Optimizing stretching for least suck

So, I doubt I'm alone in neglecting stretching. The world has caught on the goodness of free weights, but outside athlete circles stretching feels like a dim witted cousin.

I've gone through coached periods where pre and post workout stuff doubled the amount of time in gym clothes. Suck. And with as many regimes as coaches, it's been obvious how much less though tends to go into stretching.

I'm pretty happy with my return or investment under the bar, but there has to be a "good enough" set of big three-four stretches that gets you to the 80 % and do not suck.

Back chain is easy. Grab arms behind bent knees, and straighten up, but the front I always end up splitting into a too many bits.

PNF would be very effective if it could be done alone and compoundy.

Any ideas?

Replies

  • rainbowbow
    rainbowbow Posts: 7,490 Member
    edited April 2016
    So, I doubt I'm alone in neglecting stretching. The world has caught on the goodness of free weights, but outside athlete circles stretching feels like a dim witted cousin.

    I've gone through coached periods where pre and post workout stuff doubled the amount of time in gym clothes. Suck. And with as many regimes as coaches, it's been obvious how much less though tends to go into stretching.

    I'm pretty happy with my return or investment under the bar, but there has to be a "good enough" set of big three-four stretches that gets you to the 80 % and do not suck.

    Back chain is easy. Grab arms behind bent knees, and straighten up, but the front I always end up splitting into a too many bits.

    PNF would be very effective if it could be done alone and compoundy.

    Any ideas?

    nope. I'm one of these people and i think it's worth it.

    I include probably 10 different stretches and 6-7 self myofascial release techiques each time. :open_mouth: On the other hand, i haven't had any injuries, i've increased flexibility, i've fixed some postural issues, and i've increased by performance because of mobility in my ankles/shoulders.

    p.s. i know it sucks, but i take this time to fully focus on my body and get myself ready for an intense workout. I cant even imagine going in there without this "focus time".
  • jonthemusse
    jonthemusse Posts: 106 Member
    Every minute I save from taking slack away from stretching goes to my taped drain pipe of a roller.
  • Willbenchforcupcakes
    Willbenchforcupcakes Posts: 4,955 Member
    Stretching isn't right for everyone. As someone with hypermobility, stretching actually makes me more injury prone. So barring a couple specific stretches for specific things (hip flexors, hamstrings, and my arch for benching), I don't stretch.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    Limber 11 is great and pretty time effective. https://youtu.be/FSSDLDhbacc

    The video is 20 minutes because Joe really coaches and explains the movements. Can probably do in 12 or so.
  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,098 Member
    Stretching, especially yoga poses has helped tremendously with flexibility, awareness and improvement of form, and endurance for lifting.

    I'm a die hard lifter and have been since the early 80's, but now I truly look forward to discovering my progress.

    Though like @Willbenchforcupcakes said, it's not for everyone. It caused way to much pain in my joints years ago.
  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,464 Member
    I don't know why you think stretching sucks. I do 5-6 upper body and 5-6 lower body stretches twice a day, usually after a walk, run, or a workout when muscles are already warmed up. It takes about 10 minutes each time. It doesn't suck, it helps in multiple ways. Progress is slow, but I can see progress over time.
  • ShodanPrime
    ShodanPrime Posts: 226 Member
    Go do yoga. Nice, relaxing, and generally good viewing ops.
  • jonthemusse
    jonthemusse Posts: 106 Member
    I used the word neglect haphazardly in the OP. I engage in a routine both ends of a session. Usually.

    I've got my own set of movements, but over the years I've been dropping stuff that I think superfluous out. I fear that eventually I end up being one of those barrel chested oldies that can draw a circle a foot in diameter with an outstretched arm.

    packerjohn's video is interesting. I'll watch it with thought later.

    Yoga is not an answer to this question (which was about zoning in on specific cost effective movements), and raises another. How many actually read the OP before posting a reply in these forums?

    Yoga is wonderful, but for me it's something that replaces lifting altogether.
  • ShodanPrime
    ShodanPrime Posts: 226 Member
    Yeah, you're going to want to do yoga.
  • jonthemusse
    jonthemusse Posts: 106 Member
    I'll just end up wanting to do yogis
  • ShodanPrime
    ShodanPrime Posts: 226 Member
    I'll just end up wanting to do yogis

    That's called a long term goal, and if I were to be honest... It's what keep me going.
  • jonthemusse
    jonthemusse Posts: 106 Member
    An observation is that I'm perfectly comfortable in sharing a sauna with naked women. Goes with the territory; sauna is considered quite asexual in Finland (albeit not wholly so, I suspect a large chunk of us have begun in one), but put on some yoga pants, and go for some downward dog and it gets distracting really fast.

    Women are in grater risk of getting objectified in a yoga studio than they ever will in a gym or a beach.
  • robininfl
    robininfl Posts: 1,137 Member
    You don't necessarily have to stretch right before or after the workout. Stretching when warm is better, yes, but you can safely do "yin" stretching before bed and that will increase your flexibility over time.

    So warmup and a few active stretches, kicks and stuff. Workout, quick cooldown with a little bit of stretching to release the tension only, shower and all and go about your day, then before bed each day take that 20 minutes and stretch, as your actual stretching practice, then sleep.
  • robininfl
    robininfl Posts: 1,137 Member
    Oh, and if I could do only a few stretches?

    Forward fold, as you mention, with straightening one leg at a time and looking to the side, and with clasping hands behind the back and letting the arms fall down toward the head. Good for back and hamstrings.

    The stretch in the image in PackerJohn's post, or "reclining half-hero" pose on each leg, as an intense quad stretch.

    Straddle sit with leans to each side and the middle, for inner legs and the back.

    The lean into the wall pose for calves, with variations, bent knee, foot pointing in and out, etc.

    My arms/shoulders are naturally pretty flexible so don't need a lot of work but it's still good for joints to stretch stuff, so:

    Hands in prayer behind back and pull shoulders back.

    Holding a belt and pulling arms up over head in big circle.

    Laying on each arm in turn, face down with arm across your front and straight.
  • madhatter2013
    madhatter2013 Posts: 1,547 Member
    An observation is that I'm perfectly comfortable in sharing a sauna with naked women. Goes with the territory; sauna is considered quite asexual in Finland (albeit not wholly so, I suspect a large chunk of us have begun in one), but put on some yoga pants, and go for some downward dog and it gets distracting really fast.

    Women are in grater risk of getting objectified in a yoga studio than they ever will in a gym or a beach.

    nu9533mekua0.jpg
  • jonthemusse
    jonthemusse Posts: 106 Member
    edited April 2016
    He started it.
    robininfl wrote: »
    Oh, and if I could do only a few stretches?

    Forward fold, as you mention, with straightening one leg at a time and looking to the side, and with clasping hands behind the back and letting the arms fall down toward the head. Good for back and hamstrings.

    The stretch in the image in PackerJohn's post, or "reclining half-hero" pose on each leg, as an intense quad stretch.

    Straddle sit with leans to each side and the middle, for inner legs and the back.

    The forward fold variation goes straight into the toolbox, thanks! Getting rid of straddle sucks are one of the main motivations to post in the first place, I'll keep on looking. And that reclining half-hero pose used to be (and may well be again, now that I remember it) an accessory lift for squats.

    I can't watch that video! He's too high on helping people. And the eyebrows...
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    He started it.
    robininfl wrote: »
    Oh, and if I could do only a few stretches?

    Forward fold, as you mention, with straightening one leg at a time and looking to the side, and with clasping hands behind the back and letting the arms fall down toward the head. Good for back and hamstrings.

    The stretch in the image in PackerJohn's post, or "reclining half-hero" pose on each leg, as an intense quad stretch.

    Straddle sit with leans to each side and the middle, for inner legs and the back.

    The forward fold variation goes straight into the toolbox, thanks! Getting rid of straddle sucks are one of the main motivations to post in the first place, I'll keep on looking. And that reclining half-hero pose used to be (and may well be again, now that I remember it) an accessory lift for squats.

    I can't watch that video! He's too high on helping people. And the eyebrows...

    DeFranco is considered one of the top strength and conditioning guys in the world. Who give a *kitten* what his eyebrows look like?

  • jonthemusse
    jonthemusse Posts: 106 Member
    I do, obviously. I know of his reputation, might as well read what he writes.