View Full Version : Increased Flexibility

October 3rd, 2002, 04:25 PM
Hi Everyone:

Does anyone have any suggestions on increasing flexibility? It seems that everytime I start increasing the swimming and weights I loose flexibility. I've never been much into stretching, but I need it! Any good books or videos out there? How about Yoga?:rolleyes:

October 3rd, 2002, 05:24 PM
You're going to have to stretch to increase flexibilty. Yoga, pilates, fraid knots are all good stretching programs. There are videos out there for stretching also if you do't want a formal class, don't overdo it at first. You might want to think about stretching, excercise, then stretching again as part of a cool down.

October 4th, 2002, 03:44 AM
Static stretching for me never worked out very well. I'm just not real flexible. But it hasn't hindered my performace and I have never had a sports related soft tissue injury. Maybe stretching to the point of being a yoga master is overrated. As mentioned above I do quick stretching, then a good warm up, then I do a real exercise specific stretch, followed by my workout. For swimming I do no stretching before the workout, UNLESS I'm doing an isometrics/swim workout. Even then I usually just do a warmup followed by the workout. Those days I save the stretch for afterwards, sometimes not. I guess my point is, do a longer warm up, see if it helps.

October 4th, 2002, 01:31 PM
I am the worlds most inflexible person, and yoga has helped for me. At first I wasn't able to do any of the postures, but after two years of doing it about once a week, I've improved greatly (though still am relatively inflexible compared to others).

Matt S
October 4th, 2002, 02:12 PM

I started yoga about 8 months ago on the recommendation of Terry Laughlin (TI fame) and Paul Smith (USMS sub-2:00 200 meter free fame). I've been doing it once or twice a week for an hour in the local YMCA's "Yoga Basics Class." I have found it does improve my flexibility and I do feel an improved stroke length (SL) when I swim right after doing yoga, versus just diving in the water. I have also found doing a regular yoga class is much easier to sustain than stretching on my own. I do know of many other swimmers who do yoga for flexibility.

Over this time period, my mechanics and SL have improved. In the interests of full disclosure, I have also been working on TI mechanics, and isolating the contribution of yoga versus TI is impossible. Some of my times from this past LC season have improved over the 2001 LC season, but not in every event. (Yet!)

I would say yoga is one method of improving flexibility, but there are others. Use the one you enjoy enough so that you will stick to it over the long run.


October 6th, 2002, 12:37 PM
Thank you Janis, Xdeth, pbsaurus and Matt S. :)

I'm off in search of a good Yoga class and some type of stretching video(s). I've tried the fraid knots that Janis talks about, but like Matt S, I think an organized class will be easier to sustain. I will also try to increase my warm up as Xdeth mentioned, and work on my distance per stroke during warm up. Unfortunately I have a feeling that like pbsaurus I will always be somewhat inflexible compared to others.

I tried several yoga classes a number of years ago. What I found, at that time, was that there were several different types of yoga. I have no clue of the names of the different types. The three types I tried were as follows (1) doing lots of push ups and stretches (at the gym that I belonged to), (2) just doing relaxing stretching, (3) intense stretching in a room with the heat turned way up.

I've enjoyed trying to do the postures (I believe that is what they are called). I didn't particularly care for the push ups and stretches at the gym.

What types of yoga have you tried? Do you think one type works better over another?