Regarding muscle, I have no problem with gaining strength or size. I am built like a Greek god. What I do have a problem with is flexibility. When I sit down on the floor to play with my son, I can’t stay there for more than a few minutes because it feels like my hip is going to pop out of its socket. When I try to touch my toes I can’t get any closer than about 6 inches. What do I need to do? Just stretch till it hurts? Or do I just have stiff muscles and am out of luck?
Frank Forencich wrote a bit about stretching and strength that I remember. The idea was that it may not be a good idea to stretch too much and artificially increase your flexibility, and that tightness may in fact just be a protective mechanism to ensure that you don’t outpace your muscular capacity and endanger your tendons.
Ironically then, doing strength training can signal to the body that it can safely increase range of motion without risking injury.
As an anecdote, at this workshop I attended with him, we did some sort of yoga/pilates/feldenkrias method type thing which was supposedly strength building. After doing this, I found that I actually lost flexibility in my typically gumby-like limbs, and wondered whether that was in fact a good thing. Maybe I was more attuned to my signals and not risking injury through over-riding the failsafe.
I dunno if that helps, though. Maybe try spending time exercising the range of motion you want and see if it expands?
I don’t know man. I know it freaking sucks to be this in(un)flexible. I would be happy to be a little less strong and be able to do normal things like sit Indian style in the floor for more than 5 minutes. If I take a shower in the morning and try to raise my feet to wash them I can’t. I can only feet wash in the P.M. It has to be a genetic thing because my dad is the same way. He can’t touch his thumb to his pinky finger and make the number 3, I barely can. I think I might start stretching in the mornings and see if it helps.