Flexibility Training – what is it and why do I care?
I used to be highly inflexible, the first year of PT school it became somewhat of a joke where classmates would practice special tests on me to see what the “abmormal” result was. However, it was something that I worked on regularly. Now I’m fairly limber, often having clients and patients frustrated at how “easy” i make things look. Flexibility tends to be an underrated aspect of health and wellness as it can contribute to movement impairments and thus injury.
What is flexibility? Flexibility is the combination of soft tissue extensibility and control of the nervous system. This allows muscular control through a full range of motion for a given joint. What the hell does that mean? It means that if you are suppose to have a 180 degree range of motion for a given limb, you can control that limb from 0 to 180 degrees of movement and back.
Why is flexibility training important? – Flexibility training is important, because most people in our society lead sedentary lives. The resulting poor posture and movement patterns increase risk for injury and at the same time decrease the efficacy of workouts. This means that one who is inflexible is not only wasting time while they are working out (let’s be honest, who has time for that?) but also increasing their risk of injury which is of course the opposite goal of health and fitness.
Please stay tuned for a video post on how to determine what you should stretch and how based on your postures.
Nicole Mims. PT, DPT