The Importance of Flexibility and Stretching

The Importance of Flexibility and Stretching

The Importance of Flexibility and Stretching

Todays post is on The Importance of Flexibility and Stretching.

The Importance of Flexibility and Stretching

Flexibility is the range of motion of an anatomical joint, you can increase you flexibility by stretching. Improving your flexibility through stretching will increase you range of motion and decrease you chance of injury. The more flexible you are the stronger you will be and the less prone to injury you become. There are 3 major types of stretching Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF), Ballistic and Static.

Here I am going to discuss the 2 most commonly used stretching techniques: Ballistic and Static (passive) stretching. I will also discuss how to incorporate them into your everyday life. I will discuss PNF stretching later as there are many variables and slight nuances.

Ballistic Stretching

Ballistic stretching involves repetitive bouncing or repetitive motions to stretch; an example would be a marathon runner giving herself self hugs before a run, or a basketball player doing huge free arm circles before a game. The main thing you need to know is ballistic stretching does not involve any holding movements, for example; almost any Yoga posture would not be considered ballistic stretching, Yoga is mostly considered static stretching.

To successfully incorporate ballistic stretching into your daily workout, the most importantan thing is to do a proper warm-up. Ballistic stretching has a bad rap in the fitness and medical industry because there is a chance of pulling a muscle if not properly warmed-up. The best way to warm up is usually with mild aerobic activity such as a stationary bike or a warm-up jog. I cannot stress the importance of this enough. I couldn’t tell you the number of times somebody has told me then ended up pulling a “hammy” because then just went balls out when they first start to workout. If you’re just learning to swim it usually not best to jump directly into the deep end of the pool…i’m just sayin’.

The Importance of Flexibility and Stretching

Examples of Ballistic Stretching

  • Self hugs using a jerking movement
  • Overhead arm swings
  • Lunges

Static Stretching

Static stretching or sometimes called passive stretching involves stretching your muscle as far as you can comfortably go, then holding the position. Almost any discipline of Yoga involves heavy static stretching. Normally static stretching is done as a cool down from you workout, this is done because you core temperature is already up; therefore you can go into a more aggressive posture. It is best to use static stretching as a cool down exercise. You should be holding each exercise for a bout 15 seconds to improve your range of movement.

Example of Ballistic Stretching

  • Side bends
  • Shoulder Stretch
  • Toe touches

When doing Ballistic and Static stretching you should ALWAYS do a proper warm-up to prevent injury. Increasing your range of motion is ALWAYS the focus in stretching. Keep this in mind as you incorporate flexibility training into your workouts.

Thanks for looking at my post on The Importance of Flexibility and Stretching.

About The Author

Charles Lloyd

Self processed fitness missionary and author of most of the ridiculous fitness articles written on Charles Lloyd Fitness.com. I am not really a writer, but a workout fiend who happens to have a blog. The single mission of this website is very simple: Get You In Shape. I have been blessed with the gift of good health and want to share it with you. Join Me.

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