Stretches for Tall People

7 messages
24/08/2002 at 17:18
Hey! My boyfriend (6'6") has just got into running. I keep on encouraging him to stretch, but he has real difficulty with it. I'm not sure if he's just stiff or it's because he's so tall. I am inclined towards the later as the stretches aren't having any effect on his flexibility (or lack of it!). I can't find any info on alternative stretches for him and he's getting mightily frustrated!

Any ideas?
24/08/2002 at 20:21
There is a school of thought that says that stretching can cause more damage to the muscle than you're trying to prevent. Obviously a certain amont of flexibily is needed but this can be gained by very light stretches and building up your running slowly.
Having gone thru a period of injuries which could possibly could have been caused by over stretching I am now doing very little or no stretches. I do however, warm up for a mile and cool down with a mile jog and half mile walk. I feel that running itself will stretch the neccesary muscles to the length they need to be for the activity of running
I've only been not stretching for 8 weeks & touch wood I'm injury free at the moment, but then again I'm not traing too hard either. Time will tell.
best of luck
PM
24/08/2002 at 20:32
I think stretching again is an individual thing. I know runners who've never stretched before or after runs since they started, some have been running for ever, and suffer no more/less injuries than those who do stretch.

For myself the key is not to over stretch. I do not stretch before a run. I just ease into the run with a very gentle first mile. I do however spend time to stretch after my run when my muscles are very warm and ready for the stretch. For me personally, my calves always need stretching and I do several stretches of different intensities for them. I then do a few other gentle stretches to maintain flexibility.
You only need gentle stretches for them to be of benefit, otherwise as Pizzaman says over stretching will cause injury.
24/08/2002 at 20:33
I'm quite tall & have no problem stretching.
I strech nearly every day & have done for 15+ years, I never get injured but I make sure my muscles are warm first. After work I have a bath [to get clean] but I'm sure this helps me get warmed up as well.
Most important is not too feel pain just the stretch.
There are lots of books on streching. I have The Complete Book of Stretching [Tony Lycholat]
Sports Massage & Streching [Wayde Clews]
Try Amazon they have lots of good books.
Good Luck
25/08/2002 at 09:48
Thanks guys. I think he must just be a very inflexible person. I was worried he'd get injured with not stretching after running (which is what I do), but maybe it's not a problem...it hasn't been so far. I personally enjoy and look forward to my stretches after a run. I find it relaxing...but maybe it's not for everyone. I'll tell him to just keep to the ones he's comfortable with. again, thanks.
25/08/2002 at 10:14
I'm curious about this stretching thing. See common sense and prior knowledge would have had me agree with what people have been saying here about only needing to stretch gently and definitely not to the point of pain.

BUT I started taekwon-do in January, which needs major flexibility (for high kicks etc.)and so there is a major emphasis on stretching, especially the legs. And they really do encourage stretching as far as you can - regardless of pain (e.g. the instructors coming round and moving your legs even wider until you swear/ shout/scream!! ;-) ). Now I was very dubious about this at the start and scared of getting injured. But you know, we are SOOOO warmed up by the time we do the stretches that, pain or not, I have never been injured by them, in fact, most of my aches and pains have been helped by these stretches. And nor do I know of anyone who's trained with this school to have been injured by stretching.

So... just curious about how what seems to be common sense about not ignoring pain doesn't actually seem to have worked that way in practice. Any thoughts?
25/08/2002 at 12:52
You're quite right about Taekwon-do stretching..... to the limit.
My partner's a red belt black tab & on her way to getting more flexable she even used a stretching machine. She knows of some of her team mates who've "popped" a muscle but not as many as I know who do it while running. Maybe it's the repetitive action of running that causes the extra strain on the muscles that cause them to tire & damage, where as with Taekwon-do the excercises are more variable, thereby giving each muscle group a chance to recover.
As Hilly says, it's each to their own with stretching, what's medicine for one is anothers poison.
Most physios & coaches say stretch, it's only a hanfull who recomend not to stretch.

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