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Stretching exersises for stiffs!!!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Im a 43y old male person. Did lots of sports when younger and I was in fantastic shape now when I think of it. Im 6 foot 2 with hardly any overweight but stiff stiff stiff (and with a bad back problem)..... Did lots of streaching in combination with martial arts for instance but I was never very flexible. The best I could was reach with my fingertips down and touch my toes. Now I can hardly reach below my knees.

Im calling out for stretching very stiff muscles. All the aerobic stretching like body balance Ive gone to is for alredy flexible young people. I cannot get into those positions and - breath out and relax while I feel my muscles stretch and strech.... It should look like this but its more like this My main sport exept for skiing is tennis and stretching is not part of eather one.

What should I do? Any good pointers? I have considered Hatha Yoga or something similair but I have a day job, 2 children a wife and 2 extra jobs so dont reccomend a taichi 4x2.5h/week.
post #2 of 7


If you were doing proper martial arts stretches that used full range of motion from splits to arm circles, front and back stretch etc., how much more can you do?

Were you using the "ballet bars"? Were you stretching slowly with good timing using partners?

Despite all of that (and I was thinking of this just today), you may have a limited range of motion .... and ... that it may be too late to overcome that part that is "genetic" (your morphology), or "learned/conditioned early", the things we NEVER did as kids, I never stretched.

Because I have a naturally narrow stance, there is not much that can be done ski wise. I have been to "Mecca" (Green Mt. Orthodics) for an analysis and there was nothing they could do to get me wider .... "It's what God gave you, deal with it".

In order to get a side kick with better angle, I spent hours every evening on a stretch rack. The device has a seat and two lever arms connected to a winch and crank. The idea is to crank till the arms spread and you induce discomfort then rest (breathe-zen/or scream) while the muscle and sinew stretch, then crank a bit tighter and spread ..... repeat. I could not stretch (or do a split) in that "plane or range" of motion. My side kick was good, but I always had to adjust (slightly) to the rear, never "square" to the hips. Two years later I was still "A" frame in the rack. I believe that while I was developing I never, as a child, was "double jointed"like some other kids.

Front kicks .... use a partner and stand back to the wall while you have your partner raise the leg to stretch ..... major difference for me.

For general skiing just the usual warm up stretch should do with special attention to the legs and lower tendons.
post #3 of 7
Don't push your limits, at least not for the next couple of months.
Stretch three times a day, everyday.
Hold the stretch for at least 15 seconds (longer is better).
Repeat each stretch three times.
It is better to stretch warm muscles than cold muscles.
post #4 of 7
Originally Posted by Ghost
It is better to stretch warm muscles than cold muscles.
This is critical. Warm room is helpful too. you can gain incredible flexibility by not pushing too hard and having patience and persistance. you have to do it EVERY day and give into it rather than try to 'muscle' a stretch. Pilates or yoga class will help. just 'cause you can't do the pose or whatever now, doesn't mean you won't if you stick with it.
post #5 of 7
Also get a physio to give you those nice stretches where you push with the opposing muscle in between the stretches in the muscle you want to stretch
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for good input here. I believe stretching for "stiffs" is a much overlooked issue since most of the boys and girls taking streching or aerobic kind of lessons like spinning are alredy in very good shape.

Yes, I know about the warming up issue and skiing is a typical sport where its cold and you frequently chill off between the runs while in the lift or standing in que. When I coach or give skiing lessons I allways emphasize stretching but with small kidds its not allways possible.

When I was active doing karate we warmed up, stretched and meditated almost an hour before we started with actual practise. The stretching was also done in pairs and it was actually fun.

Still, I would like to know if there are any good stretching advise you all can come up with.

Disski, I did not understand your previous post?
post #7 of 7
Ummmm I will try to explain

When an opposing muscle (say the front of your leg if you are stretching a hamstring) starts to move then it's opposite number will relax (unless you are a freak like me)

So to stretch a muscle & get a really good stretch you can stretch for 15 seconds... then push against resistance (use the opposing muscle) for 8 seconds then as you relax that you are moving FURTHER into the stretch you started with....

All of mine are in sets of 3 stretch sessions with 2 resistance in the other direction between them....

You need to know which movement switches the relax on in the muscle you are tryng to stretch (eg my physio had a couple of trys before she got one that worked on my stomach muscle thingy)

I think ant has nice tennis ball stuff from her physio (rub the muscles on the ball or something)....
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