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Flexibility for inflexible people

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Hey /asp/, I'm a very inflexible person, and I want to change that.

Until recently, I only stretched after I jogged, and for example on the bend-down-with-straight-legs-and-try-to-touch-your-toes stretch, my fingertips only get like 10 cm / 4 inches from the ground, no closer.
I'm in my early thirties, never been very physically active aside from some light jogging. I'm pretty tall (197 cm / 6 foot 5 inches) and normal weight (90 kg / 200 lbs), although I still have a bit of a gut (22% fat according to a test I took recently).

I joined a local yoga class in the hope that that would help, but even though it's open for everyone, I have trouble with even the most basic exercises. For some exercises, I can't even assume the starting position or do the preparatory warm-up exercises. I'm still going to continue taking the class in the hope that it'll get a little better, but I'm hoping that there's other stuff I can try.

Do you guys have any tips, or links to interesting resources, about stretching, improving flexibility, ... Preferably aimed at (or relevant for) inflexible people like me.

Some extra questions :
Do your joints (and tendons etc) need rest after stretching, the ways muscles do? Can you do the same stretching routine every day, or is it better to do it every other day (or split it up, like that set of stretching exercises on even days and another set on odd days etc)?
It's generally best to stretch after you've finished exercising, as far as I know. Are there also advanced stretches (or advanced exercises) that it's best not to even do on the same day at all?
Or can I generally assume that as long as it doesn't hurt "too much" at that time, it's OK to do? (Because, at least in other areas, it's not that simple I think, for example muscles might need 48 hours of rest after heavy training, even though you might feel like you're ready to go after 24 hours, but that would result in far less optimal results).

Thanks!
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>>744564
>Do you guys have any tips

Stretch in the morning when you wake up and at night before you go to bed.

And keep it up, it's perishable. And coming from someone who was hyper flexible (can still do full splits, straddles are garbage now) if you don't continue stretching at least at maintenance levels you'll get really tight and be in a lot of pain (especially lower back because of tight hamstrings).
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>>744564
I always found this youtube from Ryan Hall's dvd on flexibility useful

complete 55 mins
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeA9Z76deDo


part 1 standing stretch
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwcOdkjXGTU


part 2 sitting stretch for leg/general principles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyGYgfj7CAA

part 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgCPPPp1mwY


part 4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4COwn8eadE


part 5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8ikBfCx8z8
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>>744669
Thanks, looks like very interesting material! Much of it is way too advanced for me at the moment, but some of it I should be able to start practicing I think, and this way I have plenty of stuff to keep me busy in the future. And just knowing the English names helps for googling extra info :)

>>744668
Oh, twice per day, that's even more than what I was planning! The morning stretch will be hard to wedge in between getting up and leaving for work, but I suppose as long as it gets me to a decent level of flexibility faster, without harming me, it's worth giving it a shot!

When you're talking about having to keep it up, does that mean that if you become flexible and then lose it again due to neglecting your practice, you'll be significantly worse off than before?
Is that mainly because of the contrast with the period of good flexibility giving the impression of being worse off, or is it actual "objective" extra inflexibility or pain?
If, for some reason (sickness, injury, ...) you do neglect it for a while, how hard is it to work back up to a decent level (or your previous good level)? For strength or endurance, it's usually considered easier to get back to a certain level, than it was to get there the first time, but your comment would suggest that for flexibility, it might actually be harder?

I also thought of another question : how important is it to balance your stretching, both with itself (like flexibility in areas that are activated together for common movements) and with strength (like flexibility in a movement vs strength in the muscles that control the movement). And does that tend to become apparent automatically along the way, or do you have to really pay attention to it, to avoid negative consequences months or years later?
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>>744564
Gymnastic bodies stretch courses
>>742880
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>>744564
When choosing a goal, you should make it specific and a reason for it. Why do you want to be more flexible? What for? For a sport? Just to have normal range of motion after a surgery?

These are the questions you must ask. "I just want to be more flexible" isn't a good goal. You have a multitude of different joints and muscles you can make more flexible.

>>744774
For example, recommending a gymnastics stretching course designed to get someone into a full back bridge, front-splits, and side splits is shitty recommendation without knowing what the OP wants to be more flexible for or how he wants to be more flexible.

Do you want to be more flexible for gymnastics? Than that would be a good recommendation.

Do you want to kick higher? Do you want to squat lower?

There really isn't any point and being more flexible just for the sake of being more flexible.
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>>744815
Not OP, but I recently bulged a disc in my lower back and my hamstrings are shit now.

Best hamstring stretches?
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>>744815
I'm not sure I agree (or understand) 100%. I don't think it's odd for someone to decide "I want more endurance", and then start jogging. Or "I want to be stronger" or "I want to look more muscled", and start weight-training. In none of these cases, there's a well-defined goal, there's just dissatisfaction with the current situation, and a desire to improve, and I think that for those subjects, no one considers that problematic. Why is flexibility different? Is it because it's more dangerous in some way? Easier to fuck up? Harder to know when to stop (for endurance or strength training, improvements naturally level out eventually, and putting in more effort is more or less wasted, but not harmful, but for stretching it might be different)?

My first attempt at refining "I want to be more flexible" would be "I want to have a normal level of flexibility". Which leads me to the question "what is normal flexibility (for a healthy person who takes care of their body)?" :)
The first thing I can think of, for example, is the one I used in my initial post : I want to be able to touch my toes, or the floor, when bending over and reaching down, with straight legs. I think that a normal healthy active person should be able to do that.
Though I suppose it's hard to come up with such easy standards for all areas of flexibility. It'll certainly be harder or more complex than "everyone has to be able to run 5K, ideally in 30 minutes or less" :)

Of course that doesn't mean that, when I reach that supposed baseline, I won't have the desire to go further (the way a runner might then try to strive for a 20 minute 5K, or build up towards a half-marathon at a 10 KPH pace...
But I admit that's not something I've given much thought yet.

>>744774
Thank you!
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>>744901
>Of course that doesn't mean that, when I reach that supposed baseline, I won't have the desire to go further
>But I admit that's not something I've given much thought yet.
You just want to suck your own dick, don't you?
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>>744901
>30 minute 5K
What

>>744925
I want to say auto-fellatio is overrated, but it's really pretty nice. Though I usually only do it when I'm too horny to consider that I'm sucking my own dick until I finish.

Then I can bask in my shame.
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You should warm up before exercising, do some dynamic stretching before exercising, exercise, and then do some static stretching after exercising (maybe cool down after exercising, and then do the static stretching).
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>>744965
I totally agree with this guy.

>warm up
>dynamic stretching
>exercise
>cool down
>static stretching

Alternatively

>warm up
>dynamic stretching
>light exercise
>dynamics stretching
>exercise
>cool down
>dynamic stretching
>statics stretching
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>>744969
>cool down
I always thought you needed to be warm to get the most out of statics. Hence the purpose of doing everything else before.
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>>744972
There's heavy cardio emphasis in my background, so it's usually
>exercise
>walk while exhausted (cool down)
>dynamic stretch once I catch my breath
>static stretch
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>>744875
I am no expert on how to handle back injury, but generally the back is safest when in its natural curvature. So, the common hamstring stretch is to reach down and touch your toes. Most people bend at the spine - this adds no stretch to the hamstrings. Instead you bend at the waist and keep the back in a neutral position so only the hamstrings are stretched.

If that bothers your back due to the isometric contraction of the back muscle, you can use a band or cord and tie around the foot, lay down, and stretch he hamstrings that way. Make sure though that you are again not stretching your spine. Your pelvis will want to lift off the ground which will take the low back with it, causing rounding.

Whether or not this will help, is unknown. Stretching does not always get rid of feeling of tension. It may be due to too much sitting which probably won't be remedied with just a few stretches. You may need to get up every now and then and stand. Or perhaps massage or relaxation exercises.
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>>744972

AFAIK dynamic stretching (usually some seconds for each position) is to reduce injuries. Static stretching (for at least 1 minute each position) is to prevent your muscles/tendons to get shorter after cooling down (a natural reaction of your body when cooling down)..
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Not the OP but I thought I'd ask her as my question is kinda relevant, when doing glutes bridges is there technique I should follow? On phraktured it says if I feel pinching in my lower back then I'm doing it wrong, but I keep trying and still feel that pinching.
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>>745001
Anybody pls?
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>>745036
If glute bridge is what I think it is (I assume it's what I call the back bridge) then you can make the exercise easier by bringing your feet closer to your ass. Dunno how you could mess the technique up tbh - straight line from shoulder blades to knees.

Keep in mind that tension and pinching are different, and it's only bad if it hurts.
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>>744564
Hi OP, I was in the same boots. This one helped. Try masturbating to her, though. Does you no good:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBu-pQG6sTY
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I heard this on /fit/ a while ago, read the book relax into stretch by pavel tsatsouline.
You can probably find a pdf file somewhere.
It's supposed to have great stretches.
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If you want to get more flexible, you must hold your stretches for AT LEAST 1 minute. In fact, if you want to start seeing marked improvement, go for 90 secs, regardless of how far you can go! Connective tissue is not as well vascularized as muscles, so you may try supporting your joints with a bolster to allow yourself to really relax into the stretch (I do this when I stretch middle splits, my flexibility nemesis). If you find there are certain muscle groups that just don't want to chill out, try rolling out.
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>>745001
While that bridge position is good, it is very strenuous on your back stabilization muscles if you are not supporting yourself well. Make sure you are pushing into the floor with your heels, extending through your thighs, lengthening your hips, and engaging correctly your lower abs. You must be in your core engagement before you roll up off the floor (do not just lift your hips -- you must roll your spine). You should work on this position ONLY when you can effectively engage your lower core. Bridge is a good stab exercise, but your back muscles should not be doing all the work because those muscles are designed to keep your spine from rotating. Try other, more subtle back exercises if you are still feeling pain from this one.
Thread posts: 23
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