Stretching a Cold Muscle??

I’ve always heard you should avoid stretching cold muscles because it makes you more prone to injury. And while this is true, I’ve also always had this nagging feeling that, if you stretch your muscles cold, you might be able to make great gains in flexibility.

This is my reasoning: If you stretch your muscles cold and make even the minutest gain in flexibility, wouldn’t it stand to reason that once you are warmed up, that small gain would be amplified?? Does that logic make sense??

I found this guy on the internet who seems to be promoting the same idea. It appears to have worked for him. Who says it can’t work for me, or anybody else for that matter?? Obviously, if you’re stretching cold muscles you can’t stretch as far or as fast as you would with warm muscles. That’s how injuries happen. But maybe very gentle stretching would work??

Now, I can’t knock my current stretching routine because I haven’t stuck with it long enough or consistently enough to see real results. The only problem I have is, that to do any sort of stretching, I have to be warmed up first. Not only does that take extra time, it doesn’t help me with dance as much as I would like.

See, I would like my flexibility to immediately accessible, without having to warm up first. In dance, you are expected to be able to do certain stretches and movements without much warming up, and frankly, that’s not quite possible for me. For example: grand battements. I can’t reach my full flexibility in this movement without first doing an entire barre and then stretching. Can you see how this would pose a problem?? So I want my flexibility when cold, to be just as good as my flexibility when warm. To me, it seems the best way to fix this is by stretching cold.

I could just do a couple of simple, easy stretches with cold muscles, several times a day – and I think I might see results. I’d still make use of my foam roller. I’d still do my full stretching routine every now and then. I just think adding cold stretches would help. The main obstacle I have towards my consistency is the warming up process. It takes so long, it deters me from ever starting. Eliminating the warming up process would eliminate the deterrent.

But these are just my thoughts out loud. I’ll probably always be on a quest to find the secrets of flexibility. At least it gives me something to do with my time, that is, until school starts.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pointe-shoe-brands
    Jul 10, 2011 @ 15:40:00

    Your split challenge brings to mind what I went through as a young teen trying to do a full front split. I practiced and stretched everyday for 3 months until, finally, I had that right leg flat and the left one straight out behind me.

    Unfortunately, trying to switch sides was a big failure. I think you make a good point about the back of the knee. Who knows what kind of stubborn ligaments and things need to be stretched back there do a split.

    Have you ever seen some of those contortionist girls on u-tube? I am thinking they were born without ligaments….possibly even bones :)


  2. emilleejoyce
    Jul 10, 2011 @ 17:07:30

    Yeah, I have to say I am a fan of contortionists. There’s something so alien in the way they move. I’m actually a member on an amateur contortionist website. They have the best stretching advice!!

    But I actually think I’m starting to see some progress with my splits. Both of my sides seem to be fairly symmetrical. It just takes a lot of dedication for those not naturally inclined. :)


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