The benefits of flexibility training
The word flexibility refers to a joints ability to move through ROM or range of motion. There are a number of benefits that come with having good flexibility. Good flexibility will improve your physical performance, reduce your risk of muscular tears and injury, reduce back pain, improve posture and coordination as well as enhance general well being.
In daily life muscular tension and imbalances may develop which will cause pain and restricted movement. With regular stretching we can improve flexibility and increase your range of motion, softening muscle tissue so that you can function with minimal effort.
Flexibility training can improve your sporting performance and reduce your risk of injury. With less tension in the muscles of your legs, hips and butt and more joint range you will run more efficiently and faster because you will have a greater length of stride. On the rings in gymnastics great flexibility through the lower body will provide less resistance in the legs and hips when attempting a posture like the L hold where the legs are held horizontal while you are supporting your body weight with your upper body. Reduced muscle tension and resistance will result in less chance of over stretching or tearing muscles and tendons. Stretching lengthens muscles and reduces fatigue, which will aid injury prevention.
Lower back pain is such a common problem for people and athletes. However, regular flexibility training of the hips, butt, hamstrings, quadriceps and other muscles attached to the pelvis will reduce the tension and stress placed on your lower back helping you to maintain good posture and body alignment.
Flexibility gains are best achieved after exercise when your muscles are warm. This is the safest time to take your joints and muscles to their maximum range as they are more pliable. After exercise the best form of stretching is static stretching. Static stretching involves elongating the muscles to the point of slight resistance without pain and holding the position for at least 15 seconds or more. Static stretching after exercise can increase the temperature of muscle tissue, which increases circulation, the transport of nutrients and improve recovery.
Not only does flexibility training increase performance and reduce muscle soreness, it is also quite relaxing. With less tension in the body and better circulation you will be feeling happier and healthier all the time.