A new course is available at Weik University on flexibility. Those interested in sitting through an easy course, no need to look any further because class has just begun.
Everyone is guaranteed an "A" for the course as long as you sit through the course and pay attention (you can take notes if you wish). From there, all you have to do is take what you learned from the course and utilize it during your training protocol.
What Is Flexibility?
According to the ACSM, flexibility is the measure of the range of motion at a joint or group of joints and the ability to move a joint through its complete range of motion.
Founded in 1954, the American College Of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 20,000 international, national and regional members are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.
The ACSM recommends
stretching three times a week. You want to stretch 10% beyond normal length or to the point of tension (overload but do not overstretch). You want to hold the stretch anywhere from 10-30 seconds. You should ideally try to achieve 3-5 reps with 4 reps being ideal.
What Determines Flexibility?
There are many things that determine flexibility:
- The shape of the bones and cartilage in the joint
- The length and extensibility of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia across the joint (The length of bone segments impacts range of motion)
- Your personal physical activity
- Tissue interference occurs when either muscle or fat tissue physically blocks a movement, restricting a joints full range of motion
- Hormonal influences on muscle elasticity generally make women more flexible than men (sorry guys, we have a disadvantage)
- Muscle temperature, disease status, tissue interference, gender, age (Increased muscle temperature increases the muscles elasticity)
Flexibility is joint specific. For instance, the shoulder is the most flexible joint in the body. You can move your shoulder in more directions and has more range of motion than any other joint in the body.
The elastic and compliant properties are enhanced by regular stretching of the connective tissues. Stretching exercises have the greatest impact on the connective tissues of the muscles and tendons.
Health Benefits Of Flexibility
There are many health benefits that string from working on your flexibility. By working on and improving your flexibility, you will be able to do daily activities much easier.
For example, those who have problems putting on their shoes and tying them benefit from increased flexibility. People who play
sports or workout will find that they have improved athletic performance and fewer
injuries. Not to mention that people who have good flexibility have much better posture.
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Stretching is a technique that will definitely improve flexibility. Flexibility is a component of fitness and should be worked on as if it were your
cardio or weight training session at the gym.
Many people neglect working on their flexibility. This cannot only decrease the quality of their life (for instance, not being able to touch your toes or tie your shoes) but it can also cause injuries due to lack of range of motion.
What Decreases Flexibility?
- Lack of physical activity
- Sedentary living
- Tissue injury
- Joint structure
- Fat (adipose tissue)
Stretching And Flexibility Articles:
When Do You Stretch?
Stretching should be done after
cardio or weight training when the muscles are more pliable. Use the ACSM Guidelines above to stretch after a workout.
It is important that when stretching, that you don't hold your joints. It is also important that you do not overstretch. Both of these forms could help save you from an injury.
Types Of Stretching
There are two different types of stretching—active and passive.