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The Stretching Roundtable 2

With Joe DeFranco, John Paul Catanzaro, and Don Alessi

This article originally appeared on www.T-nation.com

Part I the coaches talked about stretching myths and how flexibility affects muscle size and strength. This week they'll delve even deeper into the subject, so warm up your brain, do some dynamic stretches for the frontal lobe, and dig in.

Shugart: How should a person stretch before an athletic activity, a sport, or really, really good sex? Does stretching pre-sport differ from stretching pre-weight training?

Shugart: What do you think, Joe?

DeFranco:

Shugart: Good info! What's your pre-sport routine, Don?

Stretching


Shugart: Back to the gym. We've talked about stretching before lifting, but how about after and during? Break it down for us please.

DeFranco:

Stretching

Shugart: What stretching-related problems do you see the typical experienced trainee having?

 

DeFranco:

Catanzaro:

Also, a typical scenario involves tight forearm flexors and huge elbow flexors. This is quite evident during the front squat where bodybuilders prefer to cross their arms in front of them to support the bar rather than use an Olympic style with the arms uncrossed.

Stretching

Shugart: How much does age affect stretching and flexibility issues?

DeFranco:

Shugart: Don, what do you think?

Catanzaro: I agree, flexibility decreases with age and susceptibility to injury increases. Studies show that flexibility decreases 20 to 30% between the ages of 30 and 70. As Joe said, collagen proteins become more cross-linked as you age making connective tissue less flexible. There's an increased amount of calcium deposits and adhesions, and tissue begins to dehydrate. Keep in mind that exercise helps decrease fibrosis of tissue. Maximum flexibility seems to be reached between the ages of 10 and 12 years.

Stretching

Shugart: How much of flexibility is genetic? If there is a large genetic element, then how trainable is it?

DeFranco:

Shugart: What's your take on genetics, Don?

Shugart: Good point about gender. Sum it all up for us, JP.

Catanzaro:

Shugart: Okay, gotcha. But can you ever betoo flexible?

DeFranco:

Shugart: Okay, some good info there. You guys may not have agreed on everything, but you certainly cleared up a lot of confusion. Thanks for helping out today. I gotta go stretch!


About the Contributors

Don Alessi is the founder of Alessi Personal Fitness Inc. and the North American Training Certification Ltd. His clients include various professional athletes and a number of hotshot Fortune 500 executives. His specialties are mass development and body transformation. For information on a telephone consultation, e-mail him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit his site at AlessiFit.com.

Joe DeFranco's training techniques have become a hot topic worldwide. This did not happen by accident. The training programs Joe develops and the athletes he produces speak for themselves. You can learn more about Joe, his athletes, and his techniques at http://www.defrancostraining.com/.

John Paul Catanzaro, B.Sc., C.K., P.F.L.C., is a certified kinesiologist and professional fitness and lifestyle consultant with a specialized honours Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and Health Science. He owns and operates a private gym in Toronto, Ontario providing training and nutritional consulting services. For additional information, visit his website at http://www.bodyessence.ca/ or call 416-292-4356. John Paul also has a DVD available with demonstrations of many types of stretches. You can read more about it at his site.

2 Comments

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  1. I know it's an old comment, but whatever. Saw it, want to answer it. I think that part of the problem is that yoga is a complete system, and is just not specifically made for football. You might use exercises that are also used in yoga to stretch for football, or weightlifting, or whatever is your sport, but going to yoga classes is too broad and not adapted to most high level sports. Basically, going to yoga classes to improve your football would be like going to the gym to enhance your athletic abilities, and use a badly designed bodybuilder workout using only guided isolation movements. It would be idiotic, because what you do wouldn't be appropriate for what you're trying to achieve.
  2. I am a football player. I was planning on incorporating some yoga into my life having seen NFL players doing it. When I read that Joe thinks that mixing yoga with football players is moronic I got confused. I feel like I understand Joe's pre-workout advice for stretching but what is the difference between yoga and the post workout stretching that Joe recommends? Can someone help me clear this up? Thanks.

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