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Why can professionals stretch several times a day and I have to rest? – EasyFlexibility

Why can professionals stretch several times a day and I have to rest?

Posted by Paul Zaichik on

You say to rest between stretching, but professionals perform and stretch several times a day? Why is that?

I got this question this morning. Fair question. I was trying to figure all this out decades ago, myself, lol
  • Short answer: professionals are not stretching to increase range of motion.
  • Long answer: stretching is not different than strength training. If one is looking for progress, there is stress. Tissues break. Given time and nourishment they build and adapt to stress.
    A professional dancer or fighter stretching every day or several times a day is about the same stress as a soldier doing 5 push ups, whenever he wants. Just walk around, drop and do 5 push ups. Did he break any tissue? No. Because he can do a lot more.
Now imagine a person who can only do 5 or even 4 push ups. Gives all he got and does 5 push ups. He will be sore next day. So when you are training for flexibility, you are that person.
A professional dancer, gymnast, cheerleader, yogi, fighter can already do a split for example. It’s not big deal for them to do it. They don’t need time to recover. Of course if they now want to over-split and go beyond their range… then they need recovery time. (A dancer trying to stretch beyond her normal ROM for a performance is taking a risk).
So in summary, if you are extending your normal range in your training session, you need rest after.
P.S. keep in mind that the addition of strength exercises to stretching counts as “new training”. In other words, say you can do a straddle split. However today, you added supine leg flies to it (Extended Length Conditioning for adductors) to your regular stretching. You need rest after, even though you haven’t gone beyond your normal range.

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