The fitness community frequently discusses the benefits of dynamic vs. static stretching. Hyperbolic stretching joins the ranks of active, emotional, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretches.
No of your age or body type, the online program hyperbolic stretching claims to enhance your flexibility, improve your posture, and reduce your back and hip problems. If you follow the program to the letter, it says you’ll be able to complete a full split in as little as one month.
Is it, however, a simple program? We put the hyperbolic stretching program through its paces for four weeks, read the studies, and consulted with professionals to determine if it delivers what it claims.
Can You Define Hyperbolic Stretching?
Alex Larsson calls himself a “flexibility and core strength expert” and claims to have created a stretching technique called “hyperbolic stretching.” However, his qualifications are not readily available on the web.
His plan integrates multiple types of stretching, one of which is PNF. You can stretch further and more effectively using your reflexes to your advantage. Both static and dynamic (or active) stretches are a part of his routine.
The website states that the training is based on “three principles” that work together to increase adaptability. The first, referred to as the “inverse survival reflex,” is the “hold-relax” notion from PNF. When a muscle is placed in a stretched posture and subsequently contracted (isometrically) without the joint moving, a reflex is triggered that permits the stretch to be prolonged.
Picture yourself and a partner doing a hamstring stretch while lying down to understand the first concept—you and your partner press against each other’s calves and ankles from behind. Then, you let your partner’s light push further extend your stretch by relaxing your leg.
The second principle is S.A.I.D. or Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands, but it is technically outside the program. This implies that to achieve the splits. You will need to train with certain stretches that replicate the action.
The third rule is to perform strengthening exercises before stretching to prepare the muscles for the action. The method says that doing so strengthens your muscles and “pre-exhausts” them, allowing you to try more effectively.
Do the concepts work to increase adaptability? So, without further ado, let’s get into the meat of the show and our verdict.
A Hyperbolic Plan of Action
The Hyperbolic Program’s foundational stretching routine may be purchased online for $27 and granted digital access for life. In the months we spent researching and writing this, the advertised price of $199 on the website stayed the same. There is a 60-day money-back guarantee available if you are unhappy with the program’s performance.
To get the most out of the program, you need to stretch for 8 minutes six times a week, every day for 30 days. It’s unclear how the “male” and “female” variants of the software vary from one another, but you’ll need to pick one.
The program’s end goal is to do a front split (where one leg is in front and the other is behind) and a side split (where both legs are spread wide apart to the side).
You may watch 11 videos after making a purchase:
- The primary guide takes you through a three-minute lengthy explanation of hyperbolic stretching. Larsson explains the fundamentals of the software, the required tools, and what to anticipate.
- There are three films for the front split: a beginner’s guide in Week 1, an intermediate’s guide in Weeks 2 and 3, and a close-the-gap video in Week 4.
- You will find three videos for the side split: a beginner’s guide, an intermediate guide, and a close-the-gap video for week four.
More on dynamic stretching, upper body stretching, a pike stretch routine (folding over and touching your toes), and the simple bridge stretch (also known as a backbend) are covered in a set of “bonus” films that come with the main stage.
According to the website, you should perform the Side Split routine thrice every week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You complete the Front Split exercise on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
You can get by with only a steady chair and cushions or towels.
The Hyperbolic Stretching Routine: A Review
After registering and paying, you will be sent a link to the videos through email. Week one features a video geared for newbies, weeks two and three have a different film, and week four is a more advanced video. There is an 8-minute stretching program followed by a brief “explainer” video each week. The stretches get longer and more strenuous as the weeks go on.
While the routines may change significantly from week to week, the basic structure remains the same:
- You perform some mild warming up, which consists of dynamic stretches like standing lunges.
- After that, you do some light bouncing or oscillations to perform active and passive stretches. They use the term “ballistic stretching” to describe this phenomenon.
- The final part of the practice is the “hold-relax” stretch when you move into a deeper version of the time while contracting your muscles isometrically.
The hip adductors are the primary muscle group targeted while performing a side split, whereas the hip flexors and hamstrings take center stage when performing a front fork.
Even though I exercise often, stretching is not part of my regimen. But I take Pilates twice a week, so I was already really flexible when I started the program.
The stretches are unpleasant because, well, you’re stretching. Some of the hip flexor hold-relax stretches were challenging for me since they required me to press my knee into the ground. But I just used a mat as cushioning and managed to get by.
The videos are simple and easy to follow. However, I found the music and the instructor’s voice to be repetitive after a few days of practice.
After a yoga class, my legs, hips, and back felt flexible and warmed up after each session, and I began to look forward to them.
In just four weeks, my flexibility increased dramatically. By the end of the course, I could complete front and side splits, albeit my flexibility varied depending on which side I was bending.