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Thread: Flexibility question

  1. #1
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    Default Flexibility question

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    I have an unusual question to ask somebody who lives in Texas but as a Canadian I might be in this situation and I'd like to know your opinion.

    Let's say I train a 16 year old who plays hockey. He decided that strength was important and everything. After 6 months, the season is about to restart and he tells me he want to play goalie and want to increase his flexibility to attain a better level of play since flexibility around the groin and hip area is important to goalies (I don't know if you've seen a hockey game, but they often do rapid lateral movement and continuously stand and go back into a kneeling position).

    So I guess my question is would you then recommend stretching or something else to increase/help with the flexibility to play at a high level or would you just put it as a skill that will get better through practice?

    I would think that since you want to prevent injuries, is there something that we can do as coaches to help?

    thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Default

    Is he flexible enough to play goalie now?

  3. #3
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    I have wondered this question myself. I took a five year hiatus from Muay Thai, and now that I'm back into it, I cannot kick nearly as high as before.

    So, I am not as flexible as I need to be for Muay Thai, and have been curious how to fix it. Is it better to statically stretch, dynamically stretch, or just practice the sport?

  4. #4
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    It was hypothetical question, but let's say he needs more flexibility because he can't get in and out of some position quick enough, can we do something to help him?

    I guess what I'm trying to say is, can we use the same stress/adaptation principle we use for strength training and use it to ''train'' his flexibility or since we classify his flexibility as a specific skill, we kind of let it grow by itself through the practice of the sport?

    Or another question could be, does the connective tissues and muscles bellies can be stress in a way that would create an adaptation that would result in better flexibility? Or is flexibility more of an innate skill/capacity that we can't train to get a lot better like the standing vertical jump?

  5. #5
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    If he's not flexible enough, he needs to stretch. This should be obvious.

  6. #6
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    Fair enough but since there is no quantitative way to measure the progress the athlete makes since stretching is more a ''feeling'' kind of activity, is their a way to know how much stress we put on a joint and then make sure the recovery time is adequate? Is static stretching enough of a stress to gain moderate to big ''gains'' in the long term? Am I overthinking the stress/adaptation principle by applying it to every activity?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vino View Post
    It was hypothetical question, but let's say he needs more flexibility because he can't get in and out of some position quick enough, can we do something to help him?

    I guess what I'm trying to say is, can we use the same stress/adaptation principle we use for strength training and use it to ''train'' his flexibility or since we classify his flexibility as a specific skill, we kind of let it grow by itself through the practice of the sport?

    Or another question could be, does the connective tissues and muscles bellies can be stress in a way that would create an adaptation that would result in better flexibility? Or is flexibility more of an innate skill/capacity that we can't train to get a lot better like the standing vertical jump?
    You need both. As Mark states, if you are not flexible enough, you need to increase flexibility.

    He would need to keep training his skills and add stretching. Once the required level of flexibility is reached, his training should be enough to keep him where he needs to be (as long as he's adopting those positions often) then specific "stretching" can be reduced or eliminated.

    Quote Originally Posted by JimtheConquerer View Post
    I have wondered this question myself. I took a five year hiatus from Muay Thai, and now that I'm back into it, I cannot kick nearly as high as before.

    So, I am not as flexible as I need to be for Muay Thai, and have been curious how to fix it. Is it better to statically stretch, dynamically stretch, or just practice the sport?
    Been there Jim! I would suggest all 3. The key is not to stretch to get your kick back, but to stretch to allow you to get your kick back. If that makes sense.
    Like you do not want to do 30 minutes of leg stretches etc to kick high. Instead, you stretch a bit, practice your kicks and repeat. In time your kick will come back because the technique was drilled as the flexibility was increased. I would say it is a similar process to if you had not squatted for 5 years, you would work on your form while gradually increasing the weight until you are back to where you were before.

    I am in total agreeance with Mark that performing movements through full ROM should be enough. I went from your standard "stretch everything!" to no longer stretch before martial arts training. I just have to make sure I always train key postures and positions to "maintain" the ability to adopt them. If I get lazy and skip some for too long or I find I cant get into the position easily, I go to back to adding a little stretching before until its back.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vino View Post
    It was hypothetical question, but let's say he needs more flexibility because he can't get in and out of some position quick enough, can we do something to help him?

    I guess what I'm trying to say is, can we use the same stress/adaptation principle we use for strength training and use it to ''train'' his flexibility or since we classify his flexibility as a specific skill, we kind of let it grow by itself through the practice of the sport?

    Or another question could be, does the connective tissues and muscles bellies can be stress in a way that would create an adaptation that would result in better flexibility? Or is flexibility more of an innate skill/capacity that we can't train to get a lot better like the standing vertical jump?
    Are you having him squat? If so, he should be getting more flexible in those areas. If he is extremely tight, just have him do some deep leg presses like Rip shows in the Leg Press video. This opens things up just fine. Nothing complicated necessary.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Vino View Post
    Fair enough but since there is no quantitative way to measure the progress the athlete makes since stretching is more a ''feeling'' kind of activity, is their a way to know how much stress we put on a joint and then make sure the recovery time is adequate? Is static stretching enough of a stress to gain moderate to big ''gains'' in the long term? Am I overthinking the stress/adaptation principle by applying it to every activity?
    If you can't quantitatively measure an increase in flexibility, you're not stretching effectively. If you need recovery time from your stretching, you're overdoing your stretching. Static stretching has worked pretty well for a couple thousand years. You are overthinking all of this irrelevant stretching shit.

  10. #10
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    Tony

    Stretching can be trained and it can be quantifiably measured, I can attest to this through 10 years worth of martial arts doing that damn stuff. Now I dont play hockey but ive seen what good goalies can do both in field and ice. He will need to stretch because of the required hip/groin flexibility for that position. Mark is correct, if he pulls up sore after stretching then it was done far too vigorously, there is no need for that. Stretching should be relaxed into and although will cause some obvious minor discomfort should not hurt. Pulling angry faces is a sure tell your stretching too hard. The key with stretching is to do it often.

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