Thursday, 29 December 2011

Organic stretching protocol

Hi all,

I sent this blog out in December and it didnt reach half the people it normally does. So im going through some of the oldies and giving them some new life.
Todays blog is all about a system that i incorporate with my clients which i call 'organic stretching' and something which i have found is helping everyone that incorporates it.

If you think this is 'gay' then you probably are tight and need to stretch more

I believe it was Paul Chek who first began this method (I used to have a kick ass book called "Eat, move and be healthy" but one of my clients in Bahrain never give it back to me!) which encourages people to "stretch what is tight and pass on what is not". For more quality reading on stretching, type in 'Paul Chek stretching" into google and this guy literally wrote the book on the subject.

Great book... Somewhere gathering dust in the southern tip of Bahrain!

So here is what i have adopted. We want every muscle to 'feel the same' therefore you have to listen to what your body is telling you and adapt the time and pressure accordingly. For example, this is a normal stretching prescription:

- 30s stretcth on each quad
- 30s stretch on each hamstring

Before i carry on, what if you play a one-sided sport/activity like golf? One side will definately be tighter than the other, so a standard stretching program becomes useless in terms of re-balancing.

To quote Eric Cressey recently:

"The best training programs are assymetrical"

And that is 100% correct in my opinion. The same goes for stretching. Just this morning my client LP said they felt really tight on their left glute so we hit that stretch for 30s then moved onto the right and they felt nothing. We immediately went back to the left and stretched for a further 30s. And thats basically it. Stretch what feels tight and move past what doesn't, thats the beauty of balance.

Achieving balance often leads to pain free movement and improved performance

My personal stretching always involves twice as much strecthing on my left side (particularly hip, glute and hamstring) as i have spent all my life rotating in sports on that 'power' side (golf, soccer, cricket). 

Final thoughts

Take 20-30 minutes to fully stretch and note what 'feels' tighter, either write down or keep a mental note of this and allow that to form the basis of your new "re-balancing" stretching program. If any of you still think stretching is pretty gay or 'just for women' - then you need to wake up and realise that "tight is weak" and tight is the first step towards inbalances and injury.

Gonna be busy for the next few months writing, training and bringing out more blogs than ever, so speak soon :)


  1. I like your name..."organic stretching." It's the name I gave my program/business several years ago...Organic Stretching®. The approach is quite different from other forms of stretching, focusing on connective tissue blocks and working extemporaneously. It restores fluidity and extends range of motion. You might check it out at my blog Regards, Pat Henry

  2. Hi Pat,

    i wanted to include a name that meant 'free-flow' or 'natural' so came up with that. Thnaks for reading, i will check out your link today :)


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