Why Your Flexibility Doesn't Improve With Assisted Stretching
There is one simple and profound law of life and learning: If you don’t participate in the process, you won’t learn and without learning, you bypass the chance to improve.
This is a concept we readily accept and appreciate when it comes to cognitive, emotional and physical learning. But it also applies to your muscles, more specifically, when it comes to stretching. You need to use them, to teach them; they need to actively participate in the process.
So, when someone is stretching you, if your muscles are not actively engaged by turning them on (or off) to control them, your flexibility will not improve. This is why people become frustrated when they stretch and fail to see results. Having another person in the mix that your body learns to depend on, actually takes you farther away from your flexibility goals.
That said, I’m all for an assisted stretch, but not as a flexibility strategy. Flexibility training is just that: training. Someone else can’t do it for you any more than you could have someone move your arms through a weightlifting session or your legs on the treadmill. It’s just not happening.
Increasing flexibility is actually learning how to stretch by using the same principles you use when you train for any sport, dance, fitness, etc..
- Wake up the muscle
- Use the muscle
- Move the muscle
- Control the muscle
- Challenge the muscle
- Teach the muscle
You may also enjoy our post about how assisted stretching differs from you stretching you or our blog about why you shouldn't let someone stretch for you!
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