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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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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
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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
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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
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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

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b. Golgi tendon organs

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

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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.

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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
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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
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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
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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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