Stretching vs mobility exercises

Anybody seeing good results increasing flexibility and range of motion through stretching?

I’m not. Stretching feels nice, but I’ve seen little to no increase in range of motion or flexibility from it.

I’ve found good results from targeted mobility exercises. So, e.g. I had terrible hamstring activation that was causing a lot of pain. I spent months trying to fix it through daily stretching, to no avail. Started standing from the couch on one leg, improvements in a week.

I think I’m done stretching.

I don’t think stretching alone fixes anything. With my sprained ankle PT there was a lot of stretching and I believe it helped but it was only part of the routine.

Yeah, you can stretch a limb through its full range of motion but then find out you can’t actually move that limb through the range you stretched it through passively. But if you do active mobility exercises, you will.

muscle activation is weird imo, like you find out you’d been sitting on the toilet wrong your whole life or something

Do you warm up first?

certain stretching exercises helped me immensely with physical therapy on my hip and knee. my range of motion was shitty through my life. I used to not be able to touch my toes without bending my knees. Now through stretching, I can do that.

although, my issues are acting up again lately, but it was good for a while.


Just trying to understand the term, like active stretching?

Static stretching is what I’ve found unhelpful personally.

I’m not sure what active vs static stretching is. One exercise I sit on a chair, extend one leg out straight and push my head down as far as it goes and hold it for a minute and a half. then switch legs. Another exercise with this on my ankle, I lay on my stomach on a bed and lower my leg down all the way and hold it there for a minute and a half while the other foot is on the floor.

that sounds like static stretching. If this is just easy for you, you might not need it. My leg and hip are pretty fucked up. as I said, my flexibility prior to this was really bad. now it’s improved.

I had a back issue for the first time last year. It was excruciating. I went to PT, and I’d say he gave me a combo of stretching exercises and mobility exercises. I have no idea which were most effective, but the combo really helped me a lot.

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okay, now I don’t actually know the difference between stretching and mobility exercises and therefore what my exercises are.

I think I have a combination of both for PT and the 2 I mentioned before are stretching.

I have another one where I stand on one leg holding weights and try and balance while extending the other leg back. That sounds like a mobility exercise. That one is good too. Hard on the leg I have issues with and easier on the one where I don’t.

I’m also not certain of the distinction between stretching and mobility exercises. I did a lot of what i thought of as stretching when i had rotator cuff issues. That plus strength exercises fixed the problem. Part of my physical therapy was literally the therapist grabbing my arm and tugging it in a direction it wouldn’t go. And that didn’t feel good at all, but it was helpful.

Now i just do strength exercises, and that seems to be keeping the problem at bay.

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I’d argue that what you’re struggling with is muscle activation and not necessarily stretching/mobility. Understanding what muscles need to fire/activate for different movements is just as important as flexibility and mobility.

If you have social media, I’d recommend following The Ready State, MoveU (goofy and kind of NSFW posts), and Squat University. Each have programs you can subscribe to, if you want, but their posts are super helpful.

I agree activation was my hamstring issue.

I’m questioning if static stretching is ever particularly useful.

One muscle being “tight” is usually due to an improper motion pattern of some sort that seems like is better fixed by proper motion than stretching slowly.

Mayo clinic says I’m wrong, I guess I’m just not persistent / patient enough about it.

Stretching: Focus on flexibility - Mayo Clinic.

It may depend on what you need. I’ve found stretching helpful to cure my rotator cuff issues, and I also stretch my hamstrings because they are too short, and tend to get very tight if I don’t. The tightness doesn’t manifest as sore hamstrings, it manifests as pain in the foot.

I guess the question is what makes your hamstrings tight. For most people it’s sitting a lot. Stretching the muscle back I guess can work, but correcting pelvic tilt from sitting so much with exercises has worked better for me.

Lol bridges

I heard the teamwork is what makes bridge hard for young people

Some years ago I remember there was a movement (sorry about the pun) away from static stretching to dynamic/active stretching. Static stretching would often mean you stretch a muscle as far as you can and hold in the stretchiest position for around 15 seconds. Dynamic stretching would be to use that 15 seconds to slowly get to that position and then stop the stretch, i.e. no holding position.

The thought was that holding in one position could more easily lead to injury, either during the stretch or the subsequent exercise.