“Overstretching” is a MUST. But how much to overstretch?
How Much to Overstretch: The best performers always stretch further than the skill requires. But you probably know that already.
If not, please see this video. It explains why “overstretching” for the skill is important for skill mastery.
The question everyone asks is “How much do I need to over stretch?” Or “How far do I need to stretch, past the skills requirement?”
Let’s say you need to lift your foot to 5 feet height; Do you need to stretch it to 5’6 or 6’ or 6’6? Or if you want to measure it degrees. Should it be 10 degrees past target skills, 20 degrees? 30 degrees?
In the past, I have set up experiments to try to figure this out. I wanted to know exactly how much one needs to overstretch.
The data was not uniform. For example, one martial artist needed 23 degree overstretch to hold the front kick at his own waist level. Another one needed just 12 and another one almost 40.
The same thing happened with athletes from dance and other disciplines. And what’s interesting is that the numbers did not remain the same for each person. They changed during each workout.
Here are some of the guidelines that were constant:
1. More pliable people needed less overstretch.
Please see this video for an explanation of pliability.
2. Those who took care to have proper nutrient intakes such as K and Mg, and were properly hydrated needed less overstretch.
3. Those who have trained and developed short-range conditioning needed less overstretch. (This means strength of the muscles that lift the leg)
How Much to Overstretch
Regardless of discipline or skill in question, one fact remains the same: The more flexible you are, the stronger, faster, easier and more graceful your performance will be. Aim to develop more flexibility than the skill visually requires.