Flexibility from eccentric work is now gaining a small resurgence again and several blogs are lighting up the current research on acquisition and retention of gains in range of motion.Tone from loading, Eccentric Tempo/Ratio are the primary variables I was exposed to from therapists and coaches to make change in joint flow. After about six years of experimentation, we decided to experiment on a conventional program and we were delighted to see that scores of dorsiflexion increased with one particular athlete from 5 to 13 degrees from following the commonly used achilles exercises. We alternated single leg and double leg lowering with straight and bent leg options and added very modest amounts of joint mobility work. Keep in mind squats and olympic lifts were used as well. Microstretching was done post training.I think Kebba Tolbert’s pursuit of low level exercises as cool down training instead of the stretch and go home will be the new avenue coaches will experiment after the reading some of the research on fascial length and specific training. I just posted the base template for speed and power athletes that do plyometric work and need something extra to keep healthy. In the above block of actual training, the lateral squat had moderate benefits to flexibility to the hips, so extra work may not be necessary for post training cool down programs, so I took some stretches out and added in another few remedial movements.
Low intensity static stretches like Microstretching have been researched have specific benefits so it’s best to combine methods instead of replacing conventional approaches. What is a bit of a mystery is corrective exercise and monitoring through the year, as I have not seen much data collection to confirm practices. It wasn’t until I tried some of the protocols with PT evaluations during the year did I believe that the research and coaching art proved to work, and with simple cool downs programed into small blocks of training I think we will see better scores of flexibility and joint mobility from a holistic program. The interaction and sequence of training often creates adaptations and indirect influences to the body, so it’s better to order things for improvements because adding more may not be an option.