Reddit Reddit reviews Stretching Scientifically: A Guide to Flexibility Training

We found 34 Reddit comments about Stretching Scientifically: A Guide to Flexibility Training. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

Stretching Exercise & Fitness
Exercise & Fitness
Health, Fitness & Dieting
Stretching Scientifically: A Guide to Flexibility Training
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34 Reddit comments about Stretching Scientifically: A Guide to Flexibility Training:

u/phrakture · 18 pointsr/Fitness

> I now understand that strength and mobility go hand in hand and you really can't have one without the other.

Sure you can. Old time strongmen specifically tried to be inflexible as it allows you to produce more force. Tight muscles are just strong muscles in a very short ROM.

I don't like this "strength and mobility go hand in hand" thing. If you need to perform a specific task, having too much mobility can make you weaker at that task. Mobility is good for general fitness, but not specific fitness.

> What books and resources would be best in my quest to become a true supple leopard?

u/Scoxxicoccus · 15 pointsr/flexibility

> I'm new to flexibility training and recently (just a week ago) started training for my splits.

If you are one week into a flexibility program then you must consider the splits to be a super extra long-term (dare I say it) "stretch" goal. You have many miles to go and many, many hazards and struggles before you can realistically reach a full split - side or forward.

Knowing nothing about your fitness level I would suggest you start at the beginning and proceed scientifically.

If you already have some basic level of flexibility you are going to want to focus on opening your hips.

The following are some other resources I have found helpful:

u/Hotblack_Desiato_ · 12 pointsr/xxfitness

It's simple physiology. The muscles aren't physically short, it's just that we have a thing called the stretch reflex that freaks out when we move our muscles outside a certain range of motion, and causes the muscle to contract in order to stop the motion.

When a doctor whacks our knee with a hammer, they're testing the stretch reflex. The hammer impact causes a small and momentary lengthening of the quads, and the stretch reflex counteracts it by contracting the.

What stretching does is create a "new normal" in terms of RoM for the muscle. It is a retraining of the nervous system, not the muscle tissue, and for this reason, frequency is key.

If you want to read more about it, Glorious Socialist Athletics authors Pavel Tsatsouline and Thomas Kurz have written excellent books about it.

u/UncleSkippy · 8 pointsr/bjj

Dynamic stretching before class. Leg swings, arm swings, leg rotations, etc. anything that has you in motion throughout the duration of the stretch.

Static stretching after class. Butterfly, straddle, splits, etc. anything where you are holding a position. Your muscles must be warm so that they don't panic if you push too far into it.

Stretching Scientifically is a nice reference.

u/redgrimm · 8 pointsr/Fitness

You have two options here:

  • The long one: Stretch everyday, 10 to 20 minutes. Hold every position for about 30 seconds. Do NOT bounce; bouncing is known as ballistic stretching and it as stupid as stretching can get.

  • The somewhat shorter way: Isometric stretching(a.k.a. PNF), 3 times a week in addition to normal stretching the rest of the week. To give you a general idea, isometric stretching is pretty much stretching as far as you can comfortably go, contracting the muscles for somewhere between 5 to 30 seconds, depending on how hard you contract, and then letting go and try to push the stretch a little further. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat up to 5 times. It's hard, and quite uncomfortable, but it works. Relax into stretch and Stretching scientifically are the best books I know on the subject.

    Also, dynamic stretching is to be done at the beginning of your workout, and passive at the end.
u/Alzaris2 · 6 pointsr/flexibility

This book was pivotal for me ( Describes the types of flexibility very well and is scientifically based/referenced.

For the quickest gains work isometric/PNF stretching into your regimen if you can (

u/Hyperion1144 · 4 pointsr/TwoXChromosomes

If you really want to know, here are some tips:

Static Active Stretching:

If you want to improve flexibility, the first thing to do is to tell virtually every coach (from the USA, anyway) and every P.E. teacher you ever had to go fuck themselves.

Because they taught you to stretch wrong.

You do not stretch and hold it to the point of being uncomfortable for as long as you can stand it. This is wrong and mostly a waste of time.

You are uncomfortable because you are (slightly) tearing at your muscles and tendons. You are causing damage. In a way, that is the point; you create micro-tears in the muscle that heal, lengthening the muscle or tendon in question.

Here's the thing though: Your nervous system will fight back. After about 10 seconds of stretching and holding, your muscles will cramp (slightly). You will not notice or feel this, but essentially, the stretch has become non-productive and wasteful at that point. You can only go so far and no farther. This is the first problem with Stretch-and-Hold.

The second problem is muscle memory: Your muscles will 'remember' the motions most often and most strongly repeated. Once your muscles cramp (after about 10 seconds) stretch-and-hold locks you at a less than maximum stretch while still putting stress on the muscle. If you stretch-and-hold for 30 seconds, you got 10 seconds of real stretch (productive), countered by 20 seconds of stretching that was basically moving you backwards from the cramping (nonproductive).

Here's how you stretch for flexibility:

  1. Before you stretch, from a relaxed position, flex and tighten the muscle group in question. If I was going to do a modified hurdler's stretch, for example, I would tighten the muscles along the back of the leg to be stretched (in the hamstring area).

  2. While holding this tight position, go into your stretch.

  3. Hold the stretch for no more than 10 seconds. I'm not kidding on this, doing more than 10 seconds of stretch per set is actually moving you backwards. Do not do it.

  4. Release the stretch, completely and totally. Go totally relaxed. I mean totally. Retract your leg a little if you need to. Lay down if you have to. Total and complete relaxation. This resets the muscles, and releases the cramping.

  5. Relax for at least 10 seconds, no more than 20.

  6. Repeat from step 1.

  7. Do this for 5 minutes, and see if you don't get a deeper stretch and more flexibility than you ever have before!

  8. When completely done with all of your stretching sets for the day, clasp your legs for at least 10 seconds to relax the muscles. This means squatting or kneeling very tightly, pulling your legs in as tight and close as they will go. This relaxes the muscles and can help prevent injury or cramping afterwards.

    Repeat this daily with the stretching routine or your choice, and you will see noticeable and rapid gains in flexibility.


  9. When stretching, there is Good Pain and Bad Pain. Respect the Bad Pain, or you could cause serious and permanent harm. No joke, I just got back from the chiropractor tonight after having my hip popped back in cause I ignored this rule in my wild youth.

  10. Good Pain is a general, overall, slight burning throughout the muscle group being stretched.

  11. Bad Pain is like a knife cutting your muscle, it is like a point of pain. Pain with a focus, where you can point with 1 finger and say "it hurts a lot right there." If you get Bad Pain, stop right then and there. Clasp and finish. You are done stretching for the day. Take it a little easier tomorrow. You shouldn't have gone that far!

  12. Never, ever, ever, ever use stretching machines, partners, or anything that forces you to stretch, which you are not in complete control of, with the ability to release immediately should the need arise. You have all the tools you need in your own body to stretch effectively. Anything else is dangerous. My hip injury came from a Century Martial Arts stretching machine when I was in high school. I don't care if you are old enough to remember that scene with the two trees from the movie Bloodsport. That was a fucking movie. Do that in real life and you are probably looking at a lifetime of physical therapy.

  13. Hydrate! Cramps generally from muscles that are dehydrated.

    For anyone here who wants to call bullshit on what I said above, do me one favor before you fire off:

    TRY IT.

    Peal your ass off the chair, take 5 minutes, do the sets. Then tell me I am wrong.

    For the record, this is not my brilliant idea, it comes from here:

    Stretching Scientifically: A Guide to Flexibility Training by Thomas Kurz

    This is the only stretching book you need. If I would have gotten this book BEFORE that damned stretching machine, my life would have far fewer chiropractors in it today.

    Buy the book and you will have far fewer questions.
u/silveraw · 4 pointsr/martialarts

Don't forget, if you want to delve deeper into the hows and whys of that, pick up Stretching Scientifically. It is an excellent book, and a worthwhile read if starting stretching doesn't float your boat and you want something even simpler. You can increase your active flexibility by just doing leg raisers and other dynamic stretches everyday.

u/Llamanerds · 3 pointsr/karate

I have a few thoughts, in no particular order:

  1. yes, if you just train it for a while, your flexibility will improve. Your body is just smart like that. The caveat is that if you have something like arthritic hips, there's just going to be a reasonable limit to how high you can kick.

  2. Inflexibility in no way inhibits your ability to do a kick properly. Anyone who tells you otherwise has no idea how to teach kicking. What you need to really focus on right now is learning to do the kicks properly at the height you can reach. That way, as your flexibility increases you won't have to "relearn" the kick. Train the muscle memory, and it will carry you through.

  3. Regardless of how flexible you want to be, never EVER stretch before a workout. Good, proper "stretching" weakens your muscles temporarily. Weakening your muscles before a workout is a bad idea, and leads to injury. Stretching belongs at the end of the workout, after the muscles have been fatigued and your blood is already flowing.

  4. Regardless of how flexible you are, you should ALWAYS warm up before a workout. Warming up means moving as many muscle groups as is reasonable through their current range of motion. Again, you're not trying to kick higher or bend lower here. If you can only touch your knees on a given day, your warm-ups should involve knee touches. If you can only kick waist height, your warm-up kicks should be no higher than waist height. The goal here is to warm up the muscles and get your blood flowing.

  5. Thomas Kurz's Stretching Scientifically has much to say on this topic, and will not lead you wrong.

  6. Last thing: If at any point your sensei of another instructor tells you to do something that causes you pain, explain the problem. If they're worth what you are paying them (in time, money, commitment, whatever: even free classes have a cost) they will help you make the technique work with your body. Every body is a little different, and a good instructor knows that and knows how to help the more complicated bodies get along.

    Have fun!
u/tameruk · 2 pointsr/flexibility

Studying Taekwondo for over 20 years, this has been my go-to reference for stretching: (Thomas Kurz - Stretching Scientifically)

This is his website:

u/mcmurder · 2 pointsr/running

I do, but probably not as much as I should. I have been meaning to re-read Stretching Scientifically: A Guide to Flexibility Training.

u/tolos · 2 pointsr/Fitness

In his book, Kurz talks about different studies done on stretching and lifting. The studies find that static stretching before weight lifting decreases the amount of weight you can lift, while dynamic stretching before hand doesn't. So, to increase flexibility and ROM, dynamic stretch before and static stretch after.

u/Joshvogel · 2 pointsr/bjj

If you want an understanding of the basic types of flexibility/mobility and different types of stretching used to train them, I highly recommend Thomas Kurz' work, particularly his book "Stretching scientifically". You can get a used copy for ten bucks on amazon and if you follow the material you should get some good results

Stretching Scientifically: A Guide to Flexibility Training

In a nut shell, you want to try to develop strength and flexibility at the same time.

u/rnells · 2 pointsr/martialarts


I'm pretty weak on stretching as I've always been pretty flexible and haven't put a ton of time into it, but AFAIK, for range of motion issues the main point is making sure you stretch for long enough (like at least a minute or two for a stretch) and actually relax the muscles being stretched while doing it. I'd recommend waiting until after class to do super-serious stretching; it lengthens the muscle fibers which weakens them temporarily and may make you slightly more susceptible to injury. Deep stretches for short periods of time effectively just warm the muscles up (and don't increase max ROM), so are fine to do whenever but won't improve your total flexibility.

I've heard multiple recommendations for [Stretching Scientifically] ( by Kurz, but I haven't used it or its programming myself.

Robotic motion: try to make sure your back is straight when you're moving. Unfortunately there are a lot of places it can not be. IME it's important to pay attention to the transitions between the c-spine and t-spine (base of the neck) and t-spine and l-spine (bottom of the ribs). Make sure that you're "stacked" in both of those locations and you're not at the end of your ROM either forward or backward. Try to get power in your movements by rotating your entire upper body using the hips, then back assists and arms add a little bit of snap but do very of the base power generation.

u/cfwang1337 · 2 pointsr/karate

Dynamic stretching for kicks!

Do 3 sets of 8-12 reps of the following stretch kicks:


  1. Front stretch kick
  2. Side stretch kick
  3. Back stretch kick
  4. Inside-outside crescent kick
  5. Outside-inside crescent kick


    Increase your kicking height over the course of each set. Use your hand as a target for the front, side, and crescent kicks. Ideally, you would also perform this routine first thing in the morning. It generally doesn't hurt to do more, as long as you aren't fatigued.


    Once you reach the desired level of flexibility, you'll only need to practice a couple of times a week to maintain the existing level of flexibility.


u/sreiches · 2 pointsr/taekwondo

This is kind of terrible advice, depending on the individual in question.

The most broadly successful stretching program tends to involve a warm-up, followed by the dynamic flexibility exercises you mentioned: leg raises to the front, sides, and back for the hips, as an example. This is followed by a workout of some kind (an intense run, strength training, a martial arts class) and, after that, cool down with static stretching.

Despite what /u/shinobi3432 said, you should not push to the point of pain. You want discomfort, and you can hold it there, but never for more than thirty seconds, okay? And, once you've developed both some muscular strength and basic, static passive flexibility, you can throw some isometric stretching in there before you do a static passive stretch.

What should happen is, as your static flexibility range improves, you build up your dynamic flexibility to match it, so that you can utilize your full range of flexibility in motion and with little warm up. That said, you should still warm up before actually training; one or two kicks "cold" will be all right, but you still need a decent warm up before you actually push yourself at all.

If you want details on this kind of stretching program, read Stretching Scientifically, by Thomas Kurz.

u/Tester154 · 2 pointsr/taekwondo

I would really recommend that you look up this book: Stretching scientifically - Thomas Kurz. There is so much BS broscience when it comes to MA and stretching. So much bad stuff gets done because their master did it that way and their master did it etc... with no regard to how effective or bad it is for your body...

Another great resource is this link that has a great wealth of good information regarding all your MA training needs. Just follow the links on the page.

Best of luck to you.

u/rez9 · 1 pointr/Fitness
u/[deleted] · 1 pointr/malefashion

This is supposed to be great. I can definitely recommend yoga as well.

u/Elysiumplant · 1 pointr/bjj

Also [Stretching Scientifically] ( is a great resource. He goes into detail on different dynamic stretches for before the workout and isometric/relaxed stretches for post workouts as ideal routines for martial artists. There are other forms of stretches as well for different types of athletic endeavors but he mentions that those are the ones to focus on as a martial artist.

u/strathmeyer · 1 pointr/Fitness
u/thelonepuffin · 1 pointr/MuayThai

This book is really a necessity for a serious martial artist who is trying to improve his or her flexibility. It's a bit old now but to this day I have not found a stretching guide that directly tackles the type of flexibility a martial artist needs like this one.

I do Muay Thai now but formally black belt in Taekwondo. My dad started training with me at the age of 37. His flexibility was horrendous. He couldn't kick above his waist. After reading this book he was kicking to the head within a year.

Now I'm in my 30's and having been a few years out of martial arts I am in the same boat as my dad was. Borrowed this book from him. Honestly the difference was instant. I was kicking a foot higher right away just by doing the dynamic stretches before going to training. 6 months on and I'm kicking head height again.

The secret is dynamic stretching!

I had this edition of the book.

u/hiigaran · 1 pointr/Fitness

You read "Stretching Scientifically"

Also would be wise to introduce some dedicated mobility exercises. Look up Eric Cressey and Lee Boyce vids on youtube for a start.

u/shittylyricist · 1 pointr/LifeProTips

It's also the best time to do your stretches as it resets your bodys nervous regulation of the length of your muscles.

See this book for more details.

u/LyleGately · 1 pointr/Fitness

Errr...not sure if this study is google-able, but it's more like static stretching before a workout 1. lowers max force generation and 2. doesn't help prevent injury.

This is just the cite from my stretching book: Shrier, I. 1999. Stretching before exercise does not reduce the risk of local muscle injury; a critical review of the clinical and basic science literature. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine vol 9, no. 4, pp. 221-227.

Quote from the book:

> For a period from several seconds up to five minutes following a static stretch you cannot display your top agility or maximal speed because your muscles are less responsive to stimulation -- your coordination is off. Relaxed static stretches decrease strength by impairing activation of the stretched muscles for up to five minutes after the stretch and contractile force for up to one hour.

u/D_Trius100 · 1 pointr/bodyweightfitness

Very informative post and great definition between the two :)

I'll take a look at this book by Kruz and try to stick to a routine for the long run.

Thnx a lot bro!

u/whiteSkar · 0 pointsr/bodyweightfitness

Relax into Stretch

Stretching Scientifically

If I were to buy one book about stretching, which one do you recommend and for what reason? Main one I would like to look at is the isometric stretching for side splits.