Lecture on stretching by prof. Doug Richards


Ernie O’Malley has sent me a link to professor Doug Richards’ (University of Toronto St. George, Physical Education & Health Department) lecture on stretching and asked about my thoughts on it.

You may view the lecture here:


And here are my thoughts:

Great lecture. Very accessible explanation of biomechanical concepts related to stretching.

Professor Richards is very charitable in his diagnosis of the cause of using irrational sports conditioning methods, including stretching. Here is what I think about that cause:


Concerning his statement (near the 38th minute of the lecture), “We don’t know the optimal dosage of stretching,” I don’t wholly agree. After a few workouts, a thinking athlete knows how many reps and what loads to use in my flexibility exercises to make a consistent progress or to maintain the needed ROM.

About a potential for injuring oneself by stretching (near the 41st minute of the lecture):

There is a simple cure for that, apart from not doing needless stretches (I agree with that). My simple cure is this: Put the joints you work on in close-packed positions.

In summary:

Somehow I feel that my business of selling info on rational sports training, including stretching, to athletes disappointed with their coaches’ instruction is safe for a very long time.

Unbreakable Umbrella vs. Watermelon

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