A Question for Hangers and Manual Stretchers
I only recently came across Hobby’s fantastic post about research on low-intensity, long-duration stretching verses high-intensity, short-duration stretching (Connective tissue- FIRST "THREAD OF THE YEAR"). I posted some questions in relation to this research, but no one commented on them, probably because mine was post number 54 on that thread. Anyhow, I’d really like some feedback from others on this issue, ideally from both hangers and manual stretchers.
The gist of the research Hobby discusses is that to lengthen tissues/ligs one must use low-intensity, long-duration stretching. This is said to favor the “plastic” response, whereas high-intensity, short-duration stretching favors the “elastic” response. I am particularly interested in the duration issue here. Intuitively, this correlation between duration and plastic response makes sense. Moreover, the reputation that hanging has as the royal road to length gains backs up this idea. However, there are many who have seen length gains from manual stretching, sometimes significant gains. And if I’m not mistaken, most manual stretching routines involve sets of short-duration stretches from thirty seconds to one minute. This seems to contradict the research in question.
Some background: I started my PE career about nine months ago by hanging. I started with a homemade hanger but quickly purchased a Bib starter. I saw gains of about 3/8” in the first couple of months, and then nothing. I know that this type of experience of “hitting a wall” after some initial gains is not uncommon. Additionally, at one point I experienced some nerve damage from hanging. Clearly I was doing something wrong, though I’m not certain what. Fortunately, the nerves healed completely, and in fairly quick time. However, this experience scared me off of hanging somewhat. More importantly, my living situation has changed, and now I simply do not have the privacy or time to hang. At least, I don’t have the privacy or time to hang for very long each day. On most days I can sneak in about two hours of PE; on some days I only have one hour, or less.
Consequently, I’ve changed my routine to one of manual stretching and jelqing, which I’ve been following for about four months now. First, I do a series of lig stretches, mostly BTC, but other angles as well. I do this for ten to fifteen minutes total stretching time, using a combination of thirty second stretches and one to two minute stretches, which is about all my hands can take. Then I stretch my tunica for another six to eight minutes total stretching time, using a series of stretches of thirty seconds each. Lastly, I jelq for fifteen to thirty minutes. Occasionally, I follow the jelqing with one or two clamping sets. I’ve seen a bit of girth increase as well, but I’ve wanted to hold off on this (the rubber band theory). I’ve followed this schedule fairly consistently, but on account of the privacy thing there are some days when I cannot do PE.
My unit certainly looks and feels a bit longer. But the last time I measured I was the same length as when I first started the manual stretching and jelqing routine four months ago. Bummer! In light of Hobby’s research, I’ve started using my Bib hanger as a stretching device. This allows me to hold stretches for a longer time. But I’ve only just started this, so I can’t say what the results might be.
I’d really like to hear from both stretchers and hangers on this low-intensity, long-duration principle. If someone only has two hours a day max for PE, what do you recommend? Would hanging during this time be of any use, or do you need longer daily periods of hanging to see results? How come some people see significant results from manual stretching by doing sets of thirty seconds to one minute stretches? Given that the above stretching and jelqing routine has not produced results in four months, what do you suggest?
Thanks in advance,