WHAT IS FLEXIBILITY?
You hear people talk about being flexible and inflexible but do you actually know what that means?
Flexibility is the range of motion in a joint or group of joints or the ability to move joints effectively through a complete range of motion.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s report on physical activity and health, flexibility is defined as ” a health-related component of physical fitness that relates to the range of motion available at a joint.”
When this health and range of motion decreases we become inflexible. Reflect back to how you used to move 5, 10, 15 years ago…was it easier? If the answer is yes then you have lost some flexibility.
RANGE OF MOTION
The range of motion each part of your body has can also determine how flexible or inflexible you are. Each joint and each group of muscles in your body might have a different range of motion (ROM) or a different level of flexibility. If areas of your body feel very tight, your muscles will feel short and restricted.
Some areas of your body may feel very loose and you may be able to lengthen and move those muscles freely. Perhaps this is your hamstrings, your shoulders or your hips.
While other areas of your body might feel restricted and tight. You might be able to touch your toes really easily but going into a backbend might be really difficult.
This is telling you your ROM isn’t balanced through the body.
3 TYPES OF STRETCHING THAT CAN HELP INFLEXIBILITY
- Static Stretching: This style of stretching moves you into a position that lengthens a target muscle. This works best if you hold the position for at least 60 seconds. You want to remember to breathe as you hold each stretch, slow exhales
- Dynamic Stretching: This style of stretching has you move in and out of a position that lengthens a target muscle. Dynamic stretching involves moving through a joint’s full range of motion (ROM) either slowly or quickly to mimic a functional activity (walking, running, getting up or down).
- Active Isolated Stretching (AIS): This style of stretching has you move your joint through a complete range of motion, holding the endpoint only briefly, then return to the starting point and repeat. Athletes and active exercisers use active isolated stretching to prevent injuries or muscle imbalance.
WHAT ARE THE LONG TERM EFFECTS OF INFLEXIBILITY
When we don’t continue to work on our mobility, flexibility and range of motion we find moving, day to day activities and sports more difficult.
- limited movement
- unbalanced muscles
- strength loss
- abnormal stress on tissues
- poor posture
- loss of confidence
HOW TO IMPROVE FLEXIBILITY
A consistent yoga practice is one of the best ways to improve your range of motion and mobility. Whether you are brand new to yoga or have practiced many classes you can find a class that fits you.
If you’re REALLY SERIOUS about improving your flexibility than GRAVITY YOGA is for you!
This is targeted mobility training that can be done 15 minutes a day to see drastic changes to your Range of Motion. You will hold static posture stretches for up to 5 minutes. This is not an easy practice but creates flexibility quickly that can help with ease of moving and prevention of injury.