DM 715: Barring congenital and collagen defects, flexibility speaks to that nervous system’s ability to tolerate a stretching sensation 🤯. We see that some folks are just inherently more bendy than others…and that’s because everyone’s nervous system is different.
The point being made tonight, is that when we’re looking to improve ‘flexibility’, we should be remembering that there is a nervous system attached to those tissues, and at the end of the day, what it says, goes 👑. So, when I hear folks debating about whether or not static stretching is good, I can’t help but feel that they are arguing over the wrong thing 🤦🏽♂️. It’s not a matter of good or bad, it’s a matter of intent, and execution👊🏽.
Clearly, static stretching has some sort of benefit. Gymnasts 🤸🏾♂️ have been using it for years. What we need to ask ourselves is HOW it’s working 🤔. Are we changing tissue structure? Unlikely 🙅🏽♂️. Are we gradually convincing that nervous system that the stretching sensation that it’s feeling is ok? Absolutely 🙌🏾. And to that end, that is why it becomes paramount that if you are working on passive stretching, you’re able to breathe, you’re not forcing things and dying, and you’re actively telling your nervous system to stay calm.
We then follow that passive stretching with active mobility work. Why? To try and further convince the nervous system that that stretching sensation is ok; that ‘we got this’, ‘we own this’, ‘we are safe’. We are changing the perception of that experience…not the structure of the tissue.
Take-home message: you ain’t breaking things up or lengthening tissue with passive stretching. But, you are changing what that nervous system is perceiving, and that, my friend, is the 🔑 to everything.
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