Flexibility: Is such an important aspect of every day life.
It is important to recognize that stretching is a necessary part of your training.
Limitations in flexibility must be considered on an individual basis, not based on one population (dancers, football players, Runners), because of the inherent variations between each person in that group.
That’s why I don’t post a lot of articles about the “best” stretches and exercises for improving X, Y or Z, for a particular ailment, performance enhancement, or population.
Excessive stretching to achieve a degree of mobility and ligament laxity can cause trouble for our bodies, .
I believe that you can develop amazing flexibility and learn to manage it safely and effectively, but this takes movement honesty, the ability to tune-in to one’s body, and self-respect: things you aren’t generally taught about stretching.
Follow any stretching program consistently and progressively from a place of honesty, awareness, and respect for you body’s limits, and you’ll probably get flexible safely.
Is there a “best” stretching program? NO. But there is a “best” intention and mindset for stretching.
At what point does stretching become dangerous or ineffective
You feel bones start to bump into each other, like when you’re doing the splits but you feel a crunchy block in your lower back.
You no longer feel muscles stretching, but ligaments, joint capsule, and other passive structures loading.
Let’s say you’ve taken stretching to it’s maximum potential and you’ve hit a flexibility plateau. You’ve hit a wall and are beginning to believe you’re no longer working with a tissue extensibility issue.
These are likely to be the two main factors that are limiting your flexibility:
Static joint position: A habitual posture you can’t get out of, joints compressing to provide support and proprioception to your body and you don’t want to leave that “happy place”.
Nervous system putting on the the brakes. Your brain perceives something might be unsafe to move into and adds extra tension at rest as a protective measure. You can’t just “stretch away” this type of increased muscle tone.
Either stuff gets compressed, stuck short, and you can’t move out of or go further into that position because it feels unsafe,
Stuff is already stretched out, stuck long, and under high tension, so you can’t move out of or go further into that position because it feels unsafe.
Which leads us to a very important myth we need to stop perpetuating: “If it feels tight, stretch it.”
What if you are stuck in a position due to compression, OR
You have a chronic tendonitis or tendonopathy
If you are dehydrated
You have to hold your breath and make a squishy face to “survive” a stretch
Your pain symptoms or feelings of tightness are exacerbated after stretching
At this point its time to stop stretching and listen to our bodies, if the stretching your performing every day isnt working anymore, try thinking outside the box !