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  1. @MarkusO Fascinating answer, thank you for sharing your experiences Markus. I completely agree on the 'TV watching poses' and also agree that such protocols are hard to stick to and probably have a low adherence rate. I once tried to sit in a straddle split for 30mins per day, but only lasted a few days! Not becuase I felt that it was not working or any injury concerns; rather, because it was just too much to commit to at the time. I plan to complete at least a month of daily 30 min straddle split soon though; in the interest of experimentation. On the adherence point, I do think that it is important to have an 'ideal scenario' in mind from which one can work backwards and then meet in the middle with what one is practically able to manage. For example, I would still like to know that if I could I should build up to running every day to prepare for a marathon; even if practically I can only manage 3 times a week. Do you think that if you had both done the focused sessions combined with the long holds accumulating time in the positions, you would have progressed even further? For example, two 45 minute pancake workouts, ending with 15 minute holds (so two 1 hr sessions per week; 1.5 hrs 'strength training' per week, 30 mins sitting in the pose). Do you think we've thrown the baby out with the bathwater by not recommending the extended holds at all? @Kit_L Thanks Kit. My point was that people seem to recommend not trying to accumulate extended periods of time in the position every day as it is too stressfull for the body, possibly resulting in injury or overtraining; but, that people have now tried extended periods of daily ballistic training and not experienced injuries or overtraining (necessarily). So, why would one be injurious but not the other. I am not trying to imply that you have said that approaches like sitting in a pancake for 15 minutes a day are necesssarily injurious, as you have just recomended that I try it out and experiment; I am just talking about an argument against it that I have commonly heard. To throw anouther case-study out there, Bill Wallace (the martial artist), often talks about sitting in a straddle split whilst watching TV and playing board games for extended periods of time. So, accumulating as much time as possible in the position. Has anyone tried something similar, like Markus or Bill? Any brave soul tried to do 30 mins plus? Also, what do people think about the Chinese pensioners who start later in life, stretch for multiple hours per day and achieve incredible results? See: For example. Is there anything that we can learn from their approach?
  2. Understood on a micro level; in that, for myself I can play around and experiment. But I meant on a macro level. In practice, I never see it brought out of anyone’s toolkit or recommended (perhaps that is more reflective of my own circles that the flexibility zeitgeist). For example, let’s take the straddle split, if someone were to wish to try an everyday, long-hold method; would they start by sitting in the position for 5 minutes per day? 15 mins? 1 hour? 2 hours? Is the more the better? Should they break it up into sets or complete it in one go? Should they ‘pry’ as Pavel recommends, or just try to relax. I have never come across a discussion on a podcast or forum as I have for ballistic stretching, PNF etc. apart from those I mentioned, and of them, only Pavel’s can really be considered an ‘expert’ recommendation and he doesn’t spend long on the topic. As far as I am aware, there are few/no free programs, recommendations, guidelines or anecdotal experiences from the community for someone to work off. Really, this is coming off the back of the 90 Ballistic Challenge thread on this forum which I found so helpful, and from which sprang so many interesting programs and guidelines for people to follow (50 or 72 reps; pulse to a target etc.). For example, if one were to wish to get Head to Toe, they can take Emmet’s program and check the forums here; and, then of course experiment for themselves too. But the basic program and discussions serve as a starting point. Further, many of the cautions that people used to give in the community for ballistics seem to apply to this method – that stretching is a stressor so one should treat it as weightlifting, not train every day and take rest days, for example. And I wonder if this topic needs revisiting and unpacking as ballistics were, so that it can be better incorporated into people’s toolbox.
  3. I’m hoping to generate some discussion on a technique I think of as the ‘just do it every day’, or ‘if you can’t do X move, you just need to do it more’. That is, the method of accumulating as much time as possible in a given position, every day, for anywhere between roughly 15 minutes up to several hours until you achieve said position. As compared to the ‘treat stretching like weight training’ with rest days, PNF, C/R, loaded stretching etc. type philosophy. Just, daily time accumulated pushing the position. I think of this method on the spectrum of ballistic/pulsing training, as these programs also advocate an every-day frequency; so, programs like the Head to Toe, pancake and middle split ballistic routines from Emmet Louis, Ido’s 45-day Wushu protocol and experiments like the 90-day ballistic stretching challenge on this forum. Just like with pulsing, pushing stretches daily also seems to be engrained in the Chinese philosophy toward physical culture and flexibility. So, I have been looking around for advocates, hoping to find empirical observations - so far, I have found: 1) The most authoritative is Pavel Tsatsouline in his podcast on Tim Ferris. Transcript: chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/https://tim.blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/55-pavel-tsatsouline.pdf. Referring to the middle split: “So you just get in this position, and you kind of pry a little bit for a while, and then you just relax…you have to spend a good half an hour, 40 minutes on this type of practice a day if you are really serious about reaching that level.” - Note, he does go on to say that you can achieve the position faster with isometrics. 2) Jujimufu and his “how I got my full splits” routine = pushing it daily. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHBIKlluxkE). Some possible issues with this case-study are: - His age at the time. He was 15 (a common argument seems to be that this method only works for children and adolescence?); and, he did do stretch kicks in addition and took 10 days off at the end. Just things to note. 3) Alan Show, chin to toe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEqe3jrILQ0&t=1s. He was 26, almost 27 years old and it took him roughly 1.5 years to achieve the position through pushing it every day. The question here I suppose is whether he could have achieved it faster with pulsing? Then, there are the YouTube/influencer type posts. Perhaps we should treat these with more scepticism as there is an incentive to lie, exaggerate or oversimplify for views? 4) Ranton and his time in China: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQs458EyIV4&t=55s). According to him, he entered the temple able to touch his toes and that was it in terms of flexibility. He claims that he achieved the front split in 1 month and his side split took a little longer. Things to note with this one: - He was forced into positions by an instructor, which is not really the method that I am referring to with this post. - They took Sundays off, so it was 6x a week, not 7. - His girlfriend was injured, although by the instructor forcing her into position rather than daily stretching per se. - I do not know exactly how old he was at the time, but from the pictures he was certainly an adult, perhaps in his 20s? 5) There are a few ‘how I got the splits in X days’ type videos on YouTube, notably: Ben Echo claims he got the front splits in 30 days via stretching every day. Although, he does say that he used PNF (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J0M3wIgrpI) rather than just accumulating time in the position. Leo Khanna claims middle splits after 153 days of a pretty generic stretching routing: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAkEmDbS2Po, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf7_l3zKtO0&t=10s). Both are adult men (I mention this as I have come across people dismissing this method as only effective for females), although again, I do not know their exact age. So, thoughts and opinions on this method?
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