The Beginners Guide To Stretching

Okay you are new to stretching/martial arts and want to see the results you see others have. You are unsure how to get there and want advice on how to get there.
Well before posting a question please check through the following F.A.Q:

1. Is it possible for me to perform the splits?

This query is often asked on here and my answer to all of them is the same. Yes anyone is capable of performing the splits if willing enough to reach the results they want.

2. How long will it take me to train in order to perform the splits?

This will vary throughout individual and their willingness to train. Some say they are very keen on performing the splits however donít spend enough time training and donít get anywhere. However others do the total opposite. So my answer is it varies depending on how hard you train and you current routine.
It also depends on your strength and initial flexibility. Some people can reach a full front split within a month yet others take more than several months.

3. Do stretching machines work?

I have tested various machines out and also know people who have used them and to be honest the main aim of these is to make money. Honestly if you are lazy then go out and get one and train with it however if you are that keen you should save that money and get hold of Tom Kurzís book and video and follow the routine he shows as you are much likely to show quicker and more effective results.
Although having said this they can help yet I would not bother wasting my money on them in my honest opinion.

4. Are females more flexible than males?

This has always been a query asked by many people. It is true only if comparing, for example, hip flexibility of the sexes in the general population, but it is not true for individuals and not necessarily true for other joints. Donít you know men who are more flexible (in all major joints) than many women?

From observation of gymnasts-athletes who are both selected for flexibility and work a lot on flexibility- you can see that women gymnasts tend to be more flexible than men of the same skill level. It has to do with differences in the bone structure and perhaps with women gymnasts having more compliant ligaments and usually less muscle mass around all joints than men gymnasts.
However this doesnít mean you cannot be flexible.

5. I am 30 am I too old?

As long as your muscles are responsive to strength training (you feel they are getting stronger), they are also responsive to stretching. I have met so many people over the age of 60 still stretching to the same standards as others in the class.
Useful Links:

Here is a thread about the different stretches:

http://www.fightingarts.com/ubbthreads/s...=0#Post15830708

A useful link for various stretches:

http://www.trickstutorials.com/index.php?page=content/flexibility

Useful Resources:

Stretching Scientifically by Tom Kurz
Secrets of Stretching by Tom Kurz
Ultimate Flexibility A Complete Guide to Stretching for martial arts by Sang H. Kim.

I hope this helps anyone hoping to boost their flexibility and if anyone has anything to add please do so as this is to help everyone.
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Train Hard Tez WT Central