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  1. Please read the threads started by Mountain Hammer and Emmet: http://kitlaughlin.com/forums/index.php?/topic/836-craigs-ballistic-stretching/?hl=ballistic http://kitlaughlin.com/forums/index.php?/topic/875-head-to-toe-stretching/page-4 There are many others, too; search on "ballistic". The back story is the conjunctions of two things: the arrival of my apprentice from Denmark, the newly minted Dr Fred Beck, and the end of the six month period in my life where I have done no stretching at all. The reasons for this are many; primary amongst them is the sheer amount of work it has taken to move into and finish off the construction of our new house in Greenwell Point, and getting ready for the inaugural intern gathering. Fred and I have decided to accept the 45 day ballistic challenge (I am not sure who came up with this exact period) and today we are at day five. At the recent intern gathering here, Mountain Hammer took us through about 45 minutes of ballistic stretching both days. On day two I was extremely sore, and I thought it probably can't get worse than this, so I'm just going to keep going. What I have decided to do here is record my impressions and experiences at regular intervals until September 1, which Fred calculates will mark the end of the 45 day period for us. We are using a mixture of Mt. Hammer's stretches and Emmett's head to toe protocol. Naturally we have tweaked the protocols to some extent! As taught to us by Craig, we used three sets of 50 repetitions; the techniques are one or more of using a mixture of pulling ourselves into the position with hands, aiming at physical targets, whether objects or parts of body, and using the antagonistic muscles to provide the momentum. I have added light KBs to some of the movements (Mu Bu, or Skandasana, for example) [*** Pu Bu; thanks for the correction] because the small counter balance helps get into a better (as in stronger) position, and I feel I am working the muscles better (and, like one of my favourites, the Cossack squat, the weight is both strengthening in the shorter term and allows perfect form without weight in the longer term). Each day I have been slightly more sore and in different places. Today it's all hamstrings and pretty much all of the adductors. 'What's left?' you might ask. But interestingly, the adductor sensation is not only in my tight side; it's in both sides and that is unique for me. The sensation is a combination of simple muscle soreness (like from an unusual workout) and almost like a mild injury or pull. But the most interesting aspect of this is that these sensations have not stopped me getting slightly deeper in all positions each day. I will detail the exercises later, but it will suffice to say at this point that I have included all variations of the standing and sitting pancake because I am so poor at this, Craigs "Mu Bu" (if I have got this right!), active front splits done up and down onto a bolster, Emmett's head to toe exercise, a version of downward dog, my advanced piriformis exercise, and a number of others. Each was selected to target my presently tightest areas. Because we are at day 5, I expected significant soreness in the muscles. In no way has this stopped any of the other movements or any other kinds of exercise that we're doing, and I am committed to working through the soreness. Last night, to make the point, Fred found Shia LaBeouf's brilliant YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuHfVn_cfHU Please excuse typos; I'm dictating. One more point: the soreness in the hamstrings and the adductors has shown me that ballistic stretching can also be done gently; in fact more gently than I thought. As well, once in my advanced piriformis stretch, I recalled that I have always used some gentle moving contractions and relaxations at the end of point, but that the ballistic approach simply emphasises what seems like a natural response to me (moving once in the final position). Also it has become clear that ballistic and static are simply two points on continuum. More to come.
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