Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stretching and Flexibility

I've been asked to share my views on the development of flexibility and the stretching methods I use.
Actualy I am not a big believer in the multipile times a day, daily passive stretching 'waste of one's time'. This is not nutrition. (Where I am a big believer of eating often and in small amounts)
This kind of aproach mainly works with children and training systems that are supported on the idea of training someone from an early age and into adulthood. For someone who has missed the boat, (like me) it is not a potent enough method to develop a high degree of flexibility. (A less plaiable nervous system is the reason, not less plaiable musculature)
I use a combination of mainly active elements and I do them rarely and not often. I maintain the degree of flexibility I am in need of in my practice, no less, no more.

Here is a small demonstration of basic passive positions:


Andres said...

Hellow Ido.
May I know what active elements you do? Or what kind of flexibility exercises do you do? Since you say that A lot of passive stretching is a waste of time.

Ido said...

Using this medium to explain everything is far from optimal, but I will try to explain a bit:
I believe flexibility work should be aproached through nervous system manipulation. It can be done by two ways:
1.Relaxation through relaxation techniques and mental ability to decrease muscle tonus.
2.Increases in strength specific to the range of motion in need, which will triger the nervous system to allow movement in and out of the range - also muscular relaxation.

I believe in both. But more importantly, I believe in a smart training process, supercompesation and regulation of the work being done. That is an art in itself. Organic organisms are not machines.
Stay tuned for more discussion on the matter in future posts.

Andres said...

Thanks. I would be looking forward to it.
Sort of like Pavel's method of "Relax into Stretching"?

Ido said...

Pavel was in the right direction with his book, but I do not believe in instant flexibility progress, I am talking about long term reeducation of the nervous system, not a tricky 'wham-bam-open-your-legs-maa'm'. It doesnt work that way, unfurtunatly.

malandro said...

First of all, great work, very inspiring!
I have started Capoeira about 4 years ago, and I am 25 now...I have been working on my flexibility more consciously since about a year, making some small progress. Yet, I am still looking for more refined methods than the daily passive stretching you mention.
I would be very interested in your suggestions concerning this issue, so if you decide to give us some more detailed information (or maybe references to homepages, books...) on the two points you mention above, I (and many, many others, I am sure!) would really appreciate it.

Gymrob said...

Hi Ido,
I would like to say I really enjoy your blog and I hope to advance my level of body control like in your video. In pursuit of such control, for some time now I have read all your posts on the forum and authors who you have recommended. I'm sorry to be slightly off topic and I really try not to ask questions unless I can't figure something out myself and regarding your methods of periodization...I can't advance my knowledge despite a lot of reading.
As far as I understand for strength work you use a model similar to Poliquins undulated. I understand the need for a contrast between volume (accumulation) and intensity (intensification)but Poliquin recomends a higher rep range in accumulation that is more conductive to hypertrophy which I thought is not something an athlete seeking relative strength wants to delve into too often.
Sorry to ask a long question. I have tried to figure this out myself for months but only come across limited information. I'm wondering whether you could help at all but I appreciate you are busy. Thankyou.

Jeremy said...

Great post. I've been following your blog for a while. I think that it's a truly unique combination of nutrition/Capoeira/acrobatics/handbalancing material that usually doesn't get discussed together in such a detailed, inspirational, interesting way.

I'm certainly interested in your future posts about flexibility. I've been following Tom Kurz's methods for a while with some success, but it's not an overnight process (like you said).

I'll stay tuned. Thanks for all your work!

AndrewJ said...

Wow amazing display of flexibility! I noticed in your response to Andres you mentioned nervous system manipulation...are you referring to PNF stretching or are there other methods you use?

Bernardo Pinto-Coelho said...

Hello, my name is Bernardo and i´m from Portugal.
First of all I have to thank you for the inspiring method that you created. I´m practicing calistenics for about one year but I´ve noticed that something it´s missing in my body wich I think that´s the stretching and flexibility. I really want to learn your method expecialy the handstands, all his variations and also your playground work, but, to do all that exercises I have to strenght my fists because they are very weak. What can I do? Sorry for my english. Waiting to hear you soon and once again thank you for the inspiration.

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henk Jekel said...


The video has been blocked because of the music you are using in the video!!
Is there any way you could upload the video without the music so that i can watch it as well?

Kind regards,

Henk Jekel

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