Enhancing Flexibility

Does anybody know a chemical or concoction that would increase muscular and tendon flexibility or elasticity? If people can send me in the right direction I'm willing to do a bit of leg work. I don't have access to medical papers or scientific review studies otherwise I would have started there. 



  • You do have access.. you just don't know it yet. You can search through google scholar or oxford journals for free. If you run into something promising like on pub med but can't get through the paywall, let me know and I'll try to source it for you.

    I'll also look into this myself. I think it's a good idea although nothing immediately springs to mind.
  • My question is whether or not you want to enhance your existing flexibility to the upper limits of what a human is capable of, or simply want a general boost. If you're looking for a general boost in flexibility, certain kinds of training can help with that, but some people are only so flexible. I seem to recall that the consistency of your cartilage plays a big role in your flexibility.
  • I get what you're looking for, but training will probably give you better results than anything you can mix up.
  • Ballet dancing

    I'm quite serious
  • Stretching every morning will do wonders. What is it you are trying to accomplish?
  • I'm hoping for upper limits of human capability, to pardon a rather obscure comic book reference, like "gingold soda" does for normal people in the DCU. I do stretch quite frequently and I'm pretty sure I have hit my limit for contorting my body. 
  • unless you can fit in a small glass box, keep stretching. "the limits of human capability" are genetic disorders that leave you stretchy and dying. just stick to stretching. We're not meant to be made of elastic for good reason.
  • It really depends on how much work you're willing to put into it. There's a ton of scholarship about flexibility you can find on Google Scholar. I would go that route and stick to the published scholarship.

    The simple things that don't take much of your time (I'm sure you're already doing): always stay very hydrated, eat a banana (potassium), and any time you're sitting in a chair, do some type of static stretch.

    The real deal is that we weren't meant to be elastigirl or the one dud from Fantastic4 -- there's only so flexible we'll be able to get before actually hurting ourselves.
  • If you're talking about straight up contortion then you're going to need a contortion coach.  I know someone who works with contortionists at/from the école nationale de cirque (cirque du soleil recruits heavily from here).  If you've really hit your limit, you'll need someone who knows what they're doing (!) to literally push/pull you past those limits in a safe way.  It is necessarily painful.  Becoming more flexible also has lots to do with building strength and reprogramming muscle memory.  I doubt there are shortcuts.  That said, maybe there are!  I'll ask around and see if there is a "chemical or concoction" that helps.  I imagine the circus doesn't care about PEDs, so hopefully they'll be forthcoming. 

    If you're not at the contortion stage yet, check out Thomas Kurz's "Stretching scientifically".  There's a pdf floating out there somewhere ...
  • Thanks Proteus, I'll start digging on those leads.

    As for getting to the level of Mr. Fantastic, I know that's impossible (however much I wish it were), I'm aiming at contortionist levels. Which are theoretically possible. I just thought that there might be something like "Gingold Soda" as a possibility in reality, which for MOST people who drank it in the DCU helped them be contortionists.

    I'm sorry about my minced words before, I am not the most eloquent with writing. Thank you again for the starting point to go down, rabbit holes hopefully await. Maybe I'll actually get somewhere. Fingers crossed.
  • Sorry, I asked around about this a few weeks ago and then completely forgot to respond.  From what I gathered, the only concoction anyone could recommend was ... bananas and water.  I hope your stretching is going well!
  • I'm going to repeat:
    Ballet dancing

    If you get good at ballet you'll be extremly flexible
  • Heh, thanks. :-) @Proteus I wasn't expecting anything, just thought it might be a good question to pose here.

    As for Ballet, thank you for the suggestion @garethnelsonuk but previous attempts at the sport have turned me off of it altogether. I am working at gymnastics now, so hopefully close enough?
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