Increase flexibility protocols


To increase flexibility, elaborates on various mechanisms and stretching protocols supported by research:

  • Flexibility involves neural (nervous system), muscular, and connective tissue aspects. Stretching leverages neural mechanisms that prevent overstretching or overloading muscles, which can be used to immediately increase flexibility 1.
  • Static stretching, holding a stretched position with minimal momentum, is beneficial for improving range of motion. Early benefits within the first three weeks of starting a stretching program are largely due to neural adaptations and increased stretch tolerance 2.
  • An effective stretching protocol would include static stretching for 30 seconds per set, with a goal of five minutes per week, per muscle group. The frequency of stretching throughout the week is important, and sessions should ideally be spread over five to six days 3.

    Flexibility Mechanisms

    Andrew explains the basic elements of the nervous system, muscles, and connective tissue that allow for flexibility and stretching. He discusses the two major mechanisms by which the nervous system communicates with muscles and how they can be leveraged to increase flexibility. The chapter also covers the three major components of flexibility: neural, muscular, and connective tissue.

    Huberman Lab

    Improve Flexibility with Research-Supported Stretching Protocols | Huberman Lab Podcast #76
  • Stretching confers additional benefits, such as inducing relaxation, reducing inflammation, and may even have a role in combatting certain forms of cancer 4.
  • Microstretching, or low-intensity static stretching at approximately 30-40% of the point of pain, seems more effective than high-intensity stretching for increasing range of motion. This approach also suggests a lower risk of injury 5.
  • It's important to design a stretching routine tailored to individual needs, considering flexibility goals and whether engaged in sport or not. Understanding the mechanisms will help construct this personalized program 3.

For specific implementations and exercises, Huberman Lab recommends exploring various resources, ensuring safe practice, and adhering to the scientific data for maximum benefit.