Don’t forget about FLEXIBILITY TRAINING !

Don’t forget about FLEXIBILITY TRAINING !

Hey, today I would like to share some information about a subject that is widely discussed within fitness industry – flexibility training. Often abandoned and forgotten it is a key component for developing optimum neuromuscular efficiency. Many athletes forget to include it into their programs and later suffer with tissue trauma, muscle spasm, muscle imbalances etc.  

There are many stretching exercises designed to improve flexibility. Regardless of the method chosen, individuals can achieve flexibility by manipulating the duration of the stretch, intensity of the stretch, velocity of the movement, and frequency of the movements performed.

The general purposes of flexibility training are varied:

  • correct muscle imbalances
  • increase joint range of motion
  • decrease muscle hypertonicity
  • relieve joint stress
  • improve extensibility of the musculotendinous junction
  • maintain the normal functional length of all muscles

Stretching tips to enhance range of motion:

  1. Regardless of the goal, always begin flexibility program with movement assessments such as the overhead squat and/or the single leg squat. These assessments help to determine the muscles that need to be focused on in a flexibility program. If a muscle is overactive or tight, it may be impeding or altering proper movement and as such needs to be corrected to enhance movement.
  2. When used in a warm-up, static stretching should only be used on areas that the assessments have determined are tight/overactive. Each stretch should be held for 20 to 30 seconds at end range.
  3. During the cool down, static stretching should be used to return muscles to normal resting lengths focusing on the major muscles utilized during the workout.

Stretching tips for strength and performance enhancement:

  1. As a warm-up static stretching prior to a strength training routine or competition should only be used on areas that are determined as tight/overactive.
  2. Static stretching should be followed by active-isolated and/or dynamic stretching to improve neuromuscular efficiency.
  3. Static stretching should be used post workout or event to return muscles to normal resting lengths and should be performed on a major muscles utilized during the workout or event.

Stay focused and see you next time!


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