What Is Hyperbolic Stretching — And Does It Work?
This Unique Stretching Method Promises to Improve Flexibility in Four Weeks
Flexibility can be a major advantage when it comes to physical fitness — by increasing your range of motion, it can improve your performance while also reducing your risk of injury.
There are lots of different ways to work on increasing your flexibility, but stretching is the gold standard method. And hyperbolic stretching — a self-paced online workout program — promises to improve your flexibility in just four weeks. But is it really more effective than other traditional stretching methods?
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According to experts, hyperbolic stretching does have a slew of potential benefits. However, it’s not for everyone. Here’s what certified personal trainers want you to know before you invest in this program.
What Is Hyperbolic Stretching?
Hyperbolic stretching is a unique program developed by Alex Larsson.
“It combines different stretching techniques, including proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), dynamic, and static stretches,” says Jordan Fernandez, a certified personal trainer at Trainer Academy.
The program entails a daily routine, and while consistency is key, it isn’t a huge time commitment: in fact, it only takes about eight minutes.
“One of its key principles is ‘inverse survival reflex,’ which is akin to the PNF concept of ‘hold-relax,’” explains Aleksander Saks, a certified strength and conditioning specialist. “This method involves stretching the muscle, contracting it isometrically, and then relaxing to achieve a deeper stretch.”
According to Fernandez, this focus on extending muscles beyond their usual range is what supposedly sets this method apart from traditional stretching routines.
What Are the Benefits of Hyperbolic Stretching?
“Hyperbolic stretching can target muscles around your pelvis, core, and lower body, and can help alleviate the symptoms of a number of health issues,” says Josh York, a certified personal trainer and founder/CEO of GYMGUYZ.
According to York, this method can improve agility, balance, and coordination, thereby lowering your risk of injury.
“When your muscles are flexible due to stretching, your joints are less prone to strains and sprains,” he explains.
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“The program is also designed to strengthen the core muscles — mainly the rectus abdominis, and obliques,” adds Saks. “As a result, you should see improvements in your posture, which can lead to a decrease in that nagging pain many of us get from prolonged sitting.”
Fernandez also notes that hyperbolic stretching could also alleviate muscle tension in the back and hips.
Does Hyperbolic Stretching Work?
So, does hyperbolic stretching live up to the creator’s lofty claims? Well, experts say that all depends.
Fernandez acknowledges that the method does incorporate well-established techniques that are known to enhance flexibility. However, the jury is still out on whether it’s possible to achieve dramatic improvements in just a month.
“Flexibility gains are typically gradual and can be influenced by factors such as age, baseline mobility, and consistent practice,” says Fernandez. “Therefore, while the method may lead to improved flexibility, results can differ widely.”
“Scientific research on hyperbolic stretching is limited,” says Saks. “I'd advise you to approach it with minimal expectations.”
Who Should Try Hyperbolic Stretching?
According to experts, the ideal candidates for hyperbolic stretching are:
- Athletes who practice sports where flexibility is crucial, such as yoga, tai chi, surfing, wrestling, or jiu-jitsu
- Anyone looking to improve their mobility and core strength
- Anyone who trains aggressively and is looking to avoid injuries
As for who should avoid hyperbolic stretching, Fernandez says this method likely isn’t a good fit for people with recent injuries, joint replacements, or chronic conditions that affect their musculoskeletal system.
“Those who have experienced muscle or tendon tears may find the program's intensity too high and risk further injury,” he adds.
York and Saks strongly recommend consulting a fitness professional or physical therapist if you have any history of injuries, or any concerns about hyperbolic stretching before trying it.
Hyperbolic Stretching Tips for Beginners
Eager to give hyperbolic stretching a try? The only way to learn exactly how the program works is to sign up for the program online. It costs $199, and there’s a 60-day money-back satisfaction guarantee.
That said, here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Start slow: “Begin with a lower intensity to understand how your body responds to the stretches,” says Fernandez. And listen to your body: Fernandez notes that while stretching can occasionally cause mild discomfort, it should never cause sharp or shooting pain.
- Don’t forget to warm up: “Any type of stretching with the goal of improving flexibility should be intense, so the muscles need to be warmed up,” says Saks. “It can be as simple as doing some cardio to increase your heart rate and get the blood flowing in the target region.”
- Be consistent: Experts agree you can’t expect to see any benefits from hyperbolic stretching if you don’t stick with it every single day. “You need to commit for at least a few weeks to build up your flexibility and to give your body the time to really experience the results,” adds York.
- When in doubt, consult an expert: “If you have reservations, want someone to keep you accountable, or are looking for advice on form, Assisted Stretch services with a certified personal trainer can help you establish routines with hyperbolic stretching and maximize what you can get out of your fitness session,” says York.
Finally, if you decide hyperbolic stretching just isn’t for you, keep in mind that there are lots of other approaches to consider.
“The best form of stretching is the one that you can stick to and makes you feel better,” says Jason Sani, personal trainer and Director of Wellness at OHM Fitness. “Incorporating both dynamic and static stretching in your routine, along with proper form and guidance, can maximize the benefits while minimizing the potential for harm.”
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