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Benefits of Flexibility

Page history last edited by Katie Baum 12 years, 2 months ago

 Second Author: Katie Baum

KatieB

Benefits of Flexibility[1]

 

 

When thinking about physcial fitness many people remember to impliment cardio and strength training and pair it with a nutritious and healthy diet.  Although flexibility is essential to overall wellness, it is often overlooked.  In reality, there are many good reasons why staying flexible is important. In order to be flexible, people must stretch in order to gain flexibility. Stretching often and doing it repetively will improve ones flexibility. 

 

 

Tips for how to stretch properly[2]

Before knowing the benefits of stretching, we need to know how to stretch:

 

  • Don't Bounce.
          Stretch gradually so that you won't stretch or tear muscles.
  • Don't Rush It.

          Hold stretches for 15 to 30 seconds.

  • Repeat Stretches.

          Do each stretch 3 to 5 times.

  • Don't Stretch Through Pain.

          Stretching should not be painful.  You should feel only mild discomfort.

  • Don't Hold Your Breath.
          Breathe in and out slowly.
  • Make It a Habit.

          Make stretching a part of your regular routine.

 

 

 

 [3]

 

 

 

Why should you stretch?[4]

 

  • Improved Physical Performance

    Flexibility increases range of motion.

  • Decreased Risk of Injury

    Stretching decreases resistance in tissue structures which decreases risk of injury.

  • Reduced Muscle Soreness

    Stretching will decrease the amount of muscle soreness you experience after exercise.

  • Improved Posture

    Stretching improves posture and muscular balance.

  • Increased Blood and Nutrients to Tissues

    Stretching increases tissue temperature, circulation, and nutrient transport.

  • Allow yourself a better range of motion.[5]

         Stretching lengthens muscles and makes day to day activities easier.

 

 

 

Is there a specific type of day you should stretch?[6]

You can stretch anytime during the day.  It is helpful to stretch:

 

  • At least 3 times per week
  • In the morning after waking
  • After sitting or standing for long periods of time
  • Any time you feel stiff or tense
  • Before and after workouts

 

 

 

Different stretches to try:[7]

  • Hamstring Stretch
  • Calf Stretch
  • Chest Stretch
  • Shoulder Stretch
  • Quad Stretch
  • Forearm Stretch
  • Tricep Stretch
  • Back Stretch
  • Inner Thigh Stretch

For more stretches and tips on how to perform stretches visit http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwfit/flexibility.html !!

 

 

 

Stretches to avoid:[8]

Some stretches actually put you at risk for injury.  Here is a list of stretches that should be avoided.

 

  • Standing Toe Touch

          Puts strain on the spine.

  • Standing Quad Stretch

          Puts strain on the knee.

  • Prone Arch

          Puts strain on spine, knees, and shoulders.

  • Neck Circles

          Puts strain on neck.

  • Hurdler Stretch

          Puts strain on ligaments of the knee.

  • Yoga Plow

          Puts strain on neck, shoulders, and back.

  • Standing Hamstring Stretch

          Puts strain on the knee and lower back.

  • Full Squat

          Puts strain on ankles, knees, and spine.

 

 Flexibiltiy Video:

 

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For more information and alternative stretches visit Chapter Five of your Fit and Well book page 142!

 

Footnotes

  1. http://www.windsurfers.com.ar/streching.htm
  2. http://running.about.com/od/trainingessentials/tp/stretchtips.htm
  3. http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2007/08/01/health/adam/19391Flexibilityexercise.html
  4. http://www.mamashealth.com/exercise/flextrain.asp
  5. http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwfit/flexibility.html
  6. http://www2.gsu.edu/~wwwfit/flexibility.html
  7. http://www2.qsu.edu/~wwwfit/flexibility.html
  8. Fahey, T. D., Insel P. M. & Roth, W. T. (2009), Fit & Well: Core concepts and labs in physical fitness and wellness. McGraw-Hill, New York: New York. (pg.142)

Comments (13)

Helena Baert said

at 9:41 pm on Sep 11, 2008

Great article Makayla! Very well put together! Informative and interesting! A wonderful topic and great inclusion of links and pictures. Excellent!

Callie Grant said

at 11:16 pm on Sep 29, 2008

This article was so well put together and organized. It was very hard to edit and add to because I thought that Makayla covered everything very nicely. I added a little bit of color and a sentence or two just to make it more appealing to the eye. Makayla did a great job!

amwilcox@... said

at 11:24 pm on Oct 6, 2008

This was an awesome article! i never knew how important it was to be flexible. This will really help me. thanks!

Pauline Ripley said

at 11:16 pm on Oct 7, 2008

This article is so organized! It was really easy to read and interesting stuff to learn! Way to go!

Makayla Jorgensen said

at 4:18 pm on Oct 8, 2008

Exam questions

How long should you hold a stretch? a) 3 seconds b) 2 minutes c) as long as possible d) 15-20 seconds
True or False: There are certain times of the day when you should not stretch.
True or False: Stretching improves your posture.
True or False: If you aren't feeling pain when you stretch you aren't doing it right.
Stretching a) increases blood flow and nutrients to muscles b) reduces muscle soreness c) improves physical performance d) all of the above

Sonya Garrison said

at 10:25 am on Oct 10, 2008

I am not flexible at all and this shows that I really need to be. Thanks!

Brinlee Duncan said

at 7:43 am on Oct 14, 2008

Wow! I never knew the importance of flexibility! This was an awesome article!!

Kendra Watts said

at 9:45 pm on Oct 14, 2008

very good organization! and the pictures helped a lot

Olivia Lassiter said

at 12:06 am on Nov 25, 2008

this article was very helpful. i didn't know that standing toe touches and quad stretches could put you at risk for injury.

brawling@... said

at 11:53 am on Dec 3, 2008

Article is written and outlined very well. Great article. I always overlook the importqnce of flexibilty in my workout routine. This article has given me a new perspective on stretching. Thanks for the help!

Kim S said

at 6:37 pm on Dec 3, 2008

This article is great. I really liked how this person explained flexibility in a way that everyone will understand why it is so important.

sspates@... said

at 3:35 pm on Dec 5, 2008

I didnt know its good to stretch after waking up. Thats kinda interesting

jriddel said

at 3:32 am on Dec 8, 2008

The picture of the girl stretching with the all the muscles is pretty neat. Also I have been hearing a lot lately that neck circles were not good for you at all!

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