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Loaded Stretching

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Hello All

New here and my first post.

I have been introduced to a method of stretching called loaded stretching. This is through some exposure/experience with Ido Portal.

The method is characterized by the stretchee moving in and out of a stretched position with an external load applied 99% of the time, however body weight occasionally is sufficient.

Usually (for me) it has been for 10 reps with a 10-30 second hold in the final stretch position, before pulling yourself out.

Idea is to strengthen the end (stretched) range.

I have personally had great success with this technique...but was interested in the communities and Kit's advice/opinion.

Further, given my success/interest with a limited exposure to the method, I think there may be value in compiling a list of effective LPS exercises. There is very limited publicaly available resources that describe exercises and protocols. However so basic understanding of biomechanics can lead you to work out some on your own.

I like them because they combine increasing range with strengthing...new range is almost always weak range. Seems like a good way to integrate mobility directly into the process of strength training.

Loaded Stretch list

- Active Pigeon Pose (body weight)

- weighted seated straddle good morning

- single leg good mornings

- straddle ups and lowers

- four position lifts (similar to swivel hips)

- Jefferson curls

- skin the cat and active German hangs

- deficit push-ups or active low dip support holds

- splits on rings...half splits on furniture sliders

Cheers Adam

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I am interested in Ido's Corset protocol; and will likely attend when he's back in Aus next year. He's got some methods I find very interesting.

In term of weighted stretching, speaking personally, I have done this many times in ST - the weight of another human is used. The heavier the better in some postures (such as modified front splits and some of the psoas-dominant versions of the hip flexor stretches).

Utilizing Contract-relax and Contract-hold methods (and other complex versions of these) with additional weight most definitely works on strengthening the tendon ends of the muscle, IMHO. Although, classically, the weight is used isometrically in the position, many advanced ST practitioners squirm around under load - it just feels natural to do so..to seek out tension hiding outside of the normal lines of stretch.

The stuff Ido is talking about with the insanity-length isometric holds of various postures is super cool. I am (slowly) working on some of this myself (and already getting very encouraging results).

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I am interested in Ido's Corset protocol; and will likely attend when he's back in Aus next year. He's got some methods I find very interesting.

Agree on the Corset protocols. So far I've been given a few for the wrists.

And Mabu (horse stance) is part of this protocol, which is from martial arts...in BJJ you general don't get to do much till you can hold this position for ~5min.

As are knees together squats which I imagine came from Coach Sommer.

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Ido has heaps of info.

3 ways to get it



-online coaching.

I've done some of the first and last...but have not done the corset workshop.

Almost nothing is openly (internet) available. And Ido is very expensive to interact with. You can get little bits here and there if you read his old blog, comments within his Facebook posts and his old posts on the gymnasticbodies forum from when he was a student of coach Sommer.

That said...I probably have more then enough to work-on for a year or more based on my very limited interaction. Something's that I learned are timeless...will forever be part of my training now.

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I personally like the fact that it is taught via these three channels. There's plenty of stuff free on the Internet in terms of general knowledge (some very good), but you often have to search deeper to get the real gold...and sometimes this costs money. But people waste loads of cash on clothes and other extraneous objects all the time. This is training for your bodymind. If it's of high quality, I have no problem with it costing money.

Besides, this stuff is best learned in person, IMHO.

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I generally agree Dave.

I think in person workshops and internships/retreats are absolutely the best way to deliver and absorb material.

It is equally important that these 'masters' (for lack of a better word...are able to make a living and continue the teaching and development of their expertise.

I've spent a small fortune doing just this...and for the most part...it was money well spent! Including Kit's course ;)

My desire is larger then my wallet ;)

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I share many of the sentiments here. I have also attended a Ido workshop, been doing bodyweight-training and GST for quite some time etc.

I have previously searched for more information on various loaded stretches, because the workshop I attended did not get into detail about it. I will say that, if you do some searches in google some of the stuff will turn up eg. in youtube clips from attendees from workshops ( I can also dig up some links if that is of interest to you?).

That said I think that while the term "loaded progressive stretching" is what Ido calls his method, you would struggle to find any actual stretching that is not both loaded (bodyweight, increased lever arm or partner) and progressive (if you do not progress, then it is hardly stretching?).

I think that the protocol blends both mobility and stretching into each other, at least in the sense of the words being used, on this forum. There is probably something very useful in recognizing the appropriateness of these different techniques taught by various teachers, and utilizing them as needed. There seems to more and more focus on different ways to train and enhance mobility.

Also much of the mobility work on the pancake and pike positions from Sommers Foundation and Handstand seem familiar to this.

Stretches that come to my mind immediately:

  • Tailor pose flies with KB
  • Weighted pancake, reps and hold
  • Stallbar inv. Pike pull, pike extension and pike hang.
  • Stallbar inv. Straddle pike pull, extension and hang.

However you will still have to come up with a synthesis on your own on how to implement it, and personally I think this where the "gold" is at. There is no human body instruction manual that I know of.However, going through the process and figuring out (as Kit has put it):" What your body actually needs that day" is valuable, so struggling can be a helpful thing if you do not get bugged down with it.

So while I agree that Ido Portal has solid information and can teach it - and that if he says something I will generally listen, I think it is also important to recognize that there is also a fair amount of marketing going on - and that he is not the only knowledgable person around. anyway...

regards, Frederik

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Definitely not the only knowledgable person around...and a huge amount of his material is influenced by coach Sommer as he was a student for many years.

Thanks for a few more ideas.

I've been playing with handstand straddle press drills...and the weight of my legs is plenty sufficient.

There does seem to be a difference with external load/cue...even just a touch of a partner. Massive!

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  • 10 months later...

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