Importance of Flexibility
(a) Flexibility of joints, allows movement in all planes of motion, increases range of motion.
(b) Joints are stabilized by contraction of the surrounding musculature. Flexibility allows muscles to lengthen so that they can provide stability.
(c) Decrease risk of injury – normal ROM of the joint decreases chance for damage. If there is a lack or loss of flexibility due to inflexibility, there will be an unstable joint, resulting in injury.
(a) Static flexibility: Ability to stretch without contracting muscle or causing its antagonist (the strength on the opposite side).
(b) Dynamic flexibility: Ability to stretch while contracting muscles.
aided relaxation, increased range of motion (ROM), easier to go through full ROM.
Flexibility is the ability of your joints to move through their complete Range Of Motion – which is achieved by improving your range of motion in tight parts. To achieve proper form and maximum benefits, good flexibility needs to be reached throughout the entire body. The routine below uses dynamic stretching (after some static stretching) as the primary method of accomplishing this.
Never force anything – you should never stretch to the point where it causes pain (burning or sharp). You may need to use slightly less intensity and work on flexibility more before increasing your ROM. If you can’t move with a specific exercise, do not perform that exercise until you can.
Increasing muscle length and improving flexibility without causing an injury is usually best achieved by beginning with a shorter range of motion and gradually working toward a longer one. But, again, if you reach a point where it doesn’t feel right during any part of an exercise, stop immediately.
importance of flexibility in sports:
A flexible body can perform various postures, which can be helpful in both sports activities and other daily tasks—for example, bending over to touch the toes for a few seconds signals that your hamstrings are supple enough to move your legs through outdoor pursuits such as hiking or climbing.
A flexibility test also ensures that muscles remain strong enough to protect you from injury, whether at work or play. In sports, a flexible body provides an edge over the competition by improving balance and coordination while decreasing the chances of muscle strain or joint injury. Flexibility training before engaging in strenuous physical activity usually reduces injuries too!
The more active your life is, the more dynamic your flexibility training should be! Sports places great demands on our bodies, and we must be flexible enough to handle them. In most sports, particularly those that require a great deal of power or speed, the ability to move into a maximum-effort sprint position is essential.
Injuries can occur due to a lack of flexibility, and movement patterns may also be inhibited. This will affect your performance in both training and competition. Therefore, it’s essential to understand what types of stretching may give you the best results for specific parts of your body – as well as the rules for safe extension – so you can make sure you are getting everything possible from each stretch!
If done right, static stretches – moves that hold a pose – should be at the end of your workout after you have been adequately warmed up. For the best results in almost any activity, your flexibility training should consist of a combination of stretching and dynamic movements that mimic the specific requirements of athletics.
The benefits of flexibility include:
– Increasing range of motion (ROM).
– Alleviating stiffness and soreness.
– Helping with injury prevention by increasing muscle elasticity.
– Enhancing athletic performance.
– Decreasing stress on joints like the knees, ankles, hips, and lower back (Maximum Sports Performance).
Stretching is essential for everyone whether you are an athlete or not; it helps reduce injuries, improves circulation, which can help improve recovery times following intense workouts or events, increases blood flow to muscles that may be used infrequently, like the stabilizing muscles of the spine, and increases muscular strength.
Benchmark flexibility assessments are used to determine an individual’s progress toward reaching a specific level of ROM. The sit-and-reach test is one example (Caudwell).
It measures how far an individual can reach to touch their toes while keeping both feet on the ground. This test requires that the tester have sufficient experience with touching their toes to gauge where the child or patient should be reaching.
Another joint benchmark assessment for measuring flexibility is asking someone to perform a straight leg raise. Performing this test statically involves having someone lie flat on their back, bending one knee so their footrests flat on the surface they are lying on, then raising the other leg while keeping the knee straight.
The amount of flexibility in this test is measured by how high up off the surface their footrests, from entirely lying flat on it to raising the leg so that it rises above a 90-degree angle relative to their hip (Caudwell).
Flexibility tests vary depending on what sport you are trying out for if they are merely recreational or competitive, and many other factors. For instance, military soldiers tend to need more stretching than office employees (Koceja).
Recreational athletes benefit most when they use dynamic stretches before workouts or events; this allows them to warm up without putting too much strain on the muscles.
On the other hand, competitive athletes will use similar stretches but will also need to include several static times to increase the range of motion around joints.
Whether you are a recreational athlete or a competitive athlete, it is important to always stretch within your limits. Your form should be perfect with every movement during flexibility training.
If you cannot make that move correctly, either reduce the range of motion or useless intensity until you can perform it properly without causing injury. Keep in mind that young athletes’ stretching is highly different from adults’ because their muscles are usually much looser and more pliable (Koceja).
importance of flexibility in physical fitness:
Flexibility is one of eight components of physical fitness. The primary purpose of flexibility training is to ensure that all muscles in a joint or group of joints can move through their full range of motion.
Being able to do this enables athletes to avoid muscle strain injuries and improve performance, which means fewer time-outs due to injury and more time playing sports! Therefore, flexibility exercises should be seen as an investment you make into your future health and athletic abilities rather than as something that takes away from valuable training time.
importance of flexibility in warming up:
If you are not flexible enough to perform a movement correctly, reduce the range of motion or intensity until you can do it without causing injury.
Flexibility training should be done as a warm-up for physical activity and is primarily designed to prevent injuries by warming up muscles, which will help loosen them up and prepare them for exercise.
Flexibility exercises must be consistently performed with proper form to avoid potential strains or pulls. The dynamic stretches from our warm-up routine serve as a preparation phase before students move on to more challenging static times.
Dynamic vs. Static Stretching – Which Is Better?
Before we go too deep into this topic, let’s define dynamic and static stretching first and discuss their differences.
Dynamic stretching consists of controlled leg and arm swings that take you (gently!) to the limits of your range of motion. By taking your joints through a full range of motion, dynamic stretching prepares you for agility training and sports by maximizing blood flow to those areas (Koceja).
Static stretches involve less movement, holding a position at the point where you feel a gentle time in one or more muscles. This type of stretching is great for after workouts when the muscles are warm but before exercises when muscles are cold, so static stretching can be performed before or after your workout session! However, it’s important to note that static stretches should only be done after a workout because pre-workout static stretches can weaken your muscles before you even get a chance to train them!
Stretches to perform after swimming:
Once you’re done swimming for the day, you must relax all your major muscles groups by doing some stretches! Here are some of our favorite post-swim spaces:
1) Arm Swings:
Swing your arms back and forth as if you’re flying an airplane! Make sure not to lean forward when swinging your arms because this can put too much pressure on your lower back.
2) Side Bends:
Stand straight with feet hip-width apart and slowly bend from side to side while keeping a straight spine. Make sure not to arch or round through the shoulders while performing this exercise.
3) Leg Swings:
Stand upright with one leg slightly in front of the other and swing that leg out to the side and across your body, keeping your leg straight. Be sure to switch legs!
4) Calf Stretch:
Place both hands against a wall while taking one step forward with your right foot. Keep your back foot flat on the ground while slowly bending into your hip until you feel a stretch in your calf muscle. Make sure not to roll up onto the ball of your foot or lean too far forward when performing this exercise.
5) Hip Flexor Stretch :
Bring one knee toward your chest while kneeling on the ground, then push it back by tightening your gluteal muscles.