It’s about time that you began to understand the secrets behind effective stretching. The secrets begin with understanding what the process is.
The first part of the process, in the first 30 days, is that improvements in your range of motion in the joint occur because you tolerate the discomfort more (aka Stretch Tolerance) NOT, because you have lengthened the muscle.
Law et al, 2009. Stretch exercises increase tolerance to stretch in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain: a randomized controlled trial. Find here
The move that most people hate is the straddle. Some call this the middle split, others the side splits, others, names that cannot be published.
It is one of the key positions in gymnastics (along with others).
Just as a test, Im going to trial several types of Straddle development .
Before I start, for a matter of record on the floor with my legs wide apart , my straddle angle was 145 ( 31st January 2014)
35 Degrees to go.
The 1st thing I did was to lie on the floor with my bottom against the wall and let my legs open. After 2 sets of 30 seconds, I re-measured the angle and it was 160.
For the next 30 days , Im going to do 3 x floor holds of 1 minute trying to keep my heels down and edging my hips forward, and 3 sets of wall straddle. Static stretching (like this) is very unpopular in therapy circles.
so over the next 3 weeks, I laid on the floor, with my bum against the wall, and pulled my legs down.
On the 18th of February , after warming up and doing several 3 step run ups to a front tuck, my adductor popped. The damage was deep into its attachment to my pelvis. It was so painful that it took 6 days for the bruising to appear. Im still hobbling
So, stretching, especially if you are old, needs to be gentle…..