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Florian last won the day on April 21 2018

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  1. Hello. I feel with you. I don't have any good idea how to help you with this, but just concerning your problem of "it seems loading is necessary" but the ways you know to do that aren't possible in your situation. Have you tried just to sit on the floor? Can you straighten your legs in this position? Maybe you could try to load your hamstrings for example in a pancake position, which should be possible in a very safe and controlled manner. It is possible to do this with the legs bent too if necessary. Another idea are shoulder bridges. You talk about glute bridges, where your legs are bent and you try to extend the hip. The same is possible with the legs straight (the hip extension then is not as far "away" as with bent legs). You can put your arms at your side and help a bit with the movement. And you could experiment with this, without to actually lift yourself up. Instead of pushing so hard that your butt comes off the ground, you could try just to assume a posterior pelvic tilt on the floor (then you have your hip extension already) and push a bit with your heels into the ground. So you can start with very gentle force on your heels and control the amount of strength you use. If you want to load them, you don't need to actually perform any specific movement, just to load them a little bit according to your actual possibilities without experiencing (much) pain. You can try to sit on a chair with your feet firm on the ground and push your heels a bit backwards into the ground. You can lie on your belly, bent your leg to 90°, then raise your knee off the ground or just experiment whether you can do a contraction in this direction. Have you tried to do something with resistant bands? [ edit: Just saw that you already do resistant band stuff. Sorry, I haven't read everything yet; I will read everything later. ] And what is with unloaded movements? Can you do them? You can promote blood flow by this too. What do others think on that? I don't know, if there is much pain involved by completely unloaded motions, it is a good idea to load it yet? Other than that, concerning the IT-Band. I am just curious. Have you tried to work on this? I would be interested in your feet (is there a pronation or something?), in the way you walk, the external and internal rotation of your hip on both sides and differences there and your hip flexors. There could be so much things involved in your hamstring problem. Therefore, maybe find a good Osteopath? If they are good, they really look at everything in context, which problem could possibly cause another etc. I hope you get well soon. Would like to hear how its going.
  2. @Kit_L Concerning your statement "whether "stretch" and "strength" are discriminations that have passed their use-by date": I thought on this too a wile ago. While I was formulating my thoughts for the girls I train and some sort of a system. I tried to define, what "strength" could be in the fullest or most integral sense of the term and my ideas were circling around the two terms strength and ease. Integral strength as obvious cannot be limitied to something like "moving weight in a specific direction in a specific angle" etc. It needs to mean, that you have power over your muscles and through your muscles over your joints in a balanced way and in all kinds of directions and angles etc. And in all kind of ways too, slowly, explosive, gentle or harsh; in dance and acrobatics maybe more than anywhere else, you need to differentiate, you need to be able to unleash your strength in all those ways and switch between them very smooth or rapidly. Strength then is resistance. You resist gravity etc. And you do this not only in movements like shoulder presses etc., but for example in subtle balance work like Handstands and Footstands too. And then there is this concept of ease. For me it means just the opposite: don't resist gravity, let yourself fold into the floor without resistance, like water or a soft blossom. But now, as I think, these "two" are causing each other. There are many people able to do a split after a warm up etc. But there are less people able to just stand on one leg in a perfect side split, and those are the ones who can really move with ease and seem less prone to injury. I don't see much worth or art in just be able to slide into a split after a warm up and without any strength to "express" this position in other planes (in a handstand, hanging on straps...) The problem with many children is, that they have a very great strength at close ranges (in opposition to adults; for example the little gymnasts have very strong hip flexors) but they do less strengthening of the "stretched" muscle itself (which means, for example, they are often not able to support themselves in a split.) But there are gymnasts too who do both, like the "sit in a side split and contract the hamstrings to lift your bum off the ground", as meantioned in my first post. Olivia stated, that "Adults (...) have many ROM restrictions" in difference to children. But as I think and said earlier, they have less strength at end- and close-ranges too. By doing contract-relax stuff - which you find to be effective for adults - you do some end-range strengthening and you do it all the more, if you extend the contractions into longer isometrics or add weight over time etc. I consider this as the major reason why it works. If you combine this with strengthening of the opposite side by different means, reps, weighted or not, holds, isometrics, overcoming-isometrics etc. you get the balance you need into those muscles, which are complementary to each other. The one can "ease" into deep positions, while and because the other can strongly contract in close ranges to let you ease into it and vice versa, like in the mentioned standing split without hand support. There are many possible ways to do this. You can do it with straight or bent legs, you can do it by reaching a point, doing a specific task (gymnasts are doing this by raising their straight leg unto, for example, a stall bar, then pulling it higher to the next bar/pole and so on, turned forward or sidewards, Dave Tilley is promoting this too and I think its quite similar to @Emmet Louis concentric quasi isometrics. At least I know that this is done in rhythmic gymnastics to a degree). They are doing the opposite side to strengthen their standing back/front split (standing straight leg scorpion without hands) by standing with their back to the stall bar, with the extended leg against it, then pulling it away from the bar in reps or just hold strongly with their hands to the bar while contracting the glutes of the extended leg etc. For children you might not need weights for these strengthening exercises, but if you're a teenager or adult and especially if you are doing other weight training, so that you have strengthen your mid-range quite a lot, you might use weights for this close/wide/end-range stuff too. Ballistics are done with the same contractions of the opposite/antagonist muscle, just in a more subtle and short manner, but I would just place them in the second plane mentioned in my first post. If someone has strong hamstrings and the only thing lacking are strong hip flexors in close range etc., it might be one reason why ballistics help them so fast to get a pancake. In some cases the antagonist contraction as done in ballistics isn't enough (or might just cause unhandleable doms, because the hamstrings etc. are too weak in this range; for this purpose, weight might be the right thing (straight leg good mornings, pancake good mornings with weight and emphasize on the hamstrings etc.) On the opposite site there are people having strong hip flexors but they don't get the front split and they always think "ouuh I have so thight hip flexors, they are hindering me to get my front splits!", but they might just lack glute strength in close range and/or strength in their hamstring end range. I do my training around this concept and I think it works quite well. But anyway. I am very happy that these thoughts helped you Kit and thank you Emmet for explaining a few open topics. I would really like to read a bit more (examples would be great) about what you talked about here @Emmet Louis: "In general there's a risk of over using the end ranges strengthening with out fully integrating it into full range movements so be careful of making your movements all end range as some systems are promoting. I've been helping more than a few people this year so far who've experienced the issues related to this." Thank you @Natawat too. I was wondering what this guy is doing exactly. This sheds some light on it. I could not afford his coaching.
  3. That's the reason, why, e.g. acrobatic gymnasts, have such a superior flexibility. Their stretching, which in most cases isn't really "modern" or effective at all, is just a tiny piece in their whole - rather unconscious - flexibility programme. If you work extensively on straddle supports and unsupported standing splits like these, you strengthen your end range. I guess you won't think that they have good pikes because they stretch their pike passively for nothing more than a few seconds in training. They have good pikes because they train their 'active compression' as we call it, through l-sits, then v-sits etc. in great volume. With pancake its the same. The pancake is an absolute essential for doing good straddles/stalders. If you can't actively compress and hold the compression during the movement, you won't get a decent stalder press or endo. So the gymnasts are doing pancake and pike pulses (with one leg at a time and both legs), which, if done correctly, require just the same muscular effort as Emmets rhytmic pulses technique for getting deeper into a pancake. To visualize this with a few pictures. At the beginning, when you're rather weak at the end range, your straddle support will look like this, legs parallel to the floor. But you keep working on your end range strength and you will achieve this. And its totally possible to do it even higher, I just found no image. Likewise, your l-sit will be something like demonstrated here, if you just begin to train it. Over time, if your end range strength catches up, you get this. I know 9 eight year olds doing those with ease. Some sort of over-coming isometrics too. My idea and actual approach is (and if I understood him correctly at his M3 seminar, this is the ultimate aim of Emmet too), that, if you move and strengthen correctly, you don't need to stretch at all. Not in the sense of the term of forcing (or tricking or relaxing over long time) yourself into a deeper range of motion. But you just sink into it by getting stronger. To get into actual positions showcasing flexibility like pikes, pancakes and splits on the floor are rather a "test" of your flexibility than the actual work on it. You just test what your body allows you to do, until you feel a restriction, which is a weakness in this range. Then you strengthen your range just a bit above that weakness. Your body is showing you his weaknesses. Its like if the body is saying: "Do you feel that? In this position, I am not strong enough; do something here!" But instead of doing something there, we try to convince our body, that its already save and to relax. But if you look at this sensation (of a muscle being "stretched") as an indicator of your weakness, you will make sure to get some strength in this range. And if you got some, you test again and you will find, that you will feel the stretch sensation now a bit later (which means in the first place, that you were able to go deeper without any pain); and instead of remaining there and getting your body to relax to go deeper, you strengthen again. The strengthening then is done on two planes. (1) You strengthen your muscles which are stretched (or rather: are suppose to relax) and which are responsible to support you in the position. So for example, if doing a front split, simply spoken, the backside of your front leg and the frontside of your back leg need to be strong enough to support you in your actual end range. So you do isometrics or contract-relax-cycles - which are the same, if you increase your contract-time progressively -, until you are able to support your entire body between two blocks etc. This type of strength training, which is, essentially, a straight leg training, or "locked-knee" as Emmet calls it, should be approached like straight arm training, to save the ligaments etc. This plane is nothing new. Emmet is doing it like this and martial artists etc. did it this way for a long time. Rhythmic gymnasts do strengthening of those muscles too, for example if they sit in a side split, hands overhead and just raise their bum a bit of the floor in repititions by sequeezing the legs together. (2) The second plane and just the whole "secret" of (to give an example) the exquisite active flexibility shown in rhythmic gymnastics, is just strengthening of the antagonist/opposite muscles. So for example, you want to increase your hip flexor flexibility for standing splits as shown above. Then you strengthen your active hip extension end range by overcoming isometrics and reps with weight etc. So instead of strengthen the hip flexors, which are responsible to allow you to go deeper into hip extension under load (e.g. of your body), you strengthen the opposite side, which is responsible to go into hip extension without or against load (against the load of your leg you need to raise). If you sit on the floor in a straddle trying to go deeper into a pancake and activating the muscles on the front of your leg to let the muscles on the back of your leg letting you go deeper, you are doing the same. Pancake good mornings are supposed to work this way too. The problem is that many people are looking at an exercise and just try to imitate what they saw. But just because their movement looks the same it doesn't mean that they doing the same, because it feels different, because they don't use the muscles they are supposed to use. So, in a pancake good morning you are supposed to use the muscles on the front of your leg (and core etc.) to pull you deeper. When you are doing traditional contract-relax stretching or contract agonist relax, contract antagonist relax etc. you basically do the same, but on a less specific level and most of the time less progressive. So you just progress from a few seconds into longer isometrics and reps with weight and you need to find the right exercises with good positions or angles to work on the antagonists you want to strengthen while prevent too much compensation (for example lower back extension to compensate for a lack of active end range hip extension). You may take a look at this: Apart from their (often very disputable and extreme) partner stretches etc. you just will see, that they are doing end range closing and strengthening all the time. So in my opinion, there is no secret method out there or anything new to be found (if we just speak of gaining active range of motion). The methods are already there, one just needs to learn from those who are showing the greatest active flexibility in the world, which are acrobatic and rhythmic gymnasts. The old-fashioned stretching has still value. But for my understanding, not primarily or at all to increase range of motion. The greatest value of the stretch therapy system, to my understanding, is the release of tension and the solution of all problems which are caused by unnessecary tension (but I need to emphasize, that I am not a ST teacher and cannot claim to have a real understanding of what ST is all about and I cannot afford to got one either). The most effective methods to increase active flexibility, which I think of as true flexibility, are increasing tension rather than decreasing it, at least while doing the work, although they do it in a balanced way, if you strengthen yourself really in every range of motion. ST can help you to relax from all that tensioning you do. But to be honest, I have the feeling, that the overall tension is less too, if your strength is balanced by a high volume/degree of end range strength. I think, that unnecessary tension is always a sort of protective mechanism, which is needed because of weakness in different ranges/angles (asymmetry or muscle imbalances are one part of that too). If you overcome your weakness, you overcome the cause of tension your body creates to protect itself. Simple as that. I do it like this for myself (I had no former gymnastics background, just skateboarding, started acrobatics with 23 and was very inflexible), I do it with the girls I train in acrobatics and just started to implement those ideas into work with other adults too. Maybe I will report back what they achieve by this. // edit: Of course I know that one cannot simply compare children's with adults bodies and flexibility. But there are more than enough adults out there who have achieved great flexibility by this. This guy for example. I think that we have overrated the importance or the value of stretching in children too. Yes, it is easier for a child to get a splits, because their muscles/fascia/everything isn't so fucked up, but the active work they do is really and far more important for their flexibility than any stretching they do. I want to give an example, two older girls (15 and 19), a little girl (6) and myself have trained for the straddle planche recently. A normal straddle planche is looking like this. Ideally for good form it is supposed to keep an posterior pelvic tilt, which he is doing more or less. Of course there is a lot of shoulder strength needed, but at this training day we focused on the legs. As you see, one needs the strength to keep the legs level with the rest of the body; so there is hip extension going on. But at the same time, one needs to keep the straddle. And as you can guess, the wider the straddle or the more you are in an actual side split, the easier it is to hold the position, because your center of gravity is shifted more towards your base plate (the hands). Girls often are making it easier by having a perfect or nearly perfect split and going into a anterior pelvic tilt. This is not a perfect example, but it gives the idea. To pull the legs actively in a side split in this position is very difficult. So in our training we worked on actively extending and straddling the legs as wide as we could with our lap lying prone on the horse. What was the result? The 15 year old girl has a perfect side split and exquisite passive flexibility by doing splits since her early childhood. But the described exercise was extremely hard for her. She couldn't raise the legs very high and she couldn't straddle them very wide. The little girl of 6 is overall rather weak. She has not much core strength, not much arm strength, not much anything. But it was easy for her to get her legs actively as high and as wide as her actual passive side split is. Because of this and other observations I conclude, that the strength of younger children is naturally still more balanced, which means more strength at their end ranges in relation to their overall strength (their proportions are relevant too of course). And because the most adults do not work at their end ranges at all or just try to go rather passively into them, their strength gets more and more imbalanced and focused on the range inbetween, making them weaker and weaker in all shortened and elongated positions and therefore it seems harder for them to gain more range. This is speculation of course. But observe and try yourself. It was revealing for me.
  4. Have just looked through the programme. Cool stuff and thank you for it. I don't know whether there is already something going on concerning the implementation of translated audio files in other languages. I just want to add: Even if I like this approach - and I like it more than just subtitles - I still think that subtitles should be available; just think of those people, who cannot hear. And I still can offer my time to do (or to help with) the translation work into german, if needed.
  5. Thank you very much for replying @Kit_L. The problem just came back these days (I tried to hang relaxed again...) Yes, I had this thought too that fixing the asymmetry could be the solution. But the process of fixing it seems difficult, especially concerning my back. For example, we did "arch ups" regularly (like this). In this exercise I have the impression, that my right side is working more. But since the right side is stronger, I find it close to impossible to engage the left side more, because the right side is just doing the most work automatically. The osteopath I was going to was looking at my back from behind, standing and sitting, like you recommend it, and she said that she was able to SEE that the back muscles on my right side were more developed. And yes, my hip flexor is tighter on the right side too, just as you said. A few things I do: - I try to stand neutral in many hand to hand positions and in those where I need to stand different, I choose the more "uncomfortable" side, to change the pattern. - I do more single leg squats and I do one or two sets more on the left/weaker side. - I stretch my hip flexors and I start on the right side and end with it. - Recently I did archer push-ups (in the past I trained pseudo planche push-ups and handstand push-up negatives only). There I recognized another weakness on my left side in comparison to the right; so I should do this more regularly too.. But could you please explain a bit more on this hanging issue? I go back to hanging over and over if I am confident enough to try it again and I just don't want to eliminate hanging from my practice, because I feel it's a great tool and a healthy spine should handle it, to hang relaxed... I want to be able to do this again and as long as I can't, the problem isn't solved completely. It is like there is some compression going on on the right side and my body just doesn't want to decompress. Your stretches (half pancake, leaning sideways and stretch in different angles) can fix some of this tension, but sometimes, if the pain is acute, this is the worst position I can get in, because exactly in this position, leaning to the left side, left leg straight, I get this sudden, stabbing pain, having the impresssion that there is a bulging disc or something. And its always while flexing the spine. There is no pain in extension, just some pressure. I can easily do bridges right now, but I cannot do a pancake and lean to the left while flexing a bit. And if the pain is there, there is a point of pain in doing jefferson curls (without weight) for example. It hurts if I get to this point and it doesn't hurt if I got over it, then it hurts again by going back up when coming over the point. Maybe you can read something from this. And merry christmas to you and Liv.
  6. Concerning this: If you're doing the hf stretch at the wall with your girlfriend sitting on you, facing the wall, maybe give her the clue, not to just sit and let her weight push you "down", but to push a bit against you (the direction should be horizontal, away from the wall; she could, for example, push with her feet against the wall or if the distance is too long for that, use some yoga blocks or something on the ground before the wall and let her push against those). This should create enough counterforce to prevent her from slipping down. It will also make the stretch more intensive. In split work you don't want to push down but to go into more length (while being very sensitive to your hips, holding them always square). You can think like: Depth will come by itself if you get the necessary length. But the necessary length will not come as easily if you just push down. You could try it naked too. Skin isn't as slippy as clothes.
  7. Sounds good. Concerning translations as mentioned by Jonas, I would be pleased to do the german subtitles, if wished.
  8. I strongly vote for the web app solution. If I understand this right, in this way you would be more independent (no dependance on iOS and Google, like if you're making a mobile app.) I imagine that this may be a point for you.
  9. Concerning front splits in gymnastics: they are supposed to be square, foot and knee pointing to the floor. And I cannot speak for artistic gymnastics, but in acrobatic gymnastics, a split with external rotated back leg = deduction of points. But that doesn't mean, that Liv isn't right anyway, because there are many coaches who simply don't care. Some of the mentioned partner stretching techniques the girls do in gymnastics, are actually forbidden now in GBR. I think Emmet pointed that out. But I think we shouldn't be too harsh with this. There are partner stretching techniques in gymnastic sports, which are done since centuries and its possible to do them safe, controlled and with the right intention. The problem is, that many coaches and most of all, many even very young gymnasts, are doing these stretches with each other just because they see others doing them without understanding how they should work. I spend a lot of time in my club to teach the girls where they should feel a stretch and how they should help each other. There are girls thinking: "stretching is supposed to hurt" and are not even able to distinguish a stretching sensation with joint pain. That is a problem. Dave Tilley is doing a very good job in this direction.
  10. I think (at least I have this feeling here in Germany), that there are many people who are actually too shy to try something like a "stretch", especially on their own. Some think that this might be dangerous and the idea that stretching could relieve their pain is new to many people, who have never experienced something like serious stretching in a sport. To reach these people we need to (1) explain them the idea of stretching per se, (2) that and how it can be done by everyone and (3) that and how effective it may be to release their pain and fix their problems in (4) differentiation to already existing methods; (I think I would do this in form of a short film, visualising this kind of tension/pain release) and then (at the end of the short film or any advertising/explanation) offering them a simple way to do this (which could be your absolute beginners stretching series with follow-along-routines). 45 minutes are good, but I would do shorter versions too. People are busy, they want to spend the least amount of time to get the biggest results. This cannot be done in stretching of course, but we may find a relatively short time scale, which will enable absolute beginners to experience the effectiveness of your method first time; through this experience they may open themselves then to dig a bit deeper into this and to stretch for longer periods of time.
  11. Hey Mark. Thank you very much for your reply. No, he has no idea. I tried to explain it to him (and to others), but they tend to say: "If you have problems, you might come to the conclusion, that this sport shouldn't be done or isn't healthy for your body". Simple as that. Not very helpful. But last week I found a new, very good Osteopath. I don't know what you Stretch Teachers tend to think about Osteopathy, but she actually helped me and cared for my problem and background. My bridge is not yet perfect, but okay (shoulders are not completely straight over my wrists) and there are a few cm left before I have flat front splits. I don't have an anterior pelvic tilt normally, but I will concentrate on this even more now while basing. Good advice. And glute strength; that could really be the thing. I had this idea too. I think I did almost nothing glute specific, apart from reverse leg lifts and a bit of squatting (and I realized, that I didn't activate my glutes very much while doing this). Last week I started natural leg curls and extensions, followed by Emmets hip flexor stretch. This week I was in training again without problems. But one thing I learned from this: The huge importance of daily limbering, of going into every range of motion while exploring tension and restriction and to release all this as regularly as possible to avoid excessive tension which will lead to this kind of pain (at least I feel that this was the cause). Finally I was able to do Kits side bending stretch again too (only to hang relaxed I haven't tried yet). I hope that it won't come again and see forward to Kits bulletproof back programme. Will be grateful for any additional advice.
  12. Update 2. I forgot to mention, that I did a pancake side bending stretch. Because I felt strongly, that my spinal erector on the right is much tighter than on the left. I know now, that I should have done this more often and much earlier, because the tension wasn't there over night but was building itself up over a longer period of time. Anyway, the result of my side bending stretch was, that the pain got worse and sharp, as I came back. I think that there is some misfiring going on. Therefore I did not stretch in any side bending the last days. I rest a lot in squat and child pose. I can do a cobra without problems. And if I managed (like yesterday) to get rid of the pain, I startet to do jefferson curls (without weight) very slowly. And it felt good. I could squat up and down without pain (a day before there was pain while initiating the hip drive). Therefore I thought I should try this side bending again, because I feel, that I could go to the root of the problem with this. I took the Overcoming Back Pain book and looked at the "trunk side bending" exercise. I did that instead of my normalle pancake side stretch. But although I did not stretch the QL itself (according to where I feel the stretch), but just the latissimus dorsi and the obliques, the pain was there again (at the sacroiliac area) by coming back (with hand/arm support, not by using the back muscles). Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  13. My advise would be (excuse me if something I write is just self-evident for you; just some thoughts, which helped me and might help you): If you can, generally, make sure to wait until your soreness and inflammation is gone before you start your next (strength) workout. If that is not going to happen and you train nonetheless, it will probably get worse. If you're doing this, always track your reps and sets and how you feel doing them. Always make sure to keep perfect form. If you cannot keep perfect form for one rep, the exercise is too hard for you and you should do it a bit easier. Don't increase your intensity/duration/load/sets/reps/whatever every workout, even IF you feel, that your actual schedule is getting too easy for you. Work one to four weeks through this phase of "too easy", then increase slowely. This will create a safe cycle and gives your connective tissue time to adapt, which is healing much slower than muscle tissue. Concerning your shoulders. You may try to do high reps of shoulder rolls. You can do them with very light-bands too (for example, you can stand on it with your foot while holding it in your hand and rolling your shoulder slowly and smooth into one direction for many reps and then into the other direction. Specifically the shoulders may respond better to your workout if you spend more time warming them up a bit. You could try yuris band sequence. I recommend this article from Jane Crane too. Those "boring" band exercises you can do with very light bands and very high reps too. Not to mention, that you shouldn't forget to stretch the area after your workout. If I understand you right, you train straight arm strength at one day and right at the next day you train bent arm (pulling/pushing) strength? I wouldn't do this. Instead, I would either do the straight and bent arm workout at the same day or keep about two days of rest between.
  14. One, as far as I know, not so well-known form of dance is georgien ballett, which I find extremely impressive. Maybe it's new to some of you too: And because acrobatic gymnastics seems to be rather unknown too (at least almost no one understands what I do without explaining him what this is), I want to share an example of an acrobatic gymnastics routine too. Its an amazing sport.
  15. Very interesting topic. I thought on the same line these days. In acrobatic gymnastics we often stand with one foot slightly in front of the other, to have a more secure standing position to catch our top/flyer (the partner at the "top"); consequently doing "squat" like movements with one leg more forward hundreds of times. And we hold our top on one arm too. Therefore I suppose that I have some muscular imbalance in myself and an Osteopath I was going to two days ago because of a lower back issue has confirmed this. The problem is: It's not really practicable if you have limited time in training with your partner and you train for competitions, to spend the same amount of time with her to train the other side too. And not that it may not be possible, but personally I have never seen a base (the partner at the bottom) holding his top on his right AND his left arm in an one-arm handstand or something like that (could be a very cool objective, though...) Therefore I have thought about ways to compensate this personal unilateral training. For example, holding a barbell with the weight of my top on my left arm and doing the same movements with this. But I suppose, you cannot really imitate the stabilising factors involved in holding a human purely by weights. Concerning our dynamic work where I need to catch her from saltos etc., I've just started to change my stance every now and then. Because, what's wrong with being able to stand both ways? And since ages I am wondering, if one shouldn't try to do round-offs on both sides. This is one particular movement which almost everyone in my club is doing exclusively on one side. And because nothing is perfect, your explosive landing will often have some unilateral impact on your hips and your back, even if you don't feel it right then. Would be very interested in thoughts of other people doing these movements. Concerning fencing I have no experience whatsoever. Is that really as it seems, that they train with one particular leg in front everytime? Never changing their stance? In relation to your question how to handle this as a ST teacher: I think it's obvious that stretching alone won't fix the issue. I would suppose, that you need to help him to strengthen his weakest spots while releasing tension in his tightest areas. With strengthening its the same as with stretching. You want to stretch the tightest spot/side to adapt to the more mobile side; then stretch them both to increase your overall range of motion (or your overall suppleness or both). While in strengthening you want to go after your weakest spot/side to adapt to the more strong side; then strengthen them both to increase your overall strength. While the combination of both will lead you to amazing active flexibility or full range strength, which I would consider as "true" strength. And IF your strength is compromised by unilateral training of one side, I suppose that we need to fix that by the same or similar unilateral training of the other side too. The question for me is to what extend we should aim to train both sides in sports which have those one-sided movements (maybe at higher levels they actually do this and I don't know it). For example: In skateboarding its the same. You have one preferable stance (so one leg is always the "back leg" and one is the "front leg" and both are doing totally different things while doing tricks). Its called "regular" and "goofy". And many amateur skaters, which are not that technical-oriented skate only on their preferable side, ever. And they find it extremely difficult even to do very basic stuff on the other side. But if you're doing competitions there and reach some level, you will start to train the other side too; and you get MORE "points" at competitions and/or credit from other skaters if you're doing a trick on the side which is NOT your "normal" and preferable one. The stance in this non-preferable side and all tricks which are done like this are then given the term "switch". And nowadays there are a few skaters, who have started trying to get rid of this "preferable stance" at all. Rodney Mullen for example, within the last ten years or so, he tried to become a generalist and today he doesn't even say anymore that he skates "regular" or "goofy" (as almost every other skater is doing), because he wants to overcome this limitation, being equally good on both sides. It should be very easy to do the same in other gymnastic sports like acrobatic gymnastics. Everything there is valued by points. The more difficult the element, the more points you're given. Why not give extra points if you do something on both sides? Maybe I should suggest this to our technical committee, haha. Just some thoughts (not supposing, that I answered your question, I am not even a ST teacher yet ;)).
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