Single-Leg Deadlift Exercises
Areas stretched: This exercise stretches and loads the hamstrings and glute muscles both eccentrically and concentrically (lengthening and shortening contractions).
The only disadvantage of active stretching is that a person may not be able to produce enough stress (enough stretch) to increase flexibility using only the contraction of opposing muscle groups. The safest and most convenient technique is active static stretching, with an occasional passive assist. For example, you might stretch your calves both by contracting the muscles on the top of your shin and by pulling your feet toward you. This way you combine the advantages of active stretching safety and the relaxation reflex with those of passive stretching greater range of motion.
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People who are just beginning flexibility training may be better off doing active rather than passive stretches. For PNF techniques, it is particularly important to have a knowledgeable partner.
As with any type of training, you will make progress and improve your flexibility if you stick with your program. Judge your progress by noting your body position while stretching. For example, note how far you can lean forward during a modified hurdler stretch. Repeat the assessment tests that appear in Lab 5.1 periodically and be sure to take the test at the same time of day each time. You will likely notice some improvement after only two-three weeks of stretching, but you may need at least two months to attain significant improvements. By then, you can expect flexibility increases of about 10-20% in many joints.