There used to be a great contrast between Bob Hoffman and the York Barbell Company vs. Joe Weider in New Jersey and his line of weights for bodybuilders. Hoffman favored weight training for sport purposes particularly Olympic style weight lifting: press, snatch, clean & jerk. Weight training was advocated for gymnasts, swimmers and runners. Joe Weider advocated weight training for body building purposes, i.e. muscular definition and development for physique contests. The York side advocated full range of motion exercises for tendon and ligament strength as well as muscular development. The Weider side promoted constricted motions that pumped up the body of the muscle.
The York side seems to be more representative of the Eastern philosophy as expressed in the following views of East vs. West:
In general in the West, the tendons are considered to be rope-like extensions of the muscles that do not contract, yet strength exercises are recommended for preventing injury because they increase the stability of the joint. To do this there must be some increased strengthening of tendons and ligaments. In the East, there has traditionally been an emphasis on developing strength and power through natural movements that work the full length of the muscle evenly. The result is a long, smooth muscle that is strong at the muscle belly and the ends of the muscle. This kind of "tendon strength" can generate tremendous power that is not a product of bulging muscles. I will never forget my amazement at the powerful grip of one of my teachers who stood five feet three inches and weighed 120 pounds. At eighty-two, though his arm muscles looked flaccid, he had a grip like iron and could pull me off balance with ease. His strikes, which appeared to be light and weak, penetrated to my bones.
Tom Bisio, A TOOTH FROM THE TIGER'S MOUTH
Come to think of it, perhaps my ability to do full front splits right and left sides in junon tyso derives from doing split style cleans in the Olympic lifts
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP, IF ANY, OF TENDONS AND LIGAMENTS TO FLEXIBILITY