Stretching & Flexibility/stretching order

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Question
Brad,
    I was wondering if there if is an optimal order for stretching the m posterior muscles  from the glute to the foot (glute, hamstring, calf). Is it better to stretch proximal to distal or proximal to distal?

Answer
Hi Rick,

Thanks for your inquiry.

Limited data exists on what order individual stretches should be done in. However, some researchers have suggested designing flexibility training programs that start with the core muscles of the stomach, sides, back and neck, and then work out to the extremities. So working from proximal to distal could be beneficial.

Others have recommended starting with sitting stretches, because there is less chance of accidental injury while sitting, before moving on to standing stretches.

The exact order in which individual stretches are done is not the main point of emphasis; the main priority is to cover all the major muscle groups and their opposing muscles, and to work on those areas that are most tight or more important for your specific sport.

Here's some more answers to common questions about stretching... http://stretchcoach.com/articles/how-to-stretch/

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


Regards,
Brad Walker
The Stretch Coach™

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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