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Stretching and My Experience With Ultimate Human Performance by Joe Hippensteel

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MTF

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Over 3 weeks ago I started following an extensive stretching routine that I do daily. So far I've spent over 20 hours stretching, with the longest session taking almost two hours.

Joe Hippenstel, the creator of the program, says that it may take up to 100 hours (or more) to reach all the standards in range of motion (that all kids can reach naturally until modern living starts messing them up). Once you reach that, for maintenance you only need to do a 20-30-minute daily dynamic routine. But it's a lot of uncomfortable work to get there before you erase all the blockages from years of stored tension.

David Goggins needed a few hundred hours or more to loosen up his extremely tight body. The crazy lunatic of course did some mind-blowing stuff like stretching for 12 hours a day, every day, for weeks (as far as I know, he's now doing about 1-2 hours a day).

Why stretch? Because if you're stiff, you'll inevitably have pain and suffer from injuries. Tight muscles can't absorb shock as easily. When they're shortened, you can't do things you should be easily able to do (like squat). Being stiff also affects how you feel in general since you're quite literally storing tension in your body. All of this has a huge impact on overall performance and life quality.

Joe Hippensteel says that flexibility is one of the keys to longevity and feeling youthful. Yet, most of us only contract our muscles, over and over again in the same movements, and that eventually leads to problems that can turn into nightmarish chronic pain.

It's crazy to see how fast you can progress in some stretches and how various exercises influence your flexibility (for example, on days that I have MMA, my knees and quads are much tighter).

This is me on day 0 in one stretch and on day 22 (look at my spine and head in both):

cross lean.jpg

It's also fascinating to experience when one side is much tighter than the other. In one stretch at first I thought I was doing something wrong because on one side it was brutally hard but on another it was very easy. Turns out one of my hips is much tighter than the other.

People are focusing way too much on strength and too little on flexibility. Then imbalances happen and you get injured.

Happy to answer any questions about my experience so far. Out of respect for Joe I can't share all the stretches (you can buy his courses or have a consultation with him).

I'm also interested in your experience with stretching and overall flexibility and mobility.

(thread started on request from @Antifragile and @Actionfaker)
 
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Antifragile

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How does stretching impact long endurance type events?

I was reading this book

D531288F-C13D-4871-B23A-7E7FDFC8F2CB.jpeg


And author discouraged too much stretching. The two seem in conflict and I am curious to find out which is the better approach.
 

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How does stretching impact long endurance type events?

And author discouraged too much stretching. The two seem in conflict and I am curious to find out which is the better approach.

Let me preface this by saying yet again I don't have experience with long endurance events. This is only what I learned from Joe and other people.

There's a myth, particularly among runners, that stretching hinders performance. But when you hit your body in a very specific way over and over again, your muscles will inevitably shorten. When they shorten, it causes a deficiency in your range of motion. This inevitably leads to an injury or pain.

Joe Hippensteel was a decathlete who trained 65 hours a week. He suffered from over 100 injuries. Stretching helped him fix his destroyed body.

David Goggins said in one podcast (I think with Rich Roll) that stretching helped him run much faster (he gave specific time improvements but I don't remember it). I found one quote here (not from the podcast but talking about the same thing):

“So as I started stretching out, I started loosening up this muscle called the psoas muscle. And the psoas muscle is almost like the soul of the body. So it almost gives your body and your mind permission to relax. And there is no growth in a stressed mind. The growth comes in a relaxed mind. Therefore, the thoughts really flood in. So for me, I become more inspired by simply stretching. And not only that, I’m in the best shape of my life because all of those tight muscles weren’t allowing me to run properly. Everything was bound up, so now my gait is longer. Even in the gym, I’m stronger because I’m not all bound up. Everything is opened up to the point that my muscles work freely.”

Joe has a book coming out by the end of summer. I'm pretty sure he'll cover that in more detail in his book.
 

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Your knees are touching the floor on day 22 too.

1652858607169.png
 
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Your knees are touching the floor on day 22 too.

Ah yes, right. My hips, groin muscles and all of that stuff I don't really know how it's called loosened up a lot. On day 0 I literally couldn't imagine ever touching the floor with my head. Everything was super tight.
 

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Added this in my first post because I should have sold the idea of stretching a bit more:

Why stretch? Because if you're stiff, you'll inevitably have pain and suffer from injuries. Tight muscles can't absorb shock as easily. When they're shortened, you can't do things you should be easily able to do (like squat). Being stiff also affects how you feel in general since you're quite literally storing tension in your body. All of this has a huge impact on overall performance and life quality.

Joe Hippensteel says that flexibility is one of the keys to longevity and feeling youthful. Yet, most of us only contract our muscles, over and over again in the same movements, and that eventually leads to problems that can turn into nightmarish chronic pain.
 

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When I was a competitive golfer, the biggest game changing thing for me in both distance and control was stretching. It’s shocking. It wasn’t pounding 6000 golf balls a day at the range. It wasn’t rolling a billion puts. It was stretching and using the skills I already had.

I knew P90x yoga routine by heart. Without so much as touching a weight I gained probably 40 yards on my tee shot, kissed all soreness goodbye, and got the ball to do what I wanted at a level I didn’t expect to ever get to. It probably made me good enough to play the mini tour stuff.

I know how well this works, but for whatever reason… It just became less of a priority. Thanks for sharing this @MTF I’m planning on picking this program up.
 
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Andy Black

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Stretching is such hard work. You can't go "eyeballs out" at it.

I remember doing kickboxing in London years ago. The old Japanese instructor was a national junior Japanese Karate champion, so knew a thing or two.

He told us once that men don't reach full strength till we're 45, but that people in the West don't stretch so lose flexibility and never reach peak strength. He was doing the box splits as he casually told us this.

I know I need to do more stretching. My achilles gets hurt every time I try to get back running, and that's likely due to tight calf muscles.

Thanks for this thread @MTF, and for everyone else hopping in with their stories.
 

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I know how well this works, but for whatever reason… It just became less of a priority. Thanks for sharing this @MTF I’m planning on picking this program up.

Joe mentioned working with golfers as well. It's really surprising how something seemingly so unrelated has so much impact.

Hit me up if you decide to pick it up. Joe invited me to join his affiliate program and I'll have a 10% discount code for anyone going through my link.

Stretching is such hard work. You can't go "eyeballs out" at it.

I remember doing kickboxing in London years ago. The old Japanese instructor was a national junior Japanese Karate champion, so knew a thing or two.

He told us all once that men don't reach full strength till we're 45, but that people in the West don't stretch so lose flexibility and never reach peak strength. He was doing the box splits as he casually told us this.

Haha loved that story. Sounds like something taken from a movie.
 

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Haha loved that story. Sounds like something taken from a movie.
He's the same sensei who took me and another enthusiastic beginner aside one time.

We sat cross legged on the mats in front of him while he sat on a bench.

"Want to know the secret to learning faster?" he asked.

We nodded and leant forward.

"Teach." he whispered.
 
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Antifragile

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Ok, so far it’s fascinating all around.

1. Sleep well and long. 8hrs
2. Meditation for mindfulness 40 min
3. Read books 1 hrs
4. Journaling - 1 hr
5. Workouts 2 hrs
6. Stretching 1.5 hrs
7. Run a business - oh crap… hours
8. Have a family - even more hours
9. Social life and hobbies .. zzzz


I think we are F*cked. But I’ll try adding some stretching :)
 

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6. Stretching 1.5 hrs

This only takes so long in the so-called "building phase." Once you reach the standards, you're in maintenance and then it's 20-30 minutes.

Also, I do more reps to progress faster. You could do less (and get it done in maybe 45 minutes) and then it would take more time to get to the maintenance phase but it would be more sustainable day to day.
 

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Great post and interesting focus! I totally agree that we often focus only on the strength-building aspect of physical goals and leave mobility, flexibility, stretching, whatever-you-want-to-call-it behind!

I’ll have to check out the resource you’re following! I think you’re right with Goggins maintaining around an hour or two of stretching before bed every night from what I’ve watched if him recently!

My go-to stretching plan came from “Becoming A Supple Leopard” by Dr. Kelly Starrett!

Anything beyond that or that I find myself struggling with from that book, I pop onto Athlean-X or Bob & Brad YouTube channel. (Don’t hate! The content is quality, despite it being bro-y on Athlean-X’s channel)

Thanks for the post MTF!
 
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Antifragile

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@MTF

Spoke to a good friend and great athlete about this. He agreed that stretching is a positive for endurance. He said 20-30 min is perfect, anything more and it’s probably too much.

Based on all of this, I’m committed to stretching for the next 30 days using p90x program as a guide (blast from the past, but I love it). Thanks for this thread. I’m sure it’ll help me with my upcoming races.
 

Myster kouadj

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Over 3 weeks ago I started following an extensive stretching routine that I do daily. So far I've spent over 20 hours stretching, with the longest session taking almost two hours.

Joe Hippenstel, the creator of the program, says that it may take up to 100 hours (or more) to reach all the standards in range of motion (that all kids can reach naturally until modern living starts messing them up). Once you reach that, for maintenance you only need to do a 20-30-minute daily dynamic routine. But it's a lot of uncomfortable work to get there before you erase all the blockages from years of stored tension.

David Goggins needed a few hundred hours or more to loosen up his extremely tight body. The crazy lunatic of course did some mind-blowing stuff like stretching for 12 hours a day, every day, for weeks (as far as I know, he's now doing about 1-2 hours a day).

Why stretch? Because if you're stiff, you'll inevitably have pain and suffer from injuries. Tight muscles can't absorb shock as easily. When they're shortened, you can't do things you should be easily able to do (like squat). Being stiff also affects how you feel in general since you're quite literally storing tension in your body. All of this has a huge impact on overall performance and life quality.

Joe Hippensteel says that flexibility is one of the keys to longevity and feeling youthful. Yet, most of us only contract our muscles, over and over again in the same movements, and that eventually leads to problems that can turn into nightmarish chronic pain.

It's crazy to see how fast you can progress in some stretches and how various exercises influence your flexibility (for example, on days that I have MMA, my knees and quads are much tighter).

This is me on day 0 in one stretch and on day 22 (look at my spine and head in both):

View attachment 43521

It's also fascinating to experience when one side is much tighter than the other. In one stretch at first I thought I was doing something wrong because on one side it was brutally hard but on another it was very easy. Turns out one of my hips is much tighter than the other.

People are focusing way too much on strength and too little on flexibility. Then imbalances happen and you get injured.

Happy to answer any questions about my experience so far. Out of respect for Joe I can't share all the stretches (you can buy his courses or have a consultation with him).

I'm also interested in your experience with stretching and overall flexibility and mobility.

(thread started on request from @Antifragile and @Actionfaker)
@MTF, Thanks for sharing part of this course with us. I will try to practice it by adding it to my routine, especially after I have done my few morning push-ups. I'm sure it will allow me to relax some of my muscles.

.Thanks also to everyone else who participated in
This thread
 

Danibodo

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Bonjour à tous !
Je m'appelle Daniel Kevin BODO.
Je vis en France.
Je suis ravi d'être des votres.
j'ai rejoint le Forum après avoir terminé la lecture du livre "l'autoroute du millionnaire".
J'aimerais bien savoir si c'est possible d'avoir un mentor qui parle français afin de m'aider sur la voie de l'autoroute ?
 
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domi99

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Over 3 weeks ago I started following an extensive stretching routine that I do daily. So far I've spent over 20 hours stretching, with the longest session taking almost two hours.

Joe Hippenstel, the creator of the program, says that it may take up to 100 hours (or more) to reach all the standards in range of motion (that all kids can reach naturally until modern living starts messing them up). Once you reach that, for maintenance you only need to do a 20-30-minute daily dynamic routine. But it's a lot of uncomfortable work to get there before you erase all the blockages from years of stored tension.

David Goggins needed a few hundred hours or more to loosen up his extremely tight body. The crazy lunatic of course did some mind-blowing stuff like stretching for 12 hours a day, every day, for weeks (as far as I know, he's now doing about 1-2 hours a day).

Why stretch? Because if you're stiff, you'll inevitably have pain and suffer from injuries. Tight muscles can't absorb shock as easily. When they're shortened, you can't do things you should be easily able to do (like squat). Being stiff also affects how you feel in general since you're quite literally storing tension in your body. All of this has a huge impact on overall performance and life quality.

Joe Hippensteel says that flexibility is one of the keys to longevity and feeling youthful. Yet, most of us only contract our muscles, over and over again in the same movements, and that eventually leads to problems that can turn into nightmarish chronic pain.

It's crazy to see how fast you can progress in some stretches and how various exercises influence your flexibility (for example, on days that I have MMA, my knees and quads are much tighter).

This is me on day 0 in one stretch and on day 22 (look at my spine and head in both):

View attachment 43521

It's also fascinating to experience when one side is much tighter than the other. In one stretch at first I thought I was doing something wrong because on one side it was brutally hard but on another it was very easy. Turns out one of my hips is much tighter than the other.

People are focusing way too much on strength and too little on flexibility. Then imbalances happen and you get injured.

Happy to answer any questions about my experience so far. Out of respect for Joe I can't share all the stretches (you can buy his courses or have a consultation with him).

I'm also interested in your experience with stretching and overall flexibility and mobility.

(thread started on request from @Antifragile and @Actionfaker)
Thanks @MTF for posting this. I'm struggling with pain in my knees for years and this stretching routine might help to get some relief.

My I ask which course you bought? Is it the beginner routine? I was quite surprised seeing the price tag, however I'm quite impressed on your results after just 22 days.

Thanks in advance =)
 

MTF

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@MTF

Spoke to a good friend and great athlete about this. He agreed that stretching is a positive for endurance. He said 20-30 min is perfect, anything more and it’s probably too much.

Based on all of this, I’m committed to stretching for the next 30 days using p90x program as a guide (blast from the past, but I love it). Thanks for this thread. I’m sure it’ll help me with my upcoming races.

I suggest identifying your worst range of motion and focusing on that first. So, for example, if you have tight quads, I'd spend the 20-30 minutes working on that since you can't properly stretch the entire body in 20-30 minutes (assuming you have several tight spots).
 

Antifragile

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Did 40 min stretching last night. It wasn’t too hard… will keep at it for a while. It’s a start to ou
I suggest identifying your worst range of motion and focusing on that first. So, for example, if you have tight quads, I'd spend the 20-30 minutes working on that since you can't properly stretch the entire body in 20-30 minutes (assuming you have several tight spots).

I am a tight-a$$. :rofl:

Jokes aside, I think this is a great suggestion. I've found parts of stretching super easy and other parts super hard. Yesterday, by the time I was down to the super hard, I was out of time. Today, I plan to do it in reverse. Interesting benefits that I completely forgot - we sleep better after stretching!
 
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MTF

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Thanks @MTF for posting this. I'm struggling with pain in my knees for years and this stretching routine might help to get some relief.

My I ask which course you bought? Is it the beginner routine? I was quite surprised seeing the price tag, however I'm quite impressed on your results after just 22 days.

Thanks in advance =)

I bought the entire video bundle and yes, it's pricey. If I were Joe I'd reduce the price and make it available to more people. I'm now their affiliate and I have a 10% discount code if that helps.

As for my results, I have to emphasize that I work on this a lot and it's definitely not easy to be that consistent and dedicated. You aren't supposed to go beyond 7/10 in pain when doing these stretches but they're still very demanding. But then again, it takes time and work to deal with injuries and/or tightness.
 

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Jokes aside, I think this is a great suggestion. I've found parts of stretching super easy and other parts super hard. Yesterday, by the time I was down to the super hard, I was out of time. Today, I plan to do it in reverse. Interesting benefits that I completely forgot - we sleep better after stretching!

For the easy parts do short holds of maybe 30-60 seconds depending on how easy it is. For the super hard ones, do a 2 minute hold, rest a minute, and repeat for 3 reps aiming to get deeper with each stretch.

As for sleep - yes, particularly if it's a demanding session. It doesn't feel like a regular endurance/strength workout but in reality you're asking your body for a lot when holding long stretches.
 

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Thanks for posting.

So true - in my days when I was only bodybuilding, I was extremely stiff with the only goal being to put as much muscle on as possible. I was big for my age, sure, but couldn't nearly touch my toes. Started getting knee injuries deadlifting and all these other things

When I started training jiu jitsu, it all changed, it forced me to get more flexible and within a month of focusing on flexibility, I felt more like an athlete than a "gym bro".

Worth the time investment.
 
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UlmerHere

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They say stretching helps maintain a range of motion in the joints well it also helps maintain a range of emotions in the nerves! The endorphins released afterwards will help to reduce pain and enhance mood while the exercise itself will be incredible practice for perseverance!
 

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Ok, so far it’s fascinating all around.

1. Sleep well and long. 8hrs
2. Meditation for mindfulness 40 min
3. Read books 1 hrs
4. Journaling - 1 hr
5. Workouts 2 hrs
6. Stretching 1.5 hrs
7. Run a business - oh crap… hours
8. Have a family - even more hours
9. Social life and hobbies .. zzzz


I think we are F*cked. But I’ll try adding some stretching :)
I stretch while watching tv. It's easy to hold a long stretch when you are distracted.
 
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biophase

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I suggest identifying your worst range of motion and focusing on that first. So, for example, if you have tight quads, I'd spend the 20-30 minutes working on that since you can't properly stretch the entire body in 20-30 minutes (assuming you have several tight spots).
When you stretch, are you stretching to the point where it is painful and uncomfortable to hold for more than 20 seconds? I never know how far to push it. Some stretches feel great and some feel brutal. I can easily touch my toes on a straight leg stretch, but my hamstrings are still brutally tight right at the back of the knee.

I recently joined Stretchzone. About Us | Stretch Studio | Assisted Stretching | Stretch Zone

It is assisted stretching where you just lay down and someone basically stretches all your limbs around. I'm not going to renew my sessions after my are used up. I felt that they didn't stretch me enough. I want them to push further than a stretch that I can do at home. Also, their sessions are too short (30 min) to get enough muscles stretched in that time.

However, anyone reading this that does not stretch or is very tight. If you have the money I recommend trying them out because it will help you immensely in the beginning. When I go there, it's mostly older people. Just google "assisted stretching" to find a similar place near you.
 

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Thanks for posting.

So true - in my days when I was only bodybuilding, I was extremely stiff with the only goal being to put as much muscle on as possible. I was big for my age, sure, but couldn't nearly touch my toes. Started getting knee injuries deadlifting and all these other things

When I started training jiu jitsu, it all changed, it forced me to get more flexible and within a month of focusing on flexibility, I felt more like an athlete than a "gym bro".

Worth the time investment.

I'm not a huge fan of bodybuilding so maybe my response is a bit subjective but bodybuilding is terrible for flexibility. I felt like a heavy, stiff block of wood when I used to lift weights and I suffered from back pain.

For longevity, athleticism > bodybuilding.

@MTF awesome thread!

Anytime I did yoga, it did me well, and felt good too. And often much harder than it seems. Definitely need to stretch more.

When I practiced yoga every day I remember yin yoga being the most feel-good one. It's the slow one where you hold positions for a long time (which is coincidentally the best for effective stretching).
 

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When you stretch, are you stretching to the point where it is painful and uncomfortable to hold for more than 20 seconds? I never know how far to push it. Some stretches feel great and some feel brutal. I can easily touch my toes on a straight leg stretch, but my hamstrings are still brutally tight right at the back of the knee.

Joe Hippensteel's approach is a 2-minute hold followed by a 1 minute rest and repeated usually 3 times.

You do a 20-second hold only for stretches where you have good range of motion and are doing them just for maintenance (so basically these feel good and don't cause any discomfort). I currently have some stretches that I only hold for 30 seconds because I have good range of motion in them and they don't cause any noticeable pain.

You NEVER stretch to the point it's painful and uncomfortable to hold for more than 20 seconds because it'll be counterproductive.

When you're stretching, your brain is trying to figure out if it should send a signal for the muscle to relax or to lock up.

If the pain is manageable (in UHP, that's no more than 7/10 in pain), it'll let the muscle slowly relax (which is why you hold for 2 minutes - you want to give it time). If it's more than 7/10, to protect the muscle, it'll order it to lock up even more. So if you're forcing yourself into a stretch, you're making the muscle even tighter.

It may feel uncomfortable or a bit painful but it should never be brutal. That's what makes stretching difficult or ineffective for some people - they think that more pain is better and instead of loosening up they get even stiffer.

For me, 7/10 in pain is when I can hold a stretch with some discomfort for up to 2 minutes. It's uncomfortable, I may not breathe as easily as when resting but otherwise I can still hold a conversation and don't feel like I NEED to get out of this stretch soon.

8/10 would be pain that makes me pant and consumes a lot of my attention to the point I find it hard to talk. You only go to 8 when you're doing trigger point work which is carefully pressing just one small part of the muscle (for that you need a partner or a lacrosse/golf ball).

6/10 would be just slight discomfort that you can hold for pretty much as long as you want and that's a signal to push a little more.
 
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Glad to see others paying attention to flexibility/mobility and having the full range of motion.

I encourage people to mix static and dynamic stretches. Stretching is part of having a full range of motion. Being able to move in that range is also beneficial. Taking a squat, for example, you can have enough range to rest in a squat (most here cant rest in a squat for more than 5 min, I put my money on it). But can you move in and out, or transition to other functional movements?

I take inspiration from: Movement Parallels Life and Strength Side on youtube.
 
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May 20, 2014
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53,993
Ireland
Glad to see others paying attention to flexibility/mobility and having the full range of motion.

I encourage people to mix static and dynamic stretch. Stretching is part of having a full range of motion. Being able to move in that range is also beneficial. Taking a squat, for example, you can have enough range to rest in a squat (most here cant rest in a squat for more than 5 min, I put my money on it). But can you move in and out, or transition to other functional movements?

I take inspiration from: Movement Parallels Life and Strength Side on youtube.
The most flexible my ankles ever were was after doing Kung Fu. It was from moving into and out of all those low positions. We didn’t feel like we were stretching but obviously we were.
 

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