Friday, February 6, 2009

Stretching and Flexibility

Guest blogger: Dr. Scott Calzaretta

Barbie’s question – Is there a method to stretch correctly and not have your muscles tighten? What else can you do besides stretching to get greater flexibility?

One of the best ways to develop flexibility is to get stable??? Strange, but here is an example: someone with a weak core or back may have tight hamstrings as a result of the hamstrings trying to make up for the weakness and act as a stabilizer. So…when we strengthen the core the hamstrings suddenly feel better about relaxing/stretching since the other muscles are now doing their job of stabilizing the body.

Here is a simple test:

While standing, attempt to touch your toes. Now, place a pillow between your knees and squeeze with your legs. Attempt to touch the floor again. Result -- if it is easier to touch the floor with the pillow and contracting your muscles, your core needs some help and your hamstring flexibility will improve. (I have had many patients who reported not being able to touch their toes be able to do so on the spot).


Joe G. said...

This is great material, Doc. I also appreciated your excellent article on trunk (core) stability on your web site. Damn, I wish I knew this stuff when I was 18. Forget 18 – I wish I knew it when I was 35!

Here’s the site, guys and gals:

Unknown said...

Thank you, Dr. Scott! That's interesting! No wonder. One of the things that improves my flexibility more than traditional stretching is a ballet floor barre method. After I do it, my body is much looser than if I did plain stretching.

Thank you, Joe!

Nancy B. said...

Dr. Calzaretta,
Thank you for your great information. What do you advise those of us over 60 to pursue as a means of stabilizing the core and ensuring flexability?
Thank you so much,
Nancy B

Nancy B. said...

I disagree. I believe that any expert on Charlie Mike offers the best advice....promotions aside for Perfect Pushup/Pull up. (Great products by the way !)
Not everyone can purchase these and therefore must use whatever means available to promote their own flexability/core strength.That is what I was questioning the Dr. about.
Nancy B

Nancy B. said...

Wow...I'm taking advantage of this opportunity to get advice. This question involves the hip flexors and a good exercise to stretch them before strenuous activity so that they don't tighten up during a this case swimming long freestyle sets.
Thanks again,
Nancy B

Unknown said...

Have you been stretching before and after you swim? Maybe I need to answer the question for him. The 1st time I was just writing a joke and saying how much I liked those DVDs. That wasn't written to you.