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CraigR last won the day on March 1

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About CraigR

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  1. Excellent Matt — great idea to explore all of the different variations of each stretch, find your own tightest lines, and work on those. That's what ST is all about. And if you simply can't get into a particular stretch because of excess tension elsewhere, those are the areas you should focus on first before returning to the original stretch. This is how you learn to develop and constantly refine your own personalised practice.
  2. Hi Matt, how does it feel if you raise your hands even higher off the floor than with yoga blocks, say onto a box or chair? I've had plenty of students begin with a far more upright position simply because the predominant sensation for them was tension felt through hamstrings, glutes and/or adductors on the front leg. Also keep your front foot just a little further forward than your front knee, as taking it further forward will simply keep adding more requirement for hamstrings to lengthen. The other thing to consider is to simply stretch your hamstrings and/or adductors first, befor
  3. I find topical magnesium works quite well for me with localised cramps and muscular tension. It also seems to help with general relaxation and sleep. I'd go so far as to say it's been one of the better supplements I've used in terms of actually noticing a positive effect, whether real or placebo, if there's a difference. With topical application there's no problem with excess and gastrointestinal issues, plus it does seem to have a more localised effect. For reference, I've only really used the Ancient Minerals products in the past and am now testing out some of the products offered by Am
  4. Hi Aiya, sounds like you're already on the right track. Just a few thoughts... With all of my beginner students I tend to focus heavily on the contraction part of the contract-relax sequence to first develop awareness of what is being stretched. The relaxation and flexibility aspects come later. Also I want the clearest possible signal between the brain and what's being stretched, so I try to remove anything that may be a distracting or overwhelming sensation. You may find unilateral stretches better for this purpose than bilateral ones as this will instantly halve the
  5. The wall and floor pec and bicep stretches are fantastic, you'll find those in the master shoulder flexibility program along with the ring single arm reach. They won't give the same result but they are solo and you get to compare left-right differences which is an additional benefit. If you don't have access to that program yet, get it. Otherwise, you can check out one of Emmet's video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQ7tgOHj9vM
  6. Hi TonyW, a very general recommendation is that gentle stretching, limbering, mobilisation, movement etc. can be done daily while deeper stretching into new ranges of motion (using the contract-relax method) can be done once or twice per week. All depends on how your body recovers from those deeper sessions. For rounded shoulders or hunched forward posture I'd definitely add this partner pec minor stretch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mPbEggRY_k And for internal rotation of the shoulders (subscapularis), you could also try this one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syBMUZmyJlA
  7. Hi Endre, As a starting point I'd keep things simple and consider what shape the body is in whilst cycling, and what muscles will be doing the work. These are the areas likely to become habitually shortened and overworked, so that would be my focus. Any stretches from the book that target quads & hip flexors, thoracic extension and front of chest will be great, so too any stretches for glutes, hamstrings and calves. Work through those areas and find the ones that are particularly tight for you. Enjoy!
  8. That's excellent you tried both versions and found the one that works best in your body. Did you follow it up with the arm across front stretch? And if so, did you notice any changes in that compressed sensation?
  9. It may simply be the sensation of "tight" soft tissue being compressed between harder bony structures. Have you tried the floor chest stretch (both pec minor and bicep variations) first, before the arm across body stretch? You might find that stretching the side where you're feeling the compression first will help to lessen or alleviate that type of compressed sensation.
  10. As @Nathan mentioned it can be quite difficult to contract a muscle that is already in a shortened/contracted state, and especially if the opposing muscle is either chronically tight or in its most lengthened state. You may already do this, but I find the most important step for a lot of people (which is often skipped over) is learning how to activate the muscles required to pull the knees to the floor. So the first step is to come back out of the stretch a little bit (or as much as you need to) by lifting your knees, then put your hands under the knees and pressing the knees down st
  11. Reminds me of this quote by Mike Webster: "So you have to tinker with it, lift enough to stimulate growth and strength gains, and do it in such a way that you can recover and adapt before your nerves forget all about the fact that they had to lift something heavy a few days ago. You can try and track every little thing, or you can just work hard, lift in an appropriate rep range with a weight appropriate to that rep range, and let your body figure it out, because it's smarter than you anyway, and we're still trying to figure out how it all works. You just need to put together a
  12. Hi TonyW, Your shoulder pain could be caused by a number of different things including any existing soft tissue issues you might have, any muscular or functional imbalances, as well as your form while performing pushups and pull-ups. If you don't do it already, keeping elbows tucked in vs. flaring out and screwing your hands into the floor (external rotation) are some good general cues you can try. See if it feels any different in your shoulders. A simple and general recommendation would be to also make sure you're working on strengthening horizontal pulling movements and external sh
  13. Thank-you Rik, and I'm sure you are correct re Roman. I was simply referring to Kit's comment about the book that popularised the idea with respect to attaining mastery.
  14. It was probably Malcom Gladwell’s book, Outliers. I feel it should go without saying on this forum, since it's such a core part of Stretch Therapy, but deliberate practice and not simply repetitions is what's important. "Unfortunately, Ericsson says Gladwell misinterpreted his research and that 10,000 hours of merely repeating the same activity over and over again is not sufficient to catapult someone to the top of their field." https://www.businessinsider.com.au/anders-ericsson-how-to-become-an-expert-at-anything-2016-6
  15. @jaja, fantastic. I'll just add a couple more thoughts to what I wrote in the comment linked to above. Thanks @Nathan for digging it up. I mostly focused on a combination of two main variations with the SLS. Using a weight held out in front as a counter balance, and using a heel lift. The weight I used was the absolute minimum required to provide enough counter balance to overcome any ankle restriction, from memory the max I used was 5kg. I continuously changed it up, using a heavier weight with no heel lift, no weight but a higher heel lift, or a lighter weight and a small heel
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