New ROK Article: Relax Into Stretching

I’ve previously done articles on stretching, and why men should do it. However, something I neglected in that first article was how to stretch. More specifically, a certain set of techniques that can be used to improve stretching.

This new Return of Kings article provides that advice, borrowed from the Master of Sports himself, Pavel Tsatsouline.

Many people believe that stretching is a literal act of forcing the muscles and connective tissue to stretch-avoid this at all costs! First and foremost, as I have discussed previously in these pages, you should never apply any stretching pressure to the connective tissue. They evolved solely to “hold fast” and keep things in one piece, they should never be stretched at all!

The muscles are the anatomical feature that stretches, as they evolved to do.  When stretching, your body should always  be positioned in a way where the connective tissues are stable and the muscles are moving.

Even when you are positioned properly, no part of stretching should involve the athlete forcing his muscles to stretch-that risks muscular tearing, and that’s a nagging injury that never truly goes away. This is because the human body has naturally evolved what is referred to as the “anti-stretch reflex” to prevent muscular tearing-stretching the muscles increases in difficulty the farther and deeper the stretch is, and your body responds to this stress with pain. This is a biological sign telling you that if you go further you’ll be risking muscle tears, and should normally be a heeded warning.

However, if you want to do some advanced stretching (such as that nigh-impossible benchmark of fitness the splits), you will have to find a way to overcome this reflex without hurting yourself. And as luck would have it, there is!

You can read the new article right here