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iglak

Are ballistic stretches bad fo you?

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i'm doing some physical training with a friend, and he said ballistic stretches are under debate as to whether they are good or bad for you. i had heard a couple years ago that ballistic stretches are bad for you as initial stretches, but good for you after a work out.

 

for those that don't know, ballistic stretches are when you stretch a muscle in a burst, like bouncing when touching your toes, or doing front kicks in a quick swings.

 

so does anyone know the most recent opinion, or does anyone have a good idea of the truth?

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I was under the impression that it was dependant on which muscle group was being stretched and whether the body was warmed up. For example, in arms and legs it's fine but it's not good for the back and neck and not something you would want to do when touching you toes and putting the majority of your body weight into the bounce.

 

Things may have been re-defined since I was training but that's what I was taught.

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You asked "why" When I did it I ruptured a disk in my back.

 

Both your muscles and your tendons have to stretch out, little by little over a long period of time. You can get to the maximum stretch you have, and hold it there for a few seconds - you will feel your muscles and tendens losening up. As you continue your workouts, you will gradually gain flexibility. If you are already flexible, ballistic stretches might be OK, as long as you don't carry them further than your muscle and tendon can easily move.

 

Also, slow movements are better than fast ones for building muscle strength. For example, toe touches - when you do them fast, in part you use your body's momentum rather than the full strength of your muscles.

 

I do some exercises that use the muscles beyond there normal regions that really help not only in strength, but also in balance and agility.

 

It usually takes me 12 to 16 counts to get through a full range of motion.

 

For example 1. - stand on the first step of a flight of stairs with only your toes on the step. Drop your heels as far down toward the floor as you can. You will feel the pull behind your knees. Hold the stretch for 4 counts. Counts 5-8 move from the lowest you can drop your heel, to as high as you can stand on your toes. Hold that four counts 8 thru 12. Counts 13 thru 16 return your heels to their lowest position. Repeat 10 times.

 

2. Stand with your feet about a foot apart as tall as you can with your fingers laced together over your head. Bend backwards as far as you can with comfort. Hold for 4 counts, leaving your arms back, raise your head til it is upright (strengthens neck muscles) then bring your arms forward so they are upright to and you are standing as tall as you can - then slowly bend your body over. Think of your back like a string of pearls and bend each vertebra at the time. Do not just bend over at the waist. Try to make your body shaped like a U. Keep your knees straight and bend as far down as you can with comfort. Hold the stretch for 4 counts, then reverse the motion until you are back where you started, bent backwards as comfortably as you can comfortably bend.

 

Put on some slow music. I use "soundscapes" - it is very relaxing.

 

I have some others if you're interested. They're geared to utilitizing as many muscle groups as possible during one exercise.

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