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Flexibility. KIN 325. 1. Definition The range of motion that can be elicited at a particular joint or group of joints Range of motion is highly specific; it differs between joints Also varies between people due to: genetics and gender physical activity level joint structure. age

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Flexibility

Flexibility

KIN 325


1. Definition

The range of motion that can be elicited at a particular joint or group of joints

  • Range of motion is highly specific; it differs between joints

  • Also varies between people due to:

    • genetics and gender

    • physical activity level

    • joint structure


  • age

  • tissue injury

  • adipose tissue

  • body temperature

    2. The benefits of a flexibility training program

  • Maintain good joint mobility, allowing for

    proper body mechanics

  • Reduce mechanical stress within the joints

  • Muscular relaxation

  • Relief of muscular cramps

  • Increase resistance to muscle injury

  • Improve and maintain good postural alignment

  • Prevent low-back and other spinal column problems


3. Connective Tissue: a limiting factor for

flexibility

  • Joint capsule and associated ligaments contribute approximately 47% to restriction of ROM; muscles contribute 41%, the tendons 10%, and skin 2%

  • Stretching exercises help to cause minor distensions in connective tissue and summation of these small changes can improves ROM

  • Increase in stretch tolerance


4.Sensory Receptors Related to Stretching

a. Muscle spindles

Primary stretch receptors in muscle, encased in a spindle-shaped capsule which is attached at both ends to the muscle fibers


b. Golgi tendon organs

Located at the muscle-tendon junction, not within the tendon. Main function is to monitor muscle tension


5. Stretching methods

a. Ballistic stretching

  • Associated with bobbing or bouncing. Fast, dynamic stretches.

    Advantages:

  • Develops dynamic flexibility

  • Permits specificity of training

  • Disadvantages

    • Quick stretch allows little time for adaptation. Permanent lengthening is most effectively achieved by lower force, longer duration stretches

    • Fast stretches create high tensile forces. Can result in injury

      or muscle soreness

    • Might elicit the stretch reflex. Causes muscle contraction,

      therefore increases tension.


  • b. Static stretching

    • a static position held for a period of time

      Advantages:

    • muscle soreness minimized

    • injury risk minimized

    • more effective than ballistic stretching for increasing ROM

      Disadvantages:

    • Not specific to many movements where dynamic flexibility is required


    c. Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)

    • Incorporates various combinations of relaxation and contraction periods for the muscles being stretched

    • The theory is that a simple reflex, initiated by the Golgi tendon organs during the contraction phase, will cause the muscle to relax more and offer less resistance to the stretch

    • Contract-relax method - autogenic inhibition

    • A variation of this method is the contract relax with agonist contraction (CRAC) technique – also incorporates reciprocal inhibition


    Advantages:

    • Most research shows this method produces the largest gains in flexibility

    • Also develops strength in the muscle as large forces are developed when the muscle is isometrically contracted in stretched position

      Disadvantages

    • Elicits the most discomfort

    • DOMS can result

    • Greater risk of injury than with static stretching

    • Usually requires a partner

    • Not recommended for patients with CVD, as blood pressure might rise too high


    6. Exercise Prescription

    Mode: static or PNF

    Frequency: at least 3 days per week

    Intensity: to point of discomfort, not pain

    Duration: 10 to 30 seconds each stretch

    Repetition: 3 to 5 for each stretch


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