Stretch Therapy for Gymnastic Strength Training

In a month that couldn’t decide if it was summer or autumn this intrepid mover took  journey to the Italian town of Piacenza to take part in the ST for GST seminar hosted by Kit Laughlin.

The work shop took place over two days in the stunning Studio 38. Seriously, if it was offered to me to drop everything and live in Studio 38 I wouldn’t of returned home.

The seminar was designed as an experiential workshop, giving the participants the possibility of experiencing selected stretches with the direct assistance and explanation of Kit. This concept allows you to then take that experience of how the stretches are performed and further apply this knowledge to the other stretches in the system provided by ST. For people new to GST and ST I think this was a great approach, whereas for myself as a coach I would of preferred to have some more theory, but it wasn’t billed as a workshop for coaches.

Meeting Kit was great, we’ve corresponded over the internet via his forum for sometime but it’s always nice to see that the internet persona matches the person in real life. This is a quote I found which I believe describes Kit quite accurately

“In a world of fitness hucksters, rabid egomaniacs and control freak coaches, Kit Laughlin stands alone as a sincere, humble guy.” 

It was remarked on that Kit at times has a manner of speaking that can come across as quite “esoteric” or “spiritual”, which especially manifests itself in his approach to stretching which embraces not only the bodily side of things but also takes the mind or “spirit” into account. But this is something I’ve found with myself over the years, the more I work with people and their bodies, the more I find the  language we have not sufficient to describe the level and depth of change going on in the body that we have to resort to the language of the “mystics” to explain it.

For me it was great to see such an experienced coach conduct a seminar in the manner of Kit. While only one person, he was able to explain the material in detail while also being able to give everyone individual attention to help them either progress or regress to the correct level.

Over the years I’ve attended many workshops, seminars and training courses, and this one ranks as the best of the bunch. I definitely recommend attending if you get the chance.
Some choice bits of my notes:

  • Its not me hurting you, its your own body hurting you. Kit was quick to point this out after starting the day with a very deep Quad and Hip Flexor stretch. Judging by the faces around the room many people were wondering why they paid this Australian to hurt them.
  • Muscles must flow out of the way. Kit was constantly pointing out that softness of the body was the desired state.
  • When setting up a stretch, stretch more gently then you think you can.
  • Balancing on one leg can only be maintained with an arch in the foot
  • The pec minor stick stretch requires a lot more force than you think it does.
  • Hit your problem areas once a week, no more.
  • If you can’t straighten your arms in a bridge its more than likely your lats that are tight.
Emmet Written by:

One Comment

  1. Armel Martin
    March 29, 2015

    Great summary, thanks for sharing this. When I first started yoga I rolled my eyes a lot at some of the language they use, I still do, but I’m starting to understand why they use such esoteric language. Exactly for the reason you said, our words are pretty inadequate- the change has to be experienced for oneself to be really understood.

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