Flexibility is the range of motion around a joint. It’s as simple as that. How far a joint will move in all the directions God designed it to move. This will vary based on the joint, because there are different types of joints that have different purposes.
The benefits of increasing your flexibility:
- Decreased risk of injury or falls
- Increased blood supply to your joints
- Increased coordination
- Decreased soreness after exercising
- Decreased risk of low back pain (office workers of the world, are you listening?)
- Decreased stress
Types of Stretching:
- Static – stretching and holding. Hold your stretches so you feel a slight discomfort, for 30 – 60 seconds.
- Ballistic – bouncing as you stretch. This has its place for trained athletes, but for the average person will be at risk for injury. Don’t bounce.
- PNF – in this type of stretch you actually contract, or flex, the muscle you plan to stretch. After a 6 second flex you move into a 30 second stretch of the muscle.
Plan to stretch 2-3 times per week, and try to do each stretch 4 times. Be sure to hit all muscle groups.