my experience yet was contrary to popularly-held teachings on a lot of things...and backed by research that is not popular. one of the results was that i really questioned what i was doing as a personal trainer/group exercise instructor...now studying holistic nutrition and natural healing. :)
     
  16. YeshuamySalvation

    YeshuamySalvation Senior Member

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    How funny lol. I live in South Florida as well.. I actually live in Hialeah Gardens Florida.. I go to a school called Kungfu Connections located in North Miami. It has helped me a lot these past six months in making changes in my life for the better..

    I do these. I take 1000 mil daily of Vitamin D.

    I think you are right. I imagine if i wasn't dieting what a disaster i would be.. If i'm dieting and i'm in pain i imagine if i did not diet what would be of me? Truth is i changed my diet 6 months ago when i chose to start Kungfu so i really don't know what would be of me if i had continued in my old ways lol.

    Today i came from work at 5am as always. I woke up at 2pm sleeping 9hrs. I'm going to KungFu at 6:45pm and i will sleep tonight again. I was told to stretch everyday in Kungfu. I for some reason love to feel a stretch and the soreness that comes from it, because if i don't, i feel as if i am not doing anything. Is this the correct approach? Say, maybe i can ask a question that your answer may provide tremendous insights.. I stretch six days a week twice or even three times daily for the most part. I've been told in Kungfu that you are suppose to stretch everyday. However, i do not know with how much intensity i am suppose to stretch everyday and how often. Neither do i know if it's a good idea to stretch the same muscles everyday. I pretty much try to stretch my whole body daily but i will attack my most inflexible muscles vehemently on a daily bases. Maybe i just don't know what in the world am i doing. The only thing i am clear on is that you need to synchronize your breathing, ones you exhale you can try and go a bit further. I've tried to research over the internet if it is necessary to stretch the same muscles everyday or work on different muscles daily but nothing comes up explaining that.

    I love bananas. I cannot buy them here because they will not make it past one day. Bananas is my favorite fruit dating till i was a child. I try to eat very simple. MSM and Glucosamine seem to heal me pretty well. I just think my workout are probably to intense maybe.

    How funny.. You and i got the same injury for the same reasons. TIGHT HAMSTRINGS lol. When i first started stretching on January i could not even reach my knees on a hamstring stretch. Heck, on a sit and reach stretch i could not even keep my back straight without feeling extreme pain in my hamstrings. I usually couldn't take the pain and my back would force me to fall backwards. In other words, i could not sit comfortably in a 90 degree angle without feeling extreme pain. Now no one can get any more pathetic than that can they? I sprained my knees and ankles all the time playing basket ball with younger kids. I trained martial arts with a friend two years ago and on one encounter when sparring i naturally just fell on my right knee for no apparent reason. The guy didn't even touch me. I was in extreme pain. ever since that injury my right knee has been very weak. MSM and Glucosamine have done the job though. I truly recommend MSM really! Do some research on MSM.. It has tremendous health benefits..

    I am one that loves to read too. I am going to have to read this book you are recommending for sure.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012
  17. tashaleeministry

    tashaleeministry Newbie

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    sorry, i am not a yoga or kungfu person so i don't know the answer.
    i am learning that what i was taught in sports and fitness pursuits...well, it might not be the best thing for my body...as my injuries and such should indicate to me. overdoing it, etc. definitely i would suggest reading Don's book...though you may not like what he has to say about exercise...it is not popular. :)
    i listen to my body, don't stretch to the point of pain, and ask God when i am sore if i need to just skip that day and let my body recover or if i should do something. God knows best...He created our bodies. :)
     
  18. YeshuamySalvation

    YeshuamySalvation Senior Member

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    I know you aren't. I don't know much of Hatha Yoga since I've never practiced it nor do i have an interest in practicing it. I meant to ask you how many times a week should we stretch muscles? For instance, if we stretch hamstrings and shoulders today should we be stretching them tomorrow again? Or should we be stretching other muscle groups the very next day and rest the muscles we stretched the previous day? That's what i meant. I want to know how that works in your opinion. I know for a fact you know far more than i of how stretching and flexibility work. I started stretching 6 months ago only. I need your experts opinion if you don't mind:D

    But i may agree with what he says though. I am extremely open minded and i don't back up popular opinions unless proven true. I know my questioning can be annoying to some but try to bare with me. I love to learn from others as much as possible. Trust me that my intentions is not to annoy anyone. I am only trying to learn from you..

    Yes, it is true that God knows best, no doubt. But we are fellowshipping here as believers. God works through us like that as well:)

    Blessings.
     
  19. tashaleeministry

    tashaleeministry Newbie

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    haha, i am not an expert on stretching by any means. :)
    as a fitness professional, i would say it is important to warm up before exercising and cool-down afterward. stretching is important for flexibility and a great time to stretch (the whole body) is after muscles are warmed up from a workout. stretching cold muscles can strain them. (i have hurt myself stretching cold muscles.)
    stretch 3-5 times a week for flexibility.

    the above is what i can tell you as a professional.
    personally, i like to stretch after exercising so that my muscles don't get too tight. when i recently injured my hip, it was from overdoing my exercise and all the muscles were very tight. so when that happened, i was stretching every time i felt pain, which was quite often during the day. the muscles have slowly loosened up and i have been stretching much less frequently. i hit every muscle group when i stretch, but spend some extra time on areas that feel tight when i stretch them.

    from what you are saying it sounds like there is a possibility you could be overdoing it on stretching, but i really don't know. stretching to pain is not good. going slow is good, breathing is good. listening to your body is good. i never realized that stretching took so much work, but when i got injured and stretched so much during the day, i saw that it really does. if things feel tight, stretch. i don't know that flexibility for the sake of super-flexibility is that great. i stretch so that i don't have pain from tightness, and have progressed to more flexibility. but it is possible to be overly flexible and then hurt oneself.

    i personally find myself getting more flexible because i feel "tight" so i stretch to where things don't feel "tight" anymore...and day by day, i have to stretch further to not feel "tight" as i get more flexible. it is interesting. i don't push myself just to reach a flexibility goal--that does not seem safe to me, and i am all about avoiding injury. i just stretch to where i feel "better" and not tight. hope that makes sense.
     
  20. sk8Joyful

    sk8Joyful Well-Known Member

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    Hello,
    What do you mean in my youth?
    since you last were "very successful at everything i wanted to accomplish", how have you kept limber?

    Also a weight-lifter uses much different muscles, than Hip-flexibility.

    Too, you should never! push yourself to the point of pain;
    asking for complications, you may already have.

    familiar with Evgeni Plushenko? ;) world's greatest :clap: single-men's Figureskater (a triple Olympic medalist). Well, he practiced... until he too (just like the Sasha Cohen: greatest :clap:single-women's Figureskater) owned the Biehlmann :thumbsup: spiral:
    skate on one foot, & pull the Free-foot above your head in a vertical Split
    , like this:
    1. Sasha Cohen (Art on Ice 2010) | photoya.de
    and
    2. Anaïs Morand & Antoine Dorsaz (Art on Ice 2010) | photoya.de
    This position I held too last year in my skates,
    off the ice as learning balance for this while moving...

    and
    in this of Evgeni's Best performances, watch him skate the Biehlmann at 3 mins.:
    Plushenko Nijinsky Best Performance Eleven 6.0s!! - YouTube

    If you are experiencing pain, STOP - and ask a Physical therapist, or Sports Massage therapist
    to show you correct ways of stretching... like the PSOAS-muscle.

    Remember: Always warm up before exercising and cool-down afterward.

    Happy Stretching :thumbsup:
     
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