Stretching Safely and Effectively--and Teaching Others How to Do the Same

lifespantkd

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As an older practitioner and an instructor of Taekwondo, I have a strong interest in stretching--how to do it to meet my own needs and how to teach correct stretching to diverse students. I've been reading "Stretching Scientifically: A Guide to Flexibility Training" by Thomas Kurz. It has explained why I've improved my flexbility rapidly in some areas and slowly in others. It goes into much greater detail and provides much more of the "why" than some other guides to stretching that I've read. The researcher in me really appreciates how the content of the book is built on a large body of research. How many of you use this very well-referenced text to guide your own stretching? And, if you teach Taekwondo and use the book to guide your teaching of stretching, how do you use it in the context of a class with diverse ages, genders, abilities...when each individual really needs to customize their stretching to match their own ever-changing needs?

Thank you!

Cynthia
 

mastercole

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As an older practitioner and an instructor of Taekwondo, I have a strong interest in stretching--how to do it to meet my own needs and how to teach correct stretching to diverse students. I've been reading "Stretching Scientifically: A Guide to Flexibility Training" by Thomas Kurz. It has explained why I've improved my flexbility rapidly in some areas and slowly in others. It goes into much greater detail and provides much more of the "why" than some other guides to stretching that I've read. The researcher in me really appreciates how the content of the book is built on a large body of research. How many of you use this very well-referenced text to guide your own stretching? And, if you teach Taekwondo and use the book to guide your teaching of stretching, how do you use it in the context of a class with diverse ages, genders, abilities...when each individual really needs to customize their stretching to match their own ever-changing needs?

Thank you!

Cynthia


Back in the 90's I got his video, I think he did a good job on the production, but I never added anything to our classes from the video. If I recall correctly, he did seem to believe in an active type of stretching, which we were already doing, but his methods were different. But I thought he was on the right track.

All our dojang classes are family classes, everyone does the same thing. We do tell older folks to modify any difficult drills. The very first thing we do in classes is jog and skip around the room, then we blend in a variety of active stretches, joint rotations, more jogging and skipping, motions that copy other sports movements, some sitting down stretches. Next we form rows and do sprints, a series of explosive, speed, agility, strength, sport specific exercises and a little more stretching. Then regular class starts.

So we warm up really good before stretching, and stretching still takes place during warm up, and even during athletic drills.

I learned that mostly from elite Taekwondo athletes, and from coaches and professors who also held physical ed/athletic degrees. I learned it at different times, at different places around the world. It changes from time to time as we experience something new to add or drop something we feel is less effective, or covered by some other drill.

The most recent experiences that had a change on our dojangs athletic development routines would be from the Taekwondo coach from Seoul Chego High School, who visited here a couple of years ago, and from an elite Taekwondo athlete from Yong-In University that lived with us during the summer and trained with my sons everyday, 3 sessions X 2+ hours.
 

Manny

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How many time of an hour TKD class must used to do the warm up and stretching? It's 15 minutes enough?

Manny
 

StudentCarl

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How many time of an hour TKD class must used to do the warm up and stretching? It's 15 minutes enough?

Manny

Manny,
I'm no expert, but I think the key is how you use that time...especially for us older folks who take longer to warm up and stretch out. Combining warmup and stretching is key, as is stretching progressively so you are doing more at the end of the time than at the beginning. Junior students need instruction so they stretch effectively and don't just go through the motions. Especially for us older students, but for everyone, if you feel the need for more stretches before class or during pauses in activity, then you should stretch more.

Carl
 

mastercole

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Manny,
I'm no expert, but I think the key is how you use that time...especially for us older folks who take longer to warm up and stretch out. Combining warmup and stretching is key, as is stretching progressively so you are doing more at the end of the time than at the beginning. Junior students need instruction so they stretch effectively and don't just go through the motions. Especially for us older students, but for everyone, if you feel the need for more stretches before class or during pauses in activity, then you should stretch more.

Carl

This is a good point about age, or even just people who have a tough time with flexibility. I always tell older students, if they feel the need that day to warm up/stretch more, then go off on the side and do so, it's never a problem. Our warmup/stretch routine can usually go anywhere from about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on what we decide to do that day, who is in class, and how the groups seems to be moving during the routine. Earlier this week, I noticed some students seemed be a little tight/tense during some drills, so in the middle I had one of our Dan holders who is very flexible run everyone through about 10 minutes of flexibility exercises.

I also explain to students that flexibility requires effort, and that means working on it when they are not in class, or take a yoga class. I really don't want to spend a lot of time stretching in class. They should be working on that daily, on their own.
 

Earl Weiss

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How many time of an hour TKD class must used to do the warm up and stretching? It's 15 minutes enough?

Manny

If you want to improve your flexibility 15 minutes is not enough for a warm up and good stretch. However, time constraints often dictate that you need to use class time for teaching and students must stretch on their own. Further, intense static stretches can fatigue muscles which can lead to overuse injuries if a hard workout follows stretching. So, intense stretching either needs to be done after a workout or at a different time. There is much debate abut static, dynamic and PNF stretches. Suffice it to say that as a rule fo thumb each stretch should be hld for 30 seconds and their should be at east 3 sets per stretch . doing right and left sides this is a minimum of 3 minutes plus some changeover per stretch. Stretching should also be preceeded by some warm up. So, you can see how you will easily blow past 15 minutes for a thorough job.
 
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