Page 15 of Relax Into Stretching by Pavel Tsatsouline feels like a trick to me


seems obvious that he’s not actually doing 90 degrees adduction, but probably more like 45 per leg and just giving illusion of 90 via pelvic tilt and then side-bending the torso to remain upright

there’s no way this guy has a neutral spine and he’s wearing a bulky shirt to try and hide the fact

1 Like

What was the last time and length you engaged in adduction?

Serious question.

Settle down in the serious areas, please.


I would question the necessity of the whole static stretching paradigm, myself.

Although, I was heavily into yoga for many years, and, once you get it going, the relaxation response is a nice feeling.

That’s not adduction though, it’s abduction.

This is adduction, a really bad illustration of Lam Sai Wing in the Yee Gi Kim Yeurng Ma Bo.


90 degrees between legs and parallel line with extended leg and the floor. I believe the OP is over thinking the test with the spine relationship. The straight out to the side leg extension is the important part of the test. Without the stool is even better.

Some people can not move the femur up that high in the hip socket. It is biologically not possible. Also, the 90 degree at the hip must be created with TWO joints anyway. So the pelvis must lean over and thus the spine must make a J shape (it is inverse J in image). The spine mobility above the pelvis is another test and a good connection, but I think this is just a layman’s home self assessment. keep it simple sometimes…

WT Chum Kiu sidekick technology covers this in great detail…

I think I have this book in a box with a bunch of these Dragon Door treasures. When was it published like 1999 or 2000? Crossfit and personal training got a big start from Pavel and RKC from books in this series and their DVD’s. We were soo thirsty for that kettlebell technology before Y2K. It is weird to think about how hard it was to find a personal trainer in the 1990’s. They are like bartenders now,…everyone does it on the side. Kettlebells at Walgreens with yoga mats and foam rollers too now…amazing.
The last book I purchased from Dragondoor was “Movement” by Grey Cook I think…orders of magnitude better and makes this crap look like a 1980’s magazine article. Really deep.

It is weird, but I think the OP image is asking the reader to sink into that stretch, so the legs are being “pulled open” instead of the reader contracting in adduction against the stool. But contracting slightly as the muscle is pulled is the trick to a good static stretch sometimes. So the legs might be opened (abducted) by the stool as the reader is adducting slightly to tighten the fast twitch muscles. Get those overly active and loose muscle tight so the stool leverage can pull on the deeper connective tissue in the groin.

He’s just using the terms incorrectly.

Adduction and Abduction aren’t the right terms for the muscles you are stretching. They are used to describe the direction of motion, in this case, away from the midline of the body. Muscle-wise, you’re using everything (obviously).

Another name for the Yee Gi Kim Yeurng Ma stance is the “Character 2 Adduction Stance”, because the movement is inward, regardless of the muscles being used.

Great stance for training goat/horse riding, love making, kung fu, AND your BJJ guard.

Dragondoor(and the pic is of the owner and chief editor) was not known for their… um… no nonsense approach. I mean before Pavel left they tried to claim kettlebells cured cancer.

That being said you are overthinking it too much. The point being made is that there are no muscles connecting the two legs and that people are often more flexible in one than in both combined because of neurological safe guards.

As long as you are neurotypical your brain typically won’t allow your body to do things that it knows will hurt it. This is why stuffing the head in wrestling is such an awesome defense to leg attacks.

Yes though it is a bad photo. Guy just wanted to have his face in every book.


Pretty sure this is relevant to your point, the brain-adrenal connectome, and it works both ways.

That’s not adduction though, it’s abduction.

nice catch, yes you are correct this is an ABduction test not ADduction test

It’s sometimes easy to confuse since mentally I’m thinking “this is testing how long you can stretch your ADductor muscles” since aDductor muscles inhibit aBduction

1 Like

90 degrees between legs and parallel line with extended leg and the floor
I believe the OP is over thinking the test with the spine relationship.
The straight out to the side leg extension is the important part of the test

The intent of a “90 degree test” is the idea that “I can prove i have 90 degrees per leg, therefore I am capable of 180 degrees total”

“90 degrees between legs” proving “90 degrees from the lifted leg” however relies on the idea that your other base leg is doing 0 degrees of abduction.

If for example your base leg is engaged in 40 degrees of hip abduction then a total of 90 is only proving your lifted leg is capable of 50 degrees.

I don’t disagree with that concept, it does make sense and would account for some differences between doing a simultaneous adductor stretch (abduction of both legs) in standard splits compared to alternating adductor stretches (abduction of one leg at a time).

It’s also easy enough to see when you try doing a lunge/frontsplit type facing up stairs as opposed to flat on the ground.

Rather I’m skeptical of the argument that lifting your foot onto a hip-height stool a leg’s length away is only accomplished via 90 degrees of a single leg’s hip abduction. That doing this test is an easy way to know you’re capable of 90+90=180 side split and that there won’t be joint socket or ligament problems when approaching those extremes.

You can do that with 45+45 abduction too, via pelvic tilt. Instead of just the free leg’s abductors pulling the knee higher, change of angle can also be cause by the base leg’s adductors tilting the pelvis resulting in the free leg’s hip joint elevating.

You can TRY to keep your pelvis level but it’d be pretty hard to guarantee you weren’t compensating slightly.

Even if it was something like 10+80 because you have good body awareness and minimize compensation via lateral pelvic tilt in this test, 80+80 is only a total of 160 degrees which means you’re proving 180.

Even as much control as 5+85 only proves 170 which is short of the desired ‘roadkill’ relaxation that Pavel aims us at.