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> Stretching !
Ben Higgins
post Oct 21 2011, 09:18 AM
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Just been inspired to talk about this as another post about warming the hands up got me thinking about it. I know this might be controversial because it's challenging a really old idea but I think if we want to evolve in our art and our life we have to scrutinise old ideas and see if they hold up..

There's different types of stretching.. the two I'm talking about are static stretching (sometimes known as passive stretching) and dynamic stretching). In many schools of thought, static stretching is commonly accepted as THE only way.. before and after activites. I don't agree with this. I believe it is useful and necessary after intensive exercise to prevent muscles contracting and remaining stiff.. but doing it before intensive activity can actually reduce the muscles efficiency to expand and contract at its normal rate. Why ? Because we've stretched it too much like an elastic band. This article is just 1 that explains it better than I can

http://www.runningplanet.com/training/dyna...stretching.html

You can find plenty more articles online that will substantiate this, not just running websites.

I've been employing the dynamic stretching approach to my guitar playing now for months and not only am I able to get to the playing part much quicker.. but I've noticed no detrimental effects from not doing static stretches at all. In fact, I would say that the only things my hands crave before playing is being warmed through by good blood flow.

So what is the best way to warm up with this dynamic stretching thing ? Well, this is where our own personal experience will count. Todd is always encouraging wrist rolls.. these are a good thing to do because they are just putting the wrist through its natural range of motion, encouraging suppleness and blood flow. Anything that uses a natural movement of the upper body, arms, albows, wrists can work. Throwing some punches, imaginary bicep curls. If it promotes blood flow and can get your heart pumping faster, it's good.

So, 2 different types of stretching. Both good but they have their own time and place. smile.gif

This post has been edited by Ben Higgins: Oct 21 2011, 09:19 AM


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dark dude
post Oct 21 2011, 01:01 PM
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I definately agree.

For the above reasoning, I never do static stretches before playing, just dynamic. The same applies for when I play sports (also mentioned above), you see too many people doing static stretches before starting off.


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Ben Higgins
post Oct 21 2011, 03:08 PM
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QUOTE (dark dude @ Oct 21 2011, 01:01 PM) *
I definately agree.

For the above reasoning, I never do static stretches before playing, just dynamic. The same applies for when I play sports (also mentioned above), you see too many people doing static stretches before starting off.


Cool, I'm glad to see the idea is being employed by other people smile.gif


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Daniel Realpe
post Oct 21 2011, 06:40 PM
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Thanks for this man, really valuable info.


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Qenzoz
post Oct 21 2011, 07:20 PM
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Not sure if I understand it all, but anyways, all I know about stretching is to stretch your muscles, and then you're doing it right biggrin.gif, there is another way that most common people seems to stretch, which is very stupid, not sure what the part they're stretching is called, but oh well tongue.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Oct 21 2011, 08:18 PM
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QUOTE (Qenzoz @ Oct 21 2011, 07:20 PM) *
Not sure if I understand it all, but anyways, all I know about stretching is to stretch your muscles, and then you're doing it right biggrin.gif, there is another way that most common people seems to stretch, which is very stupid, not sure what the part they're stretching is called, but oh well tongue.gif


You could be thinking of 'Ballistic Stretching' where people bounce to try and stretch their limbs. It's a silly and outdated phenomenon and people should avoid it.


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 22 2011, 07:27 AM
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Really good info! I usually employ a bit of both before each video chat lesson. I'm quite fond of dynamic stretch which is why we always do wrist rolls first. Then some light finger flexion and one hand stretch. Not enough to wear out the hand, just get things loose before we get cranking.

I"m always up for trying new bits so if you have any handy stretches for flexion/extension, please do share smile.gif


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Cosmin Lupu
post Oct 23 2011, 08:44 AM
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What about Petrucci's stretching exercises which he recommends in the Rock Discipline DVD? Are those any good? As I deduce from this thread they are static, aren't they?


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Ben Higgins
post Oct 23 2011, 11:24 AM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Oct 22 2011, 07:27 AM) *
Really good info! I usually employ a bit of both before each video chat lesson. I'm quite fond of dynamic stretch which is why we always do wrist rolls first. Then some light finger flexion and one hand stretch. Not enough to wear out the hand, just get things loose before we get cranking.

I"m always up for trying new bits so if you have any handy stretches for flexion/extension, please do share smile.gif


I just sort of expand and contract the hand and fingers a few times just to take it through its natural range of motions. Kind of start from a fist and then splay the fingers out fully and then bring them in one by one, starting from little finger end first.. and repeat. That kind of thing plus wrist rolls and swinging the arms in circles.. anything to try and encourage the blood flow throughout the arm, elbow and wrist joints. Still exploring it all so haven't found any magic exercises yet for the hands themselves smile.gif

QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Oct 23 2011, 08:44 AM) *
What about Petrucci's stretching exercises which he recommends in the Rock Discipline DVD? Are those any good? As I deduce from this thread they are static, aren't they?


From what I remember he does some light massage around the shoulders and arms etc.. they would be good for blood flow and loosening up the muscles etc but the static stuff I would leave for afterwards. It is quite an old DVD and knowledge of stretching is only recently making these discoveries so he can be forgiven for using the static approach. It's what we all were taught to do, after all. smile.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 24 2011, 09:37 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Oct 23 2011, 06:24 AM) *
I just sort of expand and contract the hand and fingers a few times just to take it through its natural range of motions. Kind of start from a fist and then splay the fingers out fully and then bring them in one by one, starting from little finger end first.. and repeat. That kind of thing plus wrist rolls and swinging the arms in circles.. anything to try and encourage the blood flow throughout the arm, elbow and wrist joints. Still exploring it all so haven't found any magic exercises yet for the hands themselves smile.gif


Me either sad.gif Which is why I'm still using a couple of static stretches for hand/finger flexion. The second stretch we do is stolen from yoga. I don't do the hand forward stretch (I can feel it putting a bit to much pressure on the wrist) but we do the hand back stretch each time. As a bonus, this movement prevents tennis elbow. If you play tennis that is wink.gif



The finger spanning stretch we do as our final, is something I ripped off of my classical guitar instructor. Most hands don't come default with adequate reach, so this one helped me get some more finger reach. It's the "finger splits" gently pushing first and fourth apart.

I'm a big fan of warming up a bit, and stretching a bit. It really helped me and I've played in bands with guys who refused to stretch and their reach was continual problem. A bass player named Stephen Morley who was in GNOSTIC with me got to where he could make pretty crazy reaches and nail it with his pinky. I miss that guy!



This post has been edited by Todd Simpson: Oct 24 2011, 09:43 PM


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Sinisa Cekic
post Oct 24 2011, 10:51 PM
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Dear friends, I have a personal masseuse for such things, so I'm in top shape when I need it! tongue.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Oct 25 2011, 08:55 AM
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QUOTE (Sinisa Cekic @ Oct 24 2011, 10:51 PM) *
Dear friends, I have a personal masseuse for such things, so I'm in top shape when I need it! tongue.gif


Is Kris still doing those massages ? ph34r.gif


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Sinisa Cekic
post Oct 25 2011, 10:44 PM
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QUOTE (Ben Higgins @ Oct 25 2011, 09:55 AM) *
Is Kris still doing those massages ? ph34r.gif


No insinuations, please !!! biggrin.gif biggrin.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Oct 26 2011, 02:32 AM
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This gal is crazy flexible. Yoga has a lot it can teach us about flexibility and motion. I tried the wrist bent forward stretch again and I still don't like it. However, most of the rest of her stretches demoed here are pretty good for guitar players in general. Give them a shot! smile.gif

QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Oct 24 2011, 04:37 PM) *
Me either sad.gif Which is why I'm still using a couple of static stretches for hand/finger flexion. The second stretch we do is stolen from yoga. I don't do the hand forward stretch (I can feel it putting a bit to much pressure on the wrist) but we do the hand back stretch each time. As a bonus, this movement prevents tennis elbow. If you play tennis that is wink.gif



The finger spanning stretch we do as our final, is something I ripped off of my classical guitar instructor. Most hands don't come default with adequate reach, so this one helped me get some more finger reach. It's the "finger splits" gently pushing first and fourth apart.

I'm a big fan of warming up a bit, and stretching a bit. It really helped me and I've played in bands with guys who refused to stretch and their reach was continual problem. A bass player named Stephen Morley who was in GNOSTIC with me got to where he could make pretty crazy reaches and nail it with his pinky. I miss that guy!



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