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Stretching & Flexibility/Flexibility dissapears when cold

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Question
Hi Brad,

I'm having the following problem:

Im 32 years old. For 2 years, almost everyday, I do dynamic stretches and static stretches. Sometimes twice a day. When i'm properly warmed up i can kick high without feeling stiff or pain. Before kicking I do dynamic leg swings and after practicing kicks I do static stretches.

The problem is whenever i'm cold i'm stiff as if i've never done any stretches in my life. Do I have to warm up the rest of my life in order to be flexible? Or is this normal and after a few more years I will be flexible even without warming up?

Do I have stiff ligaments? Can these ligaments be safely stretched?

I really appreciate your answer.

Best regards,

Robert

Answer
Hi Robert,

Thanks for your inquiry. It's a pleasure to help and I hope the following is beneficial.

Even the most flexible people still have to warm up to achieve their best range of motion (ROM). Although, as your "warm" level of flexibility improves there is usually a small carry over effect to your "cold" level of flexibility. But no matter how flexible you get, you'll still need a moderate warm up to achieve your best ROM.

As for stiff ligaments? Ligaments attach bone to bone (as in the ligaments that hold the ankle joint together) and should never be stretched. Muscles, fascia and tendon (tendons attach muscle to bone) on the other hand, should be the focus of your stretching and can be stretched safely as long as you follow the guidelines for safe stretching... http://injuryfix.com/archives/good-stretch-bad-stretch.php

Everyone is different when it comes to stretching and flexibility. Myself, if I don't stretch for a few days I lose flexibility very quickly. Other people are naturally flexible and rarely do any stretching. The important thing is to understand how your body responds and adapt your training to suit your specific needs.

I hope the above has been helpful. For more information on stretching, flexibility and sports injury management, visit Injury Fix.


Brad Walker
Founder & CEO
Injury Fix

Stretching & Flexibility

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Brad Walker (The Stretch Coach)

Expertise

I'm more than happy to answer any questions relating to stretching, flexibility and sports injury management. Including how to use stretching to improve your athletic performance, prevent sports injury and aid in the recovery of sports injury.

Experience

I'm an internationally recognized stretching and sports injury consultant with more than 20 years of practical experience in the health and fitness industry. I'm also the founder of the Stretching Institute and StretchCoach.com.

Organizations
Sports Medicine Australia

Publications
I've written 5 books on stretching, flexibility and sports injury, including... The Stretching Handbook (ISBN: 978-0958109338), The Anatomy of Stretching (ISBN: 978-1556435966) and The Anatomy of Sports Injuries (ISBN: 978-1556436666). Plus, I've had numerous articles published at About.com, Athletes.com and BodyBuilding.com.

Education/Credentials
I'm a health science graduate of the University of New England, with post graduate accreditation's in athletics, swimming and triathlon coaching. I've worked with elite level and world champion athletes and I've lectured for Sports Medicine Australia on sports injury prevention and treatment.

Past/Present Clients
I've worked as assistant coach to Miles Stewart (World Champion Triathlete) and Mick Doohan (World 500cc Motorcycle Champion). Plus I've worked with countless other athletes from sports as diverse as roller-skating, squash, and cycling.

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