Thread: Flexibility

  1. #1

    Flexibility

    I have always been overweight, although i was fairly active physically, i just liked to eat stuff i liked, and i also spent (still do) several hours in front of the pc. however, last summer i decided to give it a go and lose weight. my main concern here is health. looking good is also a good motivator, but my main concern was getting healthy and increase my physical performance. at the start of the summer (early june) i was 120kg or 265pounds, and by the end of the summer (early sept) i was 105kg or 231pounds. since then i've been losing weight but not as much, mostly because of school, I'm now at ~98,5kg or 217 pounds. My height is 180cm or 5foot 11inches.

    Anyway, just wanted to give a small intro of myself and my progress. What i've come to ask here about is flexibility. As i have said my main concern is about health, and i feel like flexibility is highly overlooked. Isn't flexibility good for your health (or at least your muscles), or do i have the wrong idea and stretching after a workout is enough?
    Last edited by Dokandre; 2013-02-28 at 11:21 PM.

  2. #2
    stretching after exercise is good, and should always be done. More than that is optional.

    Being more flexible is good, you can do more things more easily and may be less prone to injury and will cope with natural ageing impacts on your excercise better. However extreme flexibility can be bad in later life, it can actually result in problems if you take it too far.

    If you really do want to increase your flexibility, its best to do so with someone who knows what they are doing. Doing the wrong types of stretches before exercsise like running can be very bad for you and increase injury for instance. And to really achieve godo flexibility you have to do some pretty extreme (and painful) work.

    I used to do Taekwondo where having a good degree of flexibility and strength is vital, and its hard work and you need to do it right.

    But unless you really have a need to be very flexible I would not worry about it. As long as you dont go too mad at first and work into your exercise you will naturally become more flexible over time, certainally enough to not have any issues. But a good stretch after a workout is vital.

  3. #3
    Flexibility is only overlooked by meatheads, in my opinion.
    Most athletes want to be flexible.

  4. #4
    Flexibility's great, as Demonakat notes, it's really important for athletes.

    On the other hand, I'm mostly with Xihuitl on this. It might be nice to work on some flexibility, but I wouldn't get too wound up about it. You certainly will feel better and stronger if you do some flexibility building exercises though.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Demonakat View Post
    Flexibility is only overlooked by meatheads, in my opinion.
    Most athletes want to be flexible.
    Then you don't know many bodybuilders or powerlifters. Lifting weights can help increase your flexibility if you're doing full range of motion lifts. Most of the serious guys in my gym are more flexible than the average joe. Most of the guys do stretching sessions and foam rolling on their off days.

    To the OP. Research up on static and dynamic stretching. Figure out a what seems to work for you and keep with it. The increased flexibility will come. I do a little dynamic stretching during my warmups but skip stretching afterwards. I do static stretching before bedtime and on my off days. I have never taken a yoga class but heard yoga does wonders. If you have the time and money that would be a great place to start. You'll have someone to show you some good proper stretches and work with you hands on.

  6. #6
    Flexibility in itself is good because it allows for a wider range of motion for your muscles. This means a lesser chance for injury. You should work both in strengthening and increasing flexibility.

  7. #7
    I started cycling about three years ago but I was never very good because knee pain was holding me back. I figured it was just my body adapting to cycling but after a while I decided to get it checked so I went to the physio. I went to the physio once a week for three months. Then I went to the doctor. He poked and prodded my knees for about five minutes and then said "Stretch your quads for five minutes a day and stay off the bike for two weeks". Two weeks later I jumped back on the bike and was right as rain.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by gismo7354 View Post
    Then you don't know many bodybuilders or powerlifters. Lifting weights can help increase your flexibility if you're doing full range of motion lifts. Most of the serious guys in my gym are more flexible than the average joe. Most of the guys do stretching sessions and foam rolling on their off days.

    To the OP. Research up on static and dynamic stretching. Figure out a what seems to work for you and keep with it. The increased flexibility will come. I do a little dynamic stretching during my warmups but skip stretching afterwards. I do static stretching before bedtime and on my off days. I have never taken a yoga class but heard yoga does wonders. If you have the time and money that would be a great place to start. You'll have someone to show you some good proper stretches and work with you hands on.
    Bodybuilders do not care about flexibility, sorry. You can get the same size muscles by going through a shorter range of motion with more weight. Power lifters, on the other hand, do care about range of motion to the extent necessary to get a correct lift (down to parallel, for example). Olympic lifters and crossfitters care about flexibility a great deal as many of the lifts require some pretty intense flexibility, especially in the calves.

    Flexibility is needed for the purposes of 1) doing some types of lifts 2) doing some types of sports and 3) having proper posture. Other than that, it is fairly optional. I personally think flexibility is more important than strength. But then again I am into MMA and I am a ground game fighter.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Ginantonicus View Post
    I started cycling about three years ago but I was never very good because knee pain was holding me back. I figured it was just my body adapting to cycling but after a while I decided to get it checked so I went to the physio. I went to the physio once a week for three months. Then I went to the doctor. He poked and prodded my knees for about five minutes and then said "Stretch your quads for five minutes a day and stay off the bike for two weeks". Two weeks later I jumped back on the bike and was right as rain.


    Yeah, cardio like cycling and running can really tighten up your muscles, you really need to stretch them out after exercise.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by jbhasban View Post
    Bodybuilders do not care about flexibility, sorry. You can get the same size muscles by going through a shorter range of motion with more weight. Power lifters, on the other hand, do care about range of motion to the extent necessary to get a correct lift (down to parallel, for example). Olympic lifters and crossfitters care about flexibility a great deal as many of the lifts require some pretty intense flexibility, especially in the calves.

    Flexibility is needed for the purposes of 1) doing some types of lifts 2) doing some types of sports and 3) having proper posture. Other than that, it is fairly optional. I personally think flexibility is more important than strength. But then again I am into MMA and I am a ground game fighter.
    Confusing, as you say bodybuilders don't care about flexibility and then concede flexibility is needed for some types of lift. You then also recognize the need to have proper posture (read: form) when lifting and that you value it greatly yourself but still state that flexibility is "fairly optional".

    You don't need to be a ballerina to be a body builder but you do need to have "above average" flexibility.

    Example of a "Types of lift" to demonstrate my point;

    Incline Bench
    Correct form = Down to the chest. anywhere from 'touching' to 'just above' is acceptable any higher = bad.

    If you're inflexible lowering the bar to your chest can cause the weight to shift to the deltoid muscles on the shoulder which are much weaker muscles, this can be quite dangerous and if over strained they can take a long time to heal. However not lowering the bar fully means you're not working the muscles effectively and you look like one of those gym noobies who say "look at me i'm lifting 100kg with shit form".

    Stretching improves flexibility and allows you to get your arms 'lower' without straining your deltoids meaning you keep the weight on your chest. It's vitally important for any avid weightlifting to get the incline bench correct by stretching and improving their flexibility to this point as it's the absolute best exercise for working the chest.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by GoodNewsEveryone View Post
    Confusing, as you say bodybuilders don't care about flexibility and then concede flexibility is needed for some types of lift. You then also recognize the need to have proper posture (read: form) when lifting and that you value it greatly yourself but still state that flexibility is "fairly optional".

    You don't need to be a ballerina to be a body builder but you do need to have "above average" flexibility.

    Example of a "Types of lift" to demonstrate my point;

    Incline Bench
    Correct form = Down to the chest. anywhere from 'touching' to 'just above' is acceptable any higher = bad.

    If you're inflexible lowering the bar to your chest can cause the weight to shift to the deltoid muscles on the shoulder which are much weaker muscles, this can be quite dangerous and if over strained they can take a long time to heal. However not lowering the bar fully means you're not working the muscles effectively and you look like one of those gym noobies who say "look at me i'm lifting 100kg with shit form".

    Stretching improves flexibility and allows you to get your arms 'lower' without straining your deltoids meaning you keep the weight on your chest. It's vitally important for any avid weightlifting to get the incline bench correct by stretching and improving their flexibility to this point as it's the absolute best exercise for working the chest.
    You are pretty much speaking out of your ass here. Bodybuilders do not need to have great flexibility. Hell, you do not even need to squat to parallel or bench press to your chest. You just go through the range of motion that you can and up the weight as you progress. You can progress in muscle size by increasing your range of motion as well but it isnt needed. Bodybuilding is all about activating the muscle to exhaustion and then continuing to work out while it is gassed. You can do that without much range of motion at all. I do not know where you got the whole incline bench thing anyways. If you aren't a power lifter you really should not be doing barbell bench press anyways. DB bench press is far superior for muscle activation and for general health.

    You need good flexibility for POWER lifting where you need to get to your chest on a bench press or you need to get to parallel in a squat. You need EXTREME flexibility for olympic lifting where you need to be able to squat ass to grass and be able to lift behind your head without causing shoulder problems.

    Not everyone should bench press to their chest or to just above their chest. Not everyone has the shoulder mobility to do it. Hell, not everyone can develop the shoulder mobility to do it. I can never do olympic squats. My talus and tibia hit at a really poor range of motion. This is a structural problem that cannot be fixed. People can have similar limitations in their shoulder joints.

    Also, the idea that you shift the weight on to your deltoids instead of using your chest with a incline bench with limited range of motion is pretty silly. Incline bench hits both the deltoids and the chest. If you have a proper shoulder depression and retraction on the downward motion and proper shoulder protraction on the upward movement, you will hit the muscles in the proper way regardless of your range of motion. Now, with a bb you do not use shoulder protraction (which is why you shouldnt use a bb) but you wont cause shoulder problems if you know how to properly activate your shoulder girdle.

    Posture is not about flexibility. It is about muscular balance. If your psoas and rectus femoris are overly activated, you can fix the problem by stretching them out or by strengthening the hamstrings and glutes. If you have kyphosis you can fix it by stretching your chest or by strengthening your rhomboids. Generally, PT's will have you both stretch your short/tight muscle and strengthen the antagonist to the muscle. You can have good posture yet be inflexible so long as the muscles are in proper balance.

    If you have bad knees or poor ankle flexibility, you shouldnt do front squats. If you have bad hips, you shouldnt do deadlifts or power squats. If you have a bad lower back, you should do hip squats. If you have poor shoulder mobility, you should never lift behind your head and you should limit your range of motion in the bench press. It is the lifting elite who think that everyone should lift a certain way that tends to create the problems at gyms, not the "noobs" who dont know how to lift properly.
    Last edited by jbhasban; 2013-03-02 at 04:00 AM.

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