Introduction to Flexibility

Technological advancements have led to modern society living a sedentary lifestyle, which has resulted in postural imbalances in most people. More people today work in office-related jobs which require individuals to sit for long hours. School children are made to sit in chairs, behind desks for prolonged periods, often with poor body mechanics e.g. slumping. More than ever before, flexibility training has become a key component in decreasing postural dysfunctions. A common problem Flexibility training may result in decrease the occurrences of low back pain, joint pain, and overuse injuries. Without optimum levels of flexibility, it may not be possible for clients to achieve their goals without getting injured. It is critical for Health and Fitness Professionals to learn about flexibility training to properly design an effective exercise program.

Flexibility is defined as the regular extensibility of all soft tissue that allows for full range of motion of a joint. However, for soft tissue to achieve efficient extensibility, there must be optimum muscular control throughout the entire range of motion. More specifically, this optimum control can be referred to as dynamic range of motion. Therefore, dynamic range of motion is defined as the combination of flexibility and the nervous system’s ability to control ranges of motion efficiently. For that reason, flexibility training is most effective when it is combined with strength training to allow full range of motion and control of this new range.

Neuromuscular efficiency is the ability of the nervous system to properly recruit the correct muscles (agonists, antagonists, synergists, and stabilisers) to produce force (concentrically), reduce force (eccentrically), and dynamically stabilise (isometrically) the body’s structures in all three planes of motion.