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Old 08-10-2008, 05:52 PM   #1
templemed
Dojo: Bucks County Aikido
Location: Philadelphia
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Anyone have a good way to become more flexible?

As I mentioned before I start training September 2nd. I have been lifting weights 6 days a week for a while now, but when I decided to practice Aikido I started running and cut the weights down to twice a week. I'm not flexible at all. It's a shame really. So I was wondering if anyone knew of any intensive stretch programs to whip me into shape in a month... My goal is to fit myself into a 16" x 16" box by september 1st. Thanks.

Brian
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:16 PM   #2
jennifer paige smith
 
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Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
Location: Santa Cruz
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,049
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Re: Anyone have a good way to become more flexible?

Quote:
Brian Grey wrote: View Post
As I mentioned before I start training September 2nd. I have been lifting weights 6 days a week for a while now, but when I decided to practice Aikido I started running and cut the weights down to twice a week. I'm not flexible at all. It's a shame really. So I was wondering if anyone knew of any intensive stretch programs to whip me into shape in a month... My goal is to fit myself into a 16" x 16" box by september 1st. Thanks.

Brian
Dear Houdini,
Try Iyengar Yoga.
Bueno,
Jen

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:49 PM   #3
templemed
Dojo: Bucks County Aikido
Location: Philadelphia
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Re: Anyone have a good way to become more flexible?

jenn,

thanks for the info, i just signed up for classes!

brian
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:20 PM   #4
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
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Re: Anyone have a good way to become more flexible?

Active Isolated Stretching.
http://stretchingusa.com/
I bought the book for $35 -- totally worth it.

Good luck.
Rob
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:54 PM   #5
Mary Turner
Dojo: Joshinkan
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Re: Anyone have a good way to become more flexible?

Jennifer,

I totally agree. I think yoga and aikido are mutually beneficial.
MT
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Old 08-11-2008, 01:27 PM   #6
Tony Wagstaffe
Location: Winchester
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,211
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Re: Anyone have a good way to become more flexible?

Just stretch to feel a comfortable burn in the part you are stretching,
hold for ten seconds while tensing the muscle (Isometrics) and release.... You will find that you are able to stretch that bit further..... repeat twice more and no more....Don't over do it as you will gain less by doing so.... If its painful after stretching you have overdone it!!
Don't forget that genetics will determine your ability to how flexible you will become!!
I have always wanted to do the complete box splits, but have never managed it.... the farthest I have managed is about the groin 12 " from the ground.....
I have never been able to touch my toes unless really warm...
Guaranteed by next morning I can't get anywhere near 'em
So don't worry too much ...It won't make a great deal of difference in your ability to do good aiki... take care
Tony
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Old 08-11-2008, 02:18 PM   #7
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Re: Anyone have a good way to become more flexible?

Quote:
Brian Grey wrote: View Post
My goal is to fit myself into a 16" x 16" box by september 1st. Thanks.
Where are you shipping yourself to? Are you going UPS, Federal Express or Parcel Post? If you are not going overnight express, take snacks.

David
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Old 08-11-2008, 04:45 PM   #8
templemed
Dojo: Bucks County Aikido
Location: Philadelphia
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Re: Anyone have a good way to become more flexible?

David -

I'm going to a little town in Ohio called Girard, I've never heard of it, haven't really heard good things about it either but oh well, I'll be sharing room with a kilo so I suppose fed ex is the only option, also won't need the snacks

Brian
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Old 08-11-2008, 05:29 PM   #9
jennifer paige smith
 
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Dojo: Confluence Aiki-Dojo / Santa Cruz Sword Club
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Re: Anyone have a good way to become more flexible?

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
Don't forget that genetics will determine your ability to how flexible you will become!!
ny
And genetics also contribute to some wonderful illusions when it comes to stretching. During stretches in my dojo I catch students looking at 'how flexible I am' because I can 'touch my toes'. But guess what? I have the some of shortest legs known to man and that great hakama garment just adds to the mystique.

The rest of you........ keep stretching until you get as flexible as I am...

Best To Ya,
Jen

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:08 PM   #10
rob_liberti
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
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Re: Anyone have a good way to become more flexible?

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
hold for ten seconds while tensing the muscle (Isometrics) and release..
I had better results when I switched to 2 seconds of active strecting, followed by 1 second of release - repeated much more reps. Try it yourself, do 1 side the 10 second way, and the other side the 2 second way. YMMV (but my bet is on the 2 second method)

Rob
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Old 08-12-2008, 03:40 AM   #11
Tony Wagstaffe
Location: Winchester
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Re: Anyone have a good way to become more flexible?

Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
And genetics also contribute to some wonderful illusions when it comes to stretching. During stretches in my dojo I catch students looking at 'how flexible I am' because I can 'touch my toes'. But guess what? I have the some of shortest legs known to man and that great hakama garment just adds to the mystique.

The rest of you........ keep stretching until you get as flexible as I am...

Best To Ya,
Jen
Aren't you lucky gal..... Me 5' 8"..... I have inside leg measurement 29"" with 24" girth thighs........ down to a lot of cycling when younger and the thousands of countless squats performed doing warm ups over the last 35 odd years..... youv'e seen the forearms..... imagine the legs!! Ha Ha!! I've had no complaints!!
POWER to ya Lady!! Ha Ha!
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Old 08-12-2008, 09:48 AM   #12
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,134
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Re: Anyone have a good way to become more flexible?

Is the box 16X16X16? If so, save a lot of time and energy and just play around with some fireworks.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 08-12-2008, 06:15 PM   #13
cguzik
Location: Tulsa, OK
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 166
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Re: Anyone have a good way to become more flexible?

The advice to find a good yoga studio is good advice. Iyengar yoga will focus a lot on proper alignment, which is good for a beginner from a safety perspective. It is much better to start in classes with a qualified instructor rather than trying to learn from a book or video. This is partially because they will be able to see things that you won't yet have the awareness to feel on your own (so they can help adjust you in ways that increase the benefits while still being safe), and also partially because they will push you in ways that you would probably not be inclined to on your own.

A couple of suggestions -

Don't stretch cold. Warm up first. Most yoga classes will start with activities to build heat in the body, and some heat the room to help with this.

Do not get in a hurry. It will likely take longer than a month. Work with your body and accept it as it is. You will get safer, better results if you don't push yourself too hard.

Do not tense the muscle that you are stretching. (This is not what isometrics are for). Instead, activate the opposing muscles to protect yourself from overstretching. For example, if you are stretching your hamstrings, tense your quadriceps and the muscles along the tops of your shins. In a forward fold that stretches the back side of the body, engage the front of your body from the legs all the way up through your abdominals and chest. Release and relax the muscles being stretched. This is actually safer and protects the muscles being stretched from overstretching.

Learn to use your breath to deepen the stretch. Breath into the areas being stretched on the inhale and release further on the exhale.

All of the above will be taught in more detail in the yoga classes.

Best,

Chris
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Old 08-13-2008, 02:01 AM   #14
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
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Re: Anyone have a good way to become more flexible?

Brian,

As a weightlifter interested in stretching, you're gonna LOVE Pavel's stuff. Check it out at dragondoor.com. or kettlebell.com

Charles
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