principles of muscular flexibility assessment and prescription l.
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Principles of Muscular Flexibility Assessment and Prescription. Flexibility and Terms Defined. Flexibility – the ability of a joint to move freely through its full range of motion. Stretching – moving the joints beyond the accustomed range of motion.

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flexibility and terms defined
Flexibility and Terms Defined
  • Flexibility – the ability of a joint to move freely through its full range of motion.
  • Stretching – moving the joints beyond the accustomed range of motion.
  • Plastic elongation – permanent lengthening of soft tissue.
  • Elastic elongation – temporary lengthening of soft tissue.
importance of flexibility
Importance of Flexibility
  • Many musculoskeletal injuries can be associated with lack of flexibility
  • Improper posture can result in lower back pain pain (linked with lack of flexibility).
  • Improper body mechanics have been attributed to poor flexibility.
  • Participation in a regular flexibility program and stretching before and after workouts will help individuals maintain good joint mobility.
factors affecting flexibility
Factors Affecting Flexibility
  • Flexibility is joint specific, not only to the joint, but to the movement of that joint.
  • Generally, flexibility levels are related to genetic factors and level of activity.
  • Other factors which play a role include:
    • Joint structure Ligaments
    • Tendons Muscles
    • Skin Tissue Injury
    • Adipose Tissue (fat) Body Temperature
    • Age Gender
    • Disease General Condition
range of motion
Range of Motion
  • Greater range of motion can be attained through plastic or elastic elongation.
  • PLASTIC: Permanent lengthening of soft tissue (joint capsules, tendons, ligaments).
  • ELASTIC: Temporary lengthening – increases the extensibility of the muscles.
  • Women are generally more flexible than men.
  • Flexibility decrease with age
  • Sedentary living and inactivity are major factors.
flexibility assessment
Flexibility Assessment
  • Most test developed are sport specific, therefore have no relative function for the general public.
  • The following test are more relevant to the general public
    • Sit and Reach test (most prevalent)
    • Total Body Rotation Test
    • Shoulder Rotation Test
flexibility prescription
Flexibility Prescription
  • The overload principle and principle of specificity used in the muscular strength training are also used in muscular flexibility training.
    • Progression – the gradual increase in resistance / activity / workload etc..
    • Overload – pushing past present ability
    • Specificity – specific to the desired effect
methods of stretching
Methods of Stretching
    • Slow, sustained stretching
  • Most frequently used and recommended for flexibility programs.
  • Muscles are generally lengthen through the joints’ full range of motion until an end position is held for a few seconds.
methods continued
Methods Continued
  • Mainly used by athletes
  • Jerky, rapid, and bouncy movements are used to provide the force to lengthen the muscles.
    • Small muscles tear = soreness
    • Loose joint structure
methods continued10
Methods Continued
  • Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation
    • PNF
  • Mainly used by elite athletes, e.g.. Gymnasts, football etc..
  • Based on a contract and relax method usually requiring a partner
  • NOTE: Contraction = Isometric for approx. 5 seconds each time
    • 4-5 sets
    • Relax phase can be passive or active if one uses Antagonist contraction as well.