I decided to launch into a new personal challenge, even though the 30 Videos in 30 Days one is still under way (and going quite well, thanks for asking). The challenge is simply to build enough strength to be able to do 21 pull-ups. Clean pull-ups, mind you. But just watch the video, where you’ll see exactly what I mean.
My first 30-day experiment has now run it’s course and it’s time to post the results. The experiment consisted of me doing Resistance Stretching exercises for 30 days, every day. Unfortunately, there was a small glitch along the way: I paused the experiment for four days due to a minor knee-injury. To compensate, I extended the experiment by four days, so I hope you agree that it still counts as a 30-day experiment. Now, let’s take a look at the before-and-after pics and the measurement data, before we get to my conclusion of the experiment:
I have been doing Resistance Stretching exercises regularly for 20 days now, so I’m just over half way through my 30-day experiment with this technique. The book I use as a guide (Genius of Flexibility, Bob Cooley), describes four series of flexibility exercises. The first series is for beginners, the second one for intermediates, the fourth one contains advanced stretches and the third one contains stretches to be done with a partner. I have tried all of the stretching exercises except the ones that require a partner. Here is what I have experienced so far:
I have been doing the Resistance Stretching exercises daily for one week now. This method of stretching took some getting used to and I had difficulties with some aspects of the exercises. Luckily, when I contacted Anne Tierney, a Resistance Stretching expert, she generously gave me input and advice. Anne uses and teaches a branch of Resistance Stretching called Ki-Hara, and together with Steven Sierra, she has trained numerous top athletes. Here are a few of my questions about Resistance Stretching answered by Anne:
(Total reading time: <3 minutes)
After illustrating my issues with common stretching exercises (they don’t work) in the first part of this series and introducing the new method I will experiment with (Resistance Stretching) in the second part, it is now time to lay out how I will test the new stretching method and how I will measure it’s effects (or lack thereof).
(Total reading time: 5 minutes)
There are two names most widely associated with Resistance Stretching: Bob Cooley and Dara Torres. Bob Cooley is the guy who came up with the technique of Resistance Stretching and Dara Torres, the famed American Olympic swimmer, is arguably the one person who gave it the best PR. According to Torres, Resistance Stretching played an important role in her training and she claims it improved her swimming performance (see this interview). She has even said that Resistance Stretching was her “secret weapon”, implying that it played a very important part in her training.
(Total reading time: 4 Minutes.)
I have practiced different styles of martial arts for most of my life and I’ve been a martial arts instructor since 2000. Part of the training regimen of every style I’ve ever practiced was stretching. In all these years of training, I have never become as flexible as I would like to be, so I decided to do a stretching experiment on myself and see if I can learn something new.
A long, long time ago, when I first started stretching regularly, I knew practically nothing about it, but had certain expectations none the less. I imagined that stretching regularly would make me more and more flexible. Simple enough, right?