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10-13-2009, 06:50 PM #1
Static stretching...can you go too far?
Since I've been sidelined for the past 6 weeks due to Golfer's elbow, I've been doing static stretching almost every night before I go to bed, mostly with the legs.
Sitting on the floor, with one leg tucked in and one leg stretched out, I can barely touch my toes when I first started. Now I'm at the point where I can touch my forehead to my knee cap. So my question is this, can you overstretch to a point where there is negative impact when playing badminton?
I also stretch my groin, quads, calves, plantar fascia, and back in my routine.
10-13-2009, 07:10 PM #2
Excessive flexibility, either of one or a number of joints, resulting in joint laxity and an increased risk of dislocations, hyperflexibility of the lower limbs can lead to bow-legs (see genu varum) or knock knees (see genu valgum). It is sometimes due to abnormal development and ossification of bones, or, in young athletes, overtraining when the bones are still growing.
10-13-2009, 08:37 PM #3
Yes. For instance, to be able to touch your head to your knee doesn't simply require hamstring flexibiliy, but also extreme spinal flexibility to be able to flex forward that far. However, excessive spinal flexibility is associated with more back injuries.
Static flexibility is only one aspect of flexibility - there are many others that might deserve your attention. Some examples:
- dynamic flexibility: the ability to move through your range of motion using only the opposing muscles to pull the joint open
- stretch-range strength: when your muscle is in a stretched position, how well can it generate force? e.g. how deep can you get in a lunge and keep stable
- movement quality: while you move through your range of motion, is it fluid and free of pops or clicks?
10-14-2009, 01:39 AM #4
Yes, it is possible to go too far. It's worth remembering that what we call "flexibility", doctors often refer to as "joint hyperlaxity".
Your flexibility is partly determined by your genes. Some people, such as myself, have unusually large ranges of motion at (some of) their joints. This is called hypermobility, and for the most part, it's not a blessing but a curse: it can make you much more vulnerable to joint injuries (in my case, shoulder and knee injuries).
You can also become hypermobile by training for flexibility. With sufficient static stretching, you will probably be able to increase the range of motion of a joint beyond "normal".
It's not completely clear how much flexibility is best for badminton. If you are very inflexible, then your performance may suffer (say, you can't get into a deep lunge); but if you are extremely flexible, then you may be at increased risk of injury.
My feeling -- and I can't yet back this up by any research -- is that you should train for flexibility in movements like lunging, as the added reach is useful here. But I don't think you should train for flexibility in your shoulder, as this is especially vulnerable to injuries, and the added reach is not really that useful.
10-14-2009, 10:20 AM #5
Thanks for all the reply guys.
I do feel that with my increased flexibility in my legs, that I can push my lunges further during shadowing drills. Also, a bit faster in my steps and higher jumps. May be just placebo effect.
Since there is really no gauge as to what flexibility is best for badminton, I guess I'll just maintain the flexibility that I have attained and not stretch any further.
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