The Right Training To Improve Flexibility

Filed under :Exercise

In the history of sports and physical activity, it has been believed that improvement of flexibility via stretching reduced the risk of exercise related injuries. Nowadays, there is very limited evidence from research to support the concept that stretching will prevent injuries. In some sports, high degree of flexibility can even induce the likelihood of an injury. One example is in contact sports where less flexibility increases shoulder stability, hence less likelihood to get injured.

Although, improving ones flexibility may not decrease the chance of exercise-induced injury, it is still important to be able to move joints through a full range of motion in some sports. For example, having good hip flexibility will increase the range of motion for Muay Thai kicks and other martial arts.

There are two types of stretching; static and dynamic. As their names imply, static stretching is continuously holding of a stretch position, where dynamic stretching is when movements are not controlled. Both techniques can result in improvement in flexibility, although static stretching is considered to be the superior one. The reason for that is simple; less chance for injury, less muscle spindle activity, and there is less chance of muscle soreness.
Research has shown that thirty minutes of static stretching exercises, twice per week, improve flexibility in about five weeks.
It is recommended that the stretch position is held for 10 seconds at the beginning of a flexibility program and increased to 60 seconds after several training sessions. Each stretch position should be repeated about 3-5 times and progress up to 10 repetitions.

In general, stretching is good for the body for many additional reasons, such as: reduce muscle tension, increase blood circulation, increase energy levels, and most important, it feels very good!

Don’t forget to enjoy your stretching!