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Improving Flexibility:

© 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. Improving Flexibility

Learning Objectives:

© 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. Learning Objectives Discuss the value of flexibility Identify the structural and physiological limits to flexibility Discuss the stretch reflex Describe the three categories of stretching techniques Design a flexibility exercise program


© 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. Flexibility Full range of motion of a joint Five main structural limitations to movement the shape of bones stiff muscles connective tissues (ligaments & cartilage) tendons tight skin Stretch reflex (contraction) limits to flexibility muscle spindles proprioceptor golgi tendon organs

The Knee Joint: Anatomical Structures Influencing Motion:

© 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. The Knee Joint: Anatomical Structures Influencing Motion

Benefits of Flexibility:

© 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. Benefits of Flexibility Increased joint mobility More efficient body movement Better posture Prevents lower back pain hypokinetic disease see Lab 5.4: stretches to prevent low back pain


© 2014 Pearson Education, Inc.


© 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. Posture Good: body in alignment Holding positions placing least amount of strain on supporting muscles/ligaments of joint Bad: body out of alignment Holding positions stretching muscles on one side of joint, while shortening them on other side Over time leads to pain/joint damage Routine strength and flexibility exercises help correct imbalances/prevent future problems

Techniques to Increase Flexibility:

© 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. Techniques to Increase Flexibility Dynamic Stretching Goal is to prepare body to exercise Conducted prior to exercise and highly recommended Fluid, controlled motion of joint through full ROM Increases blood flow to muscles/joints Increases neuromuscular activity between CNS and PNS Ballistic Stretching Rapid, forceful, bouncing movements More likely to cause injury and thus not recommended Static Stretching Goal is to increase flexibility and recover from exercise Most effective method to increase flexibility at end of exercise, not prior to exercise Slow lengthening of muscles, held for fixed periods

Techniques to Increase Flexibility (cont.):

© 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. Techniques to Increase Flexibility (cont.) Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) Series of motions combining stretching with contraction and relaxation of muscles relies on contract-relax (CR) and contract-relax/antagonist contract (CRAC) stretching See the "Are you too stiff?" Steps for Behavior Change in the chapter

Partner-Assisted Stretching:

© 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. Partner-Assisted Stretching

Applying the FIT Principle to a Flexibility Exercise Prescription:

© 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. Applying the FIT Principle to a Flexibility Exercise Prescription Prescription will vary depending on initial flexibility level Exercises should be static or PNF stretches Recommended sample program might include the following Starter Phase Frequency: 1 session Intensity: 5-minute session/hold for 15 seconds/mild discomfort Time/duration: 1 week Slow Progression phase Frequency: 2–5 sessions per week/add one session per week Intensity: 10–30-minute sessions/hold for 20–30 seconds (add 5 seconds per week)/mild discomfort Time/duration: 6–12 weeks Maintenance Phase Frequency: 4–5 sessions per week Intensity: 30-minute sessions/hold stretches up to 30 seconds Time/duration: start after about week 7 depending on progress

Avoid Stretching Injuries:

© 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. Avoid Stretching Injuries

Maintaining Flexibility:

© 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. Maintaining Flexibility Make a commitment to regular stretching Use time management Set aside time for 3 – 5 sessions per week Stick to your schedule Build in stretches during everyday activities Make it fun: listen to music, watch TV while stretching


© 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. Summary Flexibility is the range of motion of a joint Improved flexibility has many benefits Five limits to flexibility are bone shape, muscle ability, connective tissue within joints, tendons, and skin The stretch reflex (contraction) can be avoided by slow stretching Safe stretching includes static and PNF stretches

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