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What is the Kinesiological Stretching technique? – EasyFlexibility.com
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What is the Kinesiological Stretching technique?

Posted by Paul Zaichik on

What we are offering to you is a proper method:

  • A map that will guide you step by step till you reach your goal.
  • It will give you the necessary preparation so that you don't get injured.
  • It will adjust to your own particular needs the moment you start training and on the way when you "hit a plateau", and when you are almost there to give you that extra thrust.
  • It will tell you what to do so you keep the progress you obtain on a training session.
  • It will develop your flexibility and strength at the same time so the new flexibility range you acquire will be functional and applicable to leg lifts, kicks, jumping splits sort of techniques, dance, gymnastics, yoga, cheerleading, martial arts techniques and so on.
  • It will guarantee that you reach your goal safely in a timely manner.

What is the difference between the EasyFlexibility’s Kinesiological Stretching method and traditional approaches?

Traditional approach:

  • Many muscles are stretched at the same time.
  • One tight muscle fiber will hold everyone back.
  • Wider focus is required.
  • Great leverage and stamina is needed for complex postures.
  • Pain has to be endured to some extent since the pain reflex is encountered.
  • Slow to produce gains.
  • High risk of injury.
  • Most gains are lost overnight, and plateaus are frequent.
  • Mostly static and not functional. 

Kinesiological Stretching in Practice:

Let's go step by step why Kinesiological Stretching (KS for short from now on) is better for flexibility than other approaches, and you don't have to believe our words, we don't like putting people in a position where they have to trust blindly because we don't do that, we research, get what works, discard the rest, so we believe the best way is to give you the chance to try some exercises by yourself, then you will determine how well KS works.

These are a few examples, what you see below the split pictures are some KS  positions we use to do dynamic exercises that target adductors muscles one by one. Understanding the mechanism just by reading is not enough, so we are presenting you with a few exercises for you to do.

  • #1 - KS isolates muscles actions one by one. For example, on the first position shown above which is for the upper adductors, the action these muscles perform are hip flexion and hip adduction, so we have these two actions to take care of, and we do it alternating them, increasing the range on one will "create space" for the other action to move. Let's see how this exercise is done:

Then step 3 becomes your new starting position, and you can cycle them again till you got as deep as you can for that set. You then rest or do a different exercise, and when you come back to this one you'll be able to go even deeper. Note: Highly Effective - Handle with Care. You don't want to do the splits in one session then be sore for a week (well maybe you want!) So go ahead, do a quick warm up and try it, or just keep reading for now to learn more about the method and other exercises to put a routine together.

  • #2 - KS takes care of the ones that are tighter first. For example, if only one adductor is tight the others won't stretch, so stretching them all at once using a traditional approach won't work. Imagine them as bands all attached closely together, there's one which is tight or not elastic at all, attempting to stretch all of them at once is not very smart. Why not work on the really tight one, then move forward and work on the rest?

Now try this other exercise and feel how it works! This is an exercise targeting the adductor magnus muscle, one of the muscles you need to work on to improve your splits (among other skills):

Same as before, step 3 becomes your new starting position! Keep repeating the sequence and get deeper and deeper without pain! It is ok to do from 5 to 10 repetitions, or just keep going for a few more if it simply feels great.

Feel free to do this cycle of two exercises after a quick warm up, do a few rounds, don’t do more than 5 reps per set to start, don’t rush, put your mind to it while you do it and watch how your body reacts, and most importantly, enjoy the results! Train safe and smart.

How did it go?

As you've seen we did not hold stretches for any amount of time. The method you are about to learn does not make you hold positions waiting for something magical to happen, you actually do something in order to get more flexible, not just wait for a miracle on a stretch that is straining you, putting you to sleep or injuring you or on the best of the cases not producing any effect.

This way of going deeper into a stretch using particular moves is called the Target and Leverage system, and this is actually the key difference with Kinesiological Stretching and other methods, and this is mainly why it is so effective. It takes advantage of the fact that no single muscle performs one action, and it uses those actions one against the other in order to "create space" for the joint, thus automatically increasing range of motion.

Put the two exercises together in a cycle

The most effective way to combine the exercises is putting related ones together in a cycle. So first you will do a Adductor Brevis exercise, then an Adductor Magnus one, then an Adductor Gracilis and a Pectineus exercise, then you will start over. Every cycle you will feel that you go deeper and deeper on every position, so for this reason doing just one set of a few related exercises usually works better than just picking one exercise and repeating it by itself many times.

More Advantages of the Kinesiological Stretching Method

  • #3 - Allows easier focus since you are working on one specific area at a time. It is just easier to concentrate, trying to pinpoint exactly where you feel the stretch or tension while you are doing the KS exercise. This is a great way to develop awareness and know your body in full.
  • #4 - No pushing or bouncing is necessary, not even a partner. This is obvious now, as you have learned we don't need to push, we use the smart way of working with the muscle actions, alternating them in a Target and Leverage system.

The Target and Leverage System

To go a bit deeper into KS unique (and key) aspect without becoming very technical, the basic KS modality implies that one move is the "helper", this is your Leverage, and the other move is your Target, the direction where you want to get deeper.

The helper or Leverage will move back and forth, the Target will always go deeper. This is something to keep in mind so the exercise is the most effective it can be. Always keep your target direction in mind, and move your leverage carefully without retrieving or loosing the range you gain with each repetition.

  • #5 - Pain is not present at all. Since we are not pushing, or trying to relax over a tensed up muscle in a "relaxed stretch" (how ironic!), or tensing up further to fight the reflex as it is done in a PNF approach, the myotatic reflex which is encountered when one attempts to stretch deeper than what the muscle is ready for does not activate. It does not need to, since KS is a natural approach, the stretch reflex does not need to tense up our muscle to protect us from our own "not-smartness" to put it nicely. Using KS, by the time the Target move is going deeper, the Leverage/Helper will have created the space. 
  •  #6- Results are visible right away since the stretch reflex is avoided. You just need to try the two exercises and see by yourself, it is not exaggerated at all to say you see progress right away.

Let's do an upper body exercise!

This is a KS Stretch that will work primarily on Latissimus Dorsi and  Pectoralis Major. Rarely anyone knows how to isolate these muscles properly. Look at the picture carefully and read the explanation below.

Benefits: Improves Cowface Pose, Headstand and Handstands, Downward Facing Dog, Wheels and Back bends and any posture where upper back, chest and shoulders must be flexible.

1- Start as deep as you can, armpit as close to the floor as it is comfortable for you.

2- Apply external rotation to your shoulder, using your head against your wrist to slightly push out.

3- As you return to the starting position drop your arm pit into the floor.

And then step 3 becomes your new starting position! Keep going with the exercise to go deeper and deeper into the stretch.

In this case your Target action is dropping your armpit into the floor, that is, increasing shoulder flexion, which will go deeper and deeper with every repetition. On the other hand, your Leverage or "helper" move is moving arm laterally outwards, applying shoulder external rotation and then retreating it back. At the same time you are retreating the Leverage you will notice that you can go deeper into your Target without any effort. This is the magic of EasyFlexibility's Kinesiological Stretching.

  • #7 - Totally safe, since it was designed according to what is natural for the body. As it was explained above, while doing a KS exercise your body does not need to activate the stretch reflex to protect you.
  • #8 - Gains are permanent and steady. When your nervous system detects repeatedly that you are able to move while in a stretched position, that you are getting stronger in that position and are you able to come back from it without feeling pain, it will register your new ranges of motion as permanent, thus you keep whatever progress you got during a training session as the starting point for your next one.
  • #9 - It is very enjoyable to do, and feels more like a workout. EasyFlexibility's Kinesiological Stretching is good for all ages, and training levels, it can be applied to develop a specific sport skill or just to get flexible and feel lighter and more agile. 
  • 10# - It can be done in dynamic, static, active, relaxed, strength modalities and combinations of all, producing functional flexibility and catering for every type of body. It adapts to any sort of background. if you are a dancer you'd do the KS exercises mostly in a dynamic way, adding antagonists short range strength training to develop active flexibility; if you are a martial artist you will take advantage of the strength modality for agonists muscles; if you practice yoga asanas, you will adopt a relaxed modality where you still work in KS positions but the alternation of the Target - Leverage is practised less dynamically, and so on. The combinations are endless.

We understand the method is very different to what you know, and it is easy to understand when you practice, maybe not so much by reading technical explanations, that's why we decided to walk you through as we just did. Technical explanations are good too, the more you know about what you are doing the better you will absorb it and the more beneficial it will be. We hope you enjoyed the reading and practice.

Where to start!

Where to start will depend on your goals and level. If you can reach your toes with your wrists having legs straight without feeling much of a stretch, you are good to start the Front & Side Splits Training Program. If you need more functional flexibility for Dance, the Dance Combo is a better choice. If you can't reach your toes you will benefit greatly starting with a Beginners Hamstrings program. If you want to learn the complete method to be able to create your own routines that will benefit you and your students then you can enroll in the Certification course.

You can get Certified:

The system includes over dozens of exercises for your whole body, as well as about 25 variations for each exercise. What this means is that, there's absolutely no way you will escape becoming flexible. There is just no more excuses. You can enroll in the Online Certification Course to learn how to use the KS method to benefit yourself and your students. Click here: EasyFlexibility Training Certification 

Also, throughout the different sections here at www.easyflexibility.com we provide over 180 different training routines for all sorts of skills and levels. Send us an email using the contact buttons at the bottom of the page, or talk to us on Live Chat from Monday to Friday at 9am to 5pm EST.

Now that you know about the KS method, are you going to keep wasting time and money, risking your health, hitting plateaus, wondering how to reach your goal instead or working towards it? Or are you going to start your EasyFlexibility Training Program and get full splits, amazing back bends, perfect posture and awesome flexibility in all your joints and muscles sooner than you expect?

 

Check out EasyFlexibility's most popular Training Combos!

(Click on the pictures below to get more information)

 

 Ballet and Modern Dance Combo


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