Extended Length Conditioning are a special exercise group. They take a muscle or a synergetic group of muscles and strengthen them through full range of motion. ELC exercises are not stretches, but they are flexibility’s best friend. Unlike regular strength exercises, which work in the normal range, ELC connect the "normal" with the "new", deep range.
Here are the benefits of Extended Length Conditioning exercises to flexibility training and injury prevention
1. Getting Comfortable:
Stretch reflex (the pain that prevents stretching) is your body's way of freaking out. As soon as your joints go a bit past the familiar range, there is panic and resistance to stretching further. Extended Length Conditioning exercises allow the body to feel strong and protected in that deep range. Developing strength there, tells the muscles and nerves and other tissues that it's ok to be in the stretch, there is strength there and thus comfort.
2. Cold Flexibility:
Most people are more flexible warm than they are cold, that is not a secret. The reason for that is because we don't operate in the deep ranges of our joints. This is where ELC comes in. It does exactly that. It makes the deep range natural and connected to standard ranges.This allow for better cold flexibility, faster warm up, etc.
3. Injury prevention:
Most serious injuries happen in deep ranges. (This is exactly what the stretch reflex is trying to protect you from). Developing strength in those ranges makes sure that if the body has to do a strong contraction, while the muscles are stretched, there is enough strength to keep them safe.
4. Added Overall Strength:
This one is usually considered more of a side effect of Extended Length Conditioning. It works because the most strength a muscle produce is in the mid-range. A few degrees toward deeper range, (even long before full stretch is reached), the force production decreases. However, if the deep range gets deeper, then the mid-range becomes larger too. More force can be produced throughout a larger portion of movement, thus the mid-range becomes stronger.
Extended Length Conditioning exercises have helped many people to stay safe, maintain their flexibility gains, and develop flexibility faster than before. Sometimes even one session is enough to see the results of these techniques.
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