The age old question of how to stretch

scottC

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Hey guys, i have been stretching really consistently for about 3 months now and am happy with my progress. However, I seem to be a little bit stuck. I'm not quite in full splits yet and my hips don't open as much as I'd like them to. It's been a few weeks now where I've been kinda stuck. So I guess my question is how should I proceed. I know a lot of us have seen students being "broken" by their masters and forced(somewhat painfully) into splits. It always seemed to me that after a couple of these sessions the person became way more flexible. At the same time though science says that doing that may tear your muscles and ruin your life. So, if someone who has some experience with this could lend some input, it would be much appreciated!!
 

Cyriacus

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Its not really an age old question - If a 'master' is pushing their students to 'break' themself, they need to go get their degrees in personal training again, assuming they even had them in the first place and arent just copying off their instructor and assuming the information is good.

First, what do you want/need flexibility for? That changes how you go about getting it.
Second, have you inquired with any gyms (the workout kind) in your local area about programs for improving flexibility? People who're into those kinds of things tend to congregate in places where people go to get this kind of stuff.

Lastly, its not science that says itll ruin your life, its common sense. Forcing anything in your body, especially your meat*, beyond its natural range of motion, and what do you expect will happen? If i asked you the same thing but replaced meat with bone, itd be a no brainer.

*by which i mean muscle
 
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scottC

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Mostly I want a flexibility for higher, nicer form kicks. And I probably should explain myself more. When I say "break" I don't meant trying to o from a v to full splits in a week. I realize it is wrong to force people to the point of tearing muscles. I am inquiring about the last maybe 10-15 degrees of splits. To a hundred percent open up your hips it takes more that just flexibility in your groin or hip ab/abductors. Pushing someone to get from very good flexibility to perfect flexibility was what I was talking about. As long as we are making comparisons one could say that this is similar "max" rep on bench press to completely overload the muscles as opposed to lower weight and more sets. I am, however, here for some advice from anyone who has made the transition above, so any input is appreciated.
 

Cyriacus

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Hm. From what ive seen, pushing past plateaus usually either requires you to 'tease' your way past it by just doing it in very small doses, then increasing the dosage over time; Or by strengthening the areas you want to place a higher demand on. Im no expert though, thats just what ive seen work.
 

rlobrecht

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I've heard that hot yoga is very good for getting you past a stretching plateau.

Strength is as important for good quality high kicks. You're not kicking someone directly above you, so if you're able to reach the head of someone slightly taller than you, you've probably achieved the level of flexibility that is needed.

You also need to be conscious of your age. As you age, your tendons and ligaments become less elastic, reducing your ability to gain flexibility.
 

Earl Weiss

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You also need to be conscious of your age. As you age, your tendons and ligaments become less elastic, reducing your ability to gain flexibility.

As you age mobility in the joint may decrease due to calcification / arthritis. Forcing it will cause damage. Nothing short of surgery will change this. (Guess how I know:)
 

Cyriacus

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As you age mobility in the joint may decrease due to calcification / arthritis. Forcing it will cause damage. Nothing short of surgery will change this. (Guess how I know:)

Ooh! I let me guess!

You read it on the internet somewhere? Because thats how i just learnt it :)
 

Gwai Lo Dan

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As long as we are making comparisons one could say that this is similar "max" rep on bench press
I look at stretching similar to weights. If you were benching the same thing for 2 weeks, would you be disappointed? The body adapts slowly, so for my your 2 week plateau is nothing.

I don't buy the "30 days to do the splits" routine, any more than "30 days to bench press 300 lbs". It may be achievable for the right person, but not for most people.

Also, like benching, a little soreness the next day is ok, but too much means you went too hard.
 
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scottC

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I agree that 30 days to splits is probably unreasonable. I tried to achieve this and just ended up pulling my muscles. The reason I ask about this specific plateau is because it seems like a lot of people get stuck here, and are unable to fully open their hips. Is it genetic? Or does i t just take a very long time?

And I am actually only 18, so I hope I have lost too much flexibility in my tendons yet... D:
 

Cyriacus

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I agree that 30 days to splits is probably unreasonable. I tried to achieve this and just ended up pulling my muscles. The reason I ask about this specific plateau is because it seems like a lot of people get stuck here, and are unable to fully open their hips. Is it genetic? Or does i t just take a very long time?

And I am actually only 18, so I hope I have lost too much flexibility in my tendons yet... D:

Youre 18? No wonder you cant cut it. Go run along! Shoo!

*ahem*

Wheres your sampling come from? Because if this issue is present in alot of people in the same place, that should tell you something. But thats not really helpful.
Were all built differently. I for one gave up on flexibility after i GAINED from losing it. But then i know alot of people who swear by it. Or you might have stiff joints, in which case different stretching techniques will help you. Basically, experiment! What could possibly go wrong :)
 
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