Bob explaining the natural principles behind Resistance Flexibility.
Hi, I'd like to talk about natural flexibility. The way all animals, including humans, stretch. I made a discovery many years ago, when I was trying to repair my body from my pedestrian automobile accident. That traditional stretching did work and make me more flexible. I discovered instead that all animals actually contract muscles when they stretch them. And that, when you do that, it increases your flexibility. So you all know this already. You watch cats and dogs and other animals and they reach forward and then you see them go that thing. And then when you get up in the morning and you go like this, and then you go What is that part? A relaxed best part of the stretch feeling and I identified, all that is that your muscles contract when they get stretched. So you can find out if you read the medical literature that anytime you lengthen a muscle, say you're lengthening your bicep, it starts contracting. But a lot of people don't know that if you let it tense and contract, the fascia that surrounds the muscle tissue, will also resist that elongation. And when you do that, you actually will get a change in the flexibility of the muscle. Well, everybody then thinks, well, flexibility is the end game. Well, no. Flexibility, natural flexibility results, not just an increase in the ability of the muscle to elongate, but surprisingly, the capacity of the muscle to shorten and the rate that it shortens, and the rate of the rate of the acceleration, so that, when say you wanna, you do activities where you like to jump, while the muscles on the back of your legs and back of your glutes going out to your back are the muscles that contract, that when you push against the ground push you up into the air to jump. But if they're not flexible enough, they can't shorten enough, so you can't jump. Most people think it would be the strength of those muscles, or the size of them that would determine how much you could jump. In those are factors, but the bigger factor is can the muscle actually shorten. So I discovered many years ago that animals all naturally contract muscles when they stretch. And then I found out later that fascia material, it's kind of like a plastic wrap, like a saran wrap, cellophane, that surrounds and roots inside of the muscle tissue, and also does the same thing, around everything else. Your tendons, your ligaments, your bones, your epithelial structures, everything is kind of impregnated by this fascia material. It's kind of like the fascia material, is like the soup stock, the soup, and then your bones and muscles and everything else are the thing inside of the soup. And so, when you go and use you go to stretch your bicep say, and you start where the muscles really short. And then you go to where the muscle is longer and longer while this muscle is contracting, you'll feel the muscle contract, but you're you won't be very much aware that the fascia that surrounds it, as it's been elongated, has two to six times this tensile strength or resistance of the allogation compared to the muscle contracting. So, if you say lifted a weight of say 20 pounds with your bicep, to stretch it, it would require two to six times that amount of force to stretch the bicep. So if you just lift the bicep and lower the bicep, even if you do it at a slow rate, you just become muscle bound, but if you act, you have to use much more force to stretch the muscle, and then when you do those, fascia structures change. Many years later, I also discovered from a really, a very good friend of mine, and a great scientist at Harvard, Sharif. That when the muscle contracts, while it's being elongated when you stretch, that muscle releases enzymes, that causes the changes, or the Transfiguration, of the all fascia material, and regeneration of other tissues. So that's why, animals stay more flexible. The other concern is that, most people not only don't know that they should let their muscle tense when they stretch, but the further out you go, in the muscle stretching, the more tension it wants to generate, and the more resistance you give that from the fascia resistance. If you interfere with that, you actually interfere with that process of becoming more flexible. So, the muscle will relax, but it does it because it reaches a level of tension, and then a reflex fires and then the muscle relaxes. You don't do that, that's a natural thing that just happens when you stretch. So regardless of whatever muscle you're stretching, say your hamstrings and everybody knows the muscles on the back of their legs are really tight, and they bend forward to stretch their hamstrings, they're thinking, Oh, I should relax that, because that feels really tight. But if you didn't do that, and you let the muscle contract, and if you feel it with your hands, you'll get even more feedback about what's happening to your hamstring. You'll find that as you bend forward, that the muscle contracts, you'll actually feel yourself getting a better stretch than if you interfered or thought to make it relax. And then when you come back up out of that stretch, the muscle now gets to contract and shorten, and you develop strength of that muscle group. There are eight muscle groups in your lower body to move you in eight different directions. There are eight muscle groups in your upper body to move you in eight different directions. And each one of those muscle groups happens to be identical to the pathway of muscle groups that are associated in Chinese medicine with different organs. And, they're also associated with 16 genetic personality trait development. So when you stretch a muscle, and you now, find that wow, I get a much better stretch, when I let my muscles contract, you don't just get the benefit of more flexible muscles, you get benefits in organ physiological health, and also specific personality trait development. There's one more thing to know about when you're stretching a muscle and that is say you're stretching your bicep, so when you're stretching your bicep and you start where the muscle is short, and you go to where the muscle is long, the question is, how far do you take it, when you're stretching that muscle? And the answer is, it's not about the bicep. It's about the balancing muscle, your tricep on the other side. So if I want to stretch my bicep, obviously, my tricep has to shorten. And as I talked about earlier, the capacity of a muscle to shorten is really based on its flexibility. So as long as when you're stretching your bicep, that your tricep can shorten because it's flexible enough, then you can keep stretching your bicep, not whether the bicep can keep tensing and resisting, but by whether or not your tricep can keep shortening. So when you're stretching any muscle group, you have to feel the one on the other side and make sure it's shortening or tensing. Otherwise, then you're overstretching. The other great news about natural stretching is that these fascia materials that go through groups and groups of muscles like your hamstring fascia material also goes through your calves into the bottom of your feet and through your glutes and up your back and over the top of your head. So, the muscles only go a certain distance, these fascia materials collect whole groups of muscles going up the whole body from the legs up into the head, or from the arms up into the head and the trunk. Huge, contiguous groups of muscles are getting affected, when you stretch one muscle, it grabs the fascia all the way up the chain, that fascia material is a tensegrity structure. That tensegrity structures like a geodesic dome, so when you put a weight on a geodesic dome, the members on the outside of the dome support the weight as it goes to the ground as opposed to a pole in a building where the weight goes down into the ground to the bone, like the bones of your body. The fascia material suspends the weight to go down to the ground. So when you're standing and the weight of your body goes down your leg towards your knee, if the fascia material particularly on the back of your leg is healthy, when the weight goes down, it doesn't go into the knee. Most of it goes around the knee through the fascia material, and then down your lower leg until it gets to the ankle, then it gets suspended around your ankle. So this magical fascia material, which is the most energy efficient material on the body. So, when you contract your bicep your fascia tricep stretches like a rubber band, if it's healthy, and then when you stop contracting this, it just brings your back so it doesn't take any energy for the tricep to contract to bring you back extremely energy efficient. Unless, there's been trauma to the fascia material. And that's why you need to stretch is to take that out. So this great fascia that makes it really easy to move, it also causes suspension in all your joints structures. So, if you have torque or tension in your knee, it just means the fascia structures are not suspending the weight, they're compressing the weight around your knee. So when you stretch out, say the central hamstring on the back of your leg, what's ends up happening suspends the weight. So if you normally have creaky knees or knees that don't feel the way they used to feel when you were younger, then it's really probably the fascia material it's going on assuming no joint damage. So you can actually regenerate all of the muscle tissues and stuff and make them healthy the way they were when you were younger. And you can also suspend all the joints structures, so you have this incredible freedom of arranged motion. That fascia material, is such a magical part of movement, that when scientists analyzed a cheetah running with electrodes and taking measurements of the muscles contracting, they found that the muscles contracting didn't produce the speed of the cheetah, the fascia material returning is what creates the speed. So when you stretch naturally, you get a benefit of increased flexibility, you get an increase in potential physiological health of the organ associated with that muscle group, you get specific personality type trait developments of that muscle group and you get this youth vocation of your body because people are just prematurely aging. They're not supposed to be aging at the rate, it's not about getting younger, it's about reversing the premature aging and natural stretching is what does that. So have a great time, naturally stretching, pick whatever muscle group you wanna work on, try with your bicep, try with your quad, try with your hamstrings. See if you get a great result. And then start doing it everywhere, where you want some help. And get other people to help too. Because you don't do anything by yourself. Everything requires everybody else. So get other people to help stretch you too and help stretch them. Okay, have a great time. So we have three centers, one in Santa Barbara, one in Los Angeles, and one in Boston, with lots of trained trainers, wonderful people to meet and a web page The Genius of Flexibility, which has hundreds of videos, for you to self stretch and also assisted stretch. Have a great time.