Flexibility-Definition & Outline

Flexibility is defined as the range of motion about a joint or series of joints. Flexibility is joint specific, that is, it is possible to be very flexible in the shoulders but not in the hips.

When muscle tendons and joint capsules are properly stretched, they are less prone to injury. Also, a properly lengthened muscle can apply more power because it can contract through a complete range of motion instead of a portion of the total range.
Properly stretched muscles also can help conserve energy. If a muscle is not lengthened, it will resist the activity of the opposite muscle group, and requires this muscle to work harder at its end range.

Flexibility training requires that you follow a few important procedures in order to maximize the training effect. Your flexibility training will be more valuable if you follow these tips.
All stretches should be done slowly. This allows the muscle to lengthen without any resistive muscular reflex. If you do it too fast, the muscle will try to protect itself from over-stretching by contracting. If this occurs the muscle could actually be damaged. This is why ballistic stretches which are bouncing type exercises, are not recommended.
Stretches should be held. In order to achieve maximal effect, a stretch must be held at its end point for a minimum of twenty (20) seconds. The longer the hold the greater the effect, as a much greater range of motion will be achieved when the muscle tissue resistance is reduced gradually.

Stretching should be active. That is, you should try to achieve the greatest stretch you can before any additional, outside the body help is added. Remember, in a practice or game, there is little outside help available to achieve a desired range of motion.

Stretching should be relaxed. If flexibility training is rushed, the body will not respond very well and this will defeat the purpose of the training.

To supplement this program, you may insert any stretches given you to perform by a licensed professional or for medical reasons. We will review any non-medical techniques to see if there are benefits to adding to our series.

Here are 12 simple stretches to start with and more will be added as the program progresses.

3 Responses

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