Flexibility, or the increased range of movement around a joint, has long been recognised as an equally important segment of the total fitness package by the fitness professional. Yet even with this knowledge, it can still be one of the most neglected areas of the exercise routine. All too often stretching is missed out at the end of the programme by the exercising individual due to time constraints or more importantly due to it not having the respect that it deserves which often stems from a general ignorance regarding the benefits associated with stretching.
Blog -FlexibilityThere are two main sections within your workout which are advised to include stretching: At the beginning, as part of the warm up (pre-stretch) and at the end of the workout (post-stretch or developmental stretches). Pre-workout stretching is mainly linked to reducing the risk of injury during the higher intensity exercise to follow. It is the post workout stretches (developmental stretches) that are mostly associated with increased range of movement. Once the body is warm and has been working to a high intensity or prolonged period of time, the muscles are fully prepared to be stretched and taken beyond the initial range of movement around that particular joint. There are many methods which can be used to perform an effective post-workout stretch.
The general advice is to ensure you regard stretching and flexibility equally as important as the cardiovascular or resistance sections to your programme. The following benefits associated with flexibility should help to encourage this frame of mind:
Reduced risk of injury
Increased range of joint mobility
Increased rate of post-workout recovery
Improved overall exercise performance
Increased ability to perform activities of daily living
For some more interesting articles and videos about Flexibility Training follow these links:
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Author – Mark Durnford, Lifetime Tutor