all have the same
answer. Let's take a look at it. To
maximize flexibility, you need four things:
Age is also a factor. Younger bodies are simply more conducive to stretching. However, age does not preclude you from being flexible. Many martial arts masters are flexible well into very old age.
Let's look at benefits, caution, knowledge, flexibility and nutrition:
Good flexibility is critical for high performance
sports like climbing, martial arts, dancing, and even sex. Proper
stretching helps get nutrients into the low-circulation connective tissue,
and it helps keep joints aligned properly. Further, it allows muscle
growth by enlarging the muscle sheath.
There is a trade-off between flexibility and
stability. You'll have to find your own "sweet spot" there, but
generally you will know you are too flexible when you start having pain in
weight-bearing joints. If that happens, simply reduce your stretching
More about flexibility, below....
Let's now address the knowledge portion of maximizing flexibility. You can choose from many exercises. It would be pointless to try to describe them all in text. You surely know some already. However, applying the correct principles of stretching will allow you to benefit from those exercises rather than injure yourself.
Stretching and nutrition
You need these nutrients to increase flexibility:
If you find you reach a plateau with stretching, take a few days off from it. Resume your stretching, and you should break your plateau. During this time, maintain your nutritional needs as described above.
The articles on this site are authoritative, because:
Where an article is not bylined with a specific author's name, it was written by Mark Lamendola (see photos on home page and elsewhere on this site). Mark is a 4th degree blackbelt, has not been sick since 1971, and has not missed a workout since 1977. Just an example of how Mark knows what he's talking about: In his early 50s, Mark demonstrated a biceps curl using half his body weight. That's a Jack LaLanne level stunt. Few people can even come close. If you want to know how to build a strong, beautiful body, read the articles here.
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