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      01-05-2008, 05:58 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Taittinger View Post
Since this is a workout thread and since I have never found a good answer, has anyone found a good way to lift heavy while retaining flexibility? I know there is loss as one ages. I try stretching more but personally, too much stretching keeps me from lifting max weight and actually puts me at risk for pulled muscles when I do lift. I am finding it harder to do routine kicks such as the roundhouse or side kick though as a result.
Maybe work with a trainer (one that know something!), and focus on some flexability work. Can you expand on why the stretching is hindering you? It may be loosening up your supporting / stabilizing muscle structure that is under developed relative to your major muscle groups. This is VERY common. With the stabilizing muscles loose and not strong, the major movers can not do their job. Focus on less weight and perfect form, and you'll develop these supporting groups. Also there are specific exercises that target supporting muscle groups, and as you become a more advanced lifter, you need to work on these so you DON'T get hurt. I recently f'd my rotator cuff (actually the nerves that control it, no idea how), and it's killing my shoulder routines. My delts are plenty strong, but I can't stop my scapula from winging out. The pinched nerve caused atrophy in my rotator cuff, so I can't stabilize my shoulder like I need to for many of my shoulder routines.

It pains me to see so many people, especially teenagers and early 20 somethings that come into the gym and haven't had good instruction on what they are doing. I was that person at 14 and 15 yrs old, but was fortunate to move to a new school that had a quality training program before I was too screwed up.

My flexability has always been important to me, as it's prevented me from getting any number of injuries over the years. When I'm good and warm/loose, I can still hit a straddle split. Not bad for 6'-1, 285 . I can still get up to about 5'-5 with a side kick, not sure on the roundhouse. My hammies have always been a little tighter than the rest of my legs.

That said, I spend a lot of time on stretching. I find it helps my lifting, and if I'm good and loose I can lift more. I'm sure that a knowledgeable trainer should be able to work with you on your stretching routine, maybe offer some improvement. It's very hard to help with that without standing there with you. That said, I do hold all of my stretches for well over 30 seconds, some up to 2 minutes. I also vary the intensity of the stretch during that time. On a one minute stretch, I may go as far as possible (w/o pain) for 20 seconds, ease off just a bit for 10, push past where you were at first for 20, then ease off all the way over 10 seconds.

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