Flexibility is the normal extensibility of all soft tissues that allow the full range of motion of a joint. Flexibility will allow us to feel and move better. Today’s society is plagued by postural imbalances, primarily owing to a sedentary lifestyle caused by advancements in technology. More and more are spending their day hunched over a desk at a computer and requires long periods of sitting. Flexibility training is a key component to helping decrease these dysfunctions.
Benefits of Flexibility Training.
- Correcting muscle imbalances.
- Increasing joint range of motion.
- Decreasing excessive tension of the muscles.
- Relieving joint stress.
- Improving function.
Flexibility and Muscle Imbalances.
A muscle imbalance is caused by a abnormal structural and functional efficiency of the kinetic chain. The muscular,nervous and skeletal system make up the kinetic chain. If any part of this chain if throw off it will affect others areas as well. For example, having knee pain may not necessarily be related to the knee but the hip instead.
Muscle imbalances can be caused by a variety of mechanisms.
- Postural Stress.
- Emotional duress.
- Repetitive movement.
- Poor training technique
- Lack of core strength.
- Lack of neuromuscular control.
Lack of Flexibility and Potential Injury Risk.
- In a prospective study with 146 male soccer players found that soccer players with increased muscle tightness in the quadriceps and hamstrings were found to have a statistically greater risk for injury compared with the uninjured group.
- In a prospective study found that decreased flexibility of the hamstrings and quadriceps significantly contributes to the development of patellar tendonitis in the athletic population.
1. Witvrouw E, Danneels L, Asselman P, D’ Have T, Cambier D. Muscle flexibility as a risk factor for devleoping muscle injuries in male professional soccer players.
2. Witvrouw E, Bellemans J, Lysens R, Danneels L, Cambier D.Intrinsic risk factor for the development of patellar tendinitis in an athletic population.
Self-Myofascial Release and Flexibility.
SMR also known as self-myofascial realse is a technique used by incorporating a foam roller. Self-myofascial release is a stretching technique that help release a muscle to realign it properly. SMR is done by applying pressure to a tender spot for a minimum of 30 seconds. SMR is recommended before static stretching and can be used as part of the cool-down process.
Muscle imbalances are the result of pattern overload. Pattern overload is consistently repeating the same pattern of motion. Many gym members who train with the same routine repetitively may lead to pattern overload causing abnormal stresses on the body.
Poor posture and repetitive movement create dysfunction. The body will treat this as an injury and the cumulative injury cycle begins.
- Tissue trauma.
- Muscle spasm.
- Altered neuromuscular control.
- Muscle imbalances.
Well, I got to Roooooollllll Out Folks.