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Stretch Therapy has been so helpful!

 

I recently purchased Master Shoulder Flexibility. I had the "concept" that I need to stretch my pec minor and long head of the biceps (which makes sense to me). However when I do the Partner Stick Pec Stretch with straight arms the inner part of my elbow (golfers elbow area) gets irritated. It appears me that in that stretch my arm muscles (bicep, tricep, maybe forearms) will tense up to help "protect me" which then puts a lot of strain on my elbow.

 

Do you recommend avoiding the Partner Stick Pec Stretch for now and explore the Pec. Stretch With Fascial Dimension exercise (and the other exercises in the program)? It appears to me I have to let go of what "I think" needs to be stretched and "how I think" it should be stretched and continue to foster an environment of trust and awareness.

 

Note I also recently started performing a few forearm stretches and wrist strengthen exercises.

 

Thanks!

Jake

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Q. reply for now. The next time you try the stick stretch, do the wall pec and wall biceps stretch first (or the floor versions, which I prefer). Then, back to stick stretch, but use a slightly wider grip than you have used before (lessens the stretch's effect on biceps and brachialis) and completely relax your arms before your partner even puts her foot up on your back. The only effort should be to grip the stick; this is hard to do if you are tight in the arms and chest, but is essential.

 

Then follow the whole sequence, and do not let your arms tense up; if you cannot stop this reflex, ask your partner to back the tension off until you can. As well, use gentle contractions only. Repeat the sequence twice, and report. What you are experiencing is common; and can be deactivated in time. If any form of the stick stretch causes the same response, do the lying pec and biceps stretches only, along with the forearm and wrist exercises (the strengthening exercises do ten to tighten this area too, so consider dropping for a month).

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Using a hook grip (ie thumb under fingers) on the stick also helps relieve the amount of grip strength needed to hold the stick, and should help relax the rest.  Perhaps I will even try straps one day.  As Kit says I get plenty of grip training elsewhere to feel this would be "cheating".

 

Also I have found playing with the single arm ring reach a good way to prime for the stick stretch.  It is simlar in that your are actively gripping, but had time on my own to concentrate for a few minutes on "moving" the stretch into my pecs.  I found this hard to do in the partner situation where you are "using their time".

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