In yesterday’s post, I introduced you to microStretching.

Today, it’s Resistance Stretching….made famous by 40-something Olympic and World champion Dara Torres.

dara torres banner

In 2008, Resistance Stretching was Dara’s secret weapon at the Olympic Games in Beijing where she won three silver medals, broke her own personal best time in the 50m freestyle (trailing the gold medalist by 1/100th of a second) and became the oldest Olympic swimming medalist in history.

dara torres banner 2

Dara’s success as an older athlete is what got me interested in Resistance Stretching (RS).

So, I contacted Dara’s RS gurus Steve Sierra and Anne Tierney and grilled them with questions.

Here is some of what they had to say…

What is Resistance Stretching?

Resistance Stretching is based on the theories that:

  1. The stretching effect occurs during the entire movement of the muscle while it is being contracted, not just at the end point of the stretch…unlike traditional static stretching.
  2. A muscle must contract while elongating for a true stretch. Stretching a muscle without contracting produces a false range of motion known as substitution, and ultimately results in over-stretching and injury.
  3. Repetitions are necessary for gains in flexibility, just as repetitions are necessary for gains in strength during strength training.

How do I do it?

Resistance Stretching can be performed alone using self-stretches or with other person(s) using assisted stretching techniques.

Dara relied on assisted stretching to prepare her body for the Olympics.

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Unfortunately, you and I will most likely not have access to a team of trained Resistance Stretchers.

But don’t fret, my clients and I have had great success using the standard self-stretches as well as the variations that I MacGyvered on my own.

This video outlines some of the basic self-stretches.

Where you go from here is up to you.

Once you understand the basic concept of Resistance Stretching, you are only limited by your imagination. I am constantly coming up with new stretching variations.

Just follow these ffive steps

  1. Identify the muscle or muscle group that you want to stretch
  2. Start by flexing or shortening that muscle
  3. Tense the muscle
  4. Start stretching the muscle while simultaneously resisting the stretch
  5. Repeat

In a future post, I will provide videos of some of my favorite stretches. I just need to bribe one of my clients to let me record them and put it on the blog.


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