Relax Into Stretch Questions

Kai333

Double-Digit Post Count
Background: I'm fourteen years old, have judo practice 3 days a week and I am doing the Simple and Sinister program.
Hey guys, I recently got Relax Into Stretch and I have a couple questions. I'm pretty inflexible everywhere, so what stretches are the most crucial? I am also confused on whether I should do forced relaxation, contrast breathing, or the clasp knife. Are there pros and cons to each or is one better than the other?
Thanks
 

Jak Nieuwenhuis

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
make sure you are doing the 2 stretches included in the S and S book first.

then work your problem areas next..

other people follow RIS here, hopefully they will chime in on your other questions
 

jef

I am a student of strength.
Certified Instructor
What stretches are the most crucial?
It depends of your activity. You only need slightly more range of motion that what you activity requires. What is limiting you in judo?

As long as you are still pretty inflexible, stick to the basic Relax into stretch. No need for more complication yet. I got quite close to the splits (both side and front) in my twenties with those. When you need more, it will still be time to have a look at the more advanced strategies.
 

Pavel Macek

More than 2500 posts
Master Certified Instructor
@Kai333

Pickup few stretches for flexion (toe touch, good morning... ), extension (hip flexor stretches... ), and rotation. Add spinal decompression on the bar and S&S stretches.

In the beginning, focus on the first methods mention in the book (relaxed stretching, easier versions of PNF stretching). Mix and match.

Have 2-3 longer/harder sessions a week, otherwise stretch daily - just very easy session - and practice Super-Joints.

Attend Flexible Steel Level 1 cert or learn from a FS certified instructor.
 

Kai333

Double-Digit Post Count
What stretches are the most crucial?
It depends of your activity. You only need slightly more range of motion that what you activity requires. What is limiting you in judo?

As long as you are still pretty inflexible, stick to the basic Relax into stretch. No need for more complication yet. I got quite close to the splits (both side and front) in my twenties with those. When you need more, it will still be time to have a look at the more advanced strategies.
I want to be able to go deeper in my seionage (think squat) and have more flexible groin muscles.

If I were to do the 2 stretches from S&S, the Good Morning Stretch, the Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch, the Karate Stance Groin Stretch, the Decompression Hang, and the Calf Stretch, would that be a good stretching program?
 

jef

I am a student of strength.
Certified Instructor
@Kai333
It seems a reasonable choice to me.

Also, follow Pavel's above advice:
- stretch almost daily.
- most sessions should be "easy stretching". Start with a not too challenging position, relax, increase range, spend some time relaxing in the new position, repeat a few times. Keep breathing all the time. Make sure you have time before the session, because time constraints and relaxation do not go well together.
- 2 to 3 times a week, push a bit more. Still Relaxing stretches, but go a bit further. Challenge, but do not struggle. You may (or may not) add some contract-relax at this stage, but nothing more advanced yet.

At your age, and considering what you aim for, I don't think it is neither wise or needed to add more advanced stretching methods. You should get good results with relaxing stretches.
 

Pantrolyx

Triple-Digit Post Count
I would strongly advise you to simply try sitting down in a deep squat every now and then, and gradually learn to consider it a resting position. A "third world squat" will quickly make you less tight if you, as most western, sit too much in your daily life. It can also be done at any time, and combined with reading, watching TV etc.

Ido Portal has a program which simply demands that you sit in a squat for 30 minutes a day, for 30 consecutive days. Give it a try.
 
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