When assessing your physical fitness health we look at nine bio motor abilities: Flexibility, Strength, Power, Agility, Balance, Speed, Co-ordination, Endurance and Skill.
Flexibility ranks highly for everyone whether you are an athlete or just a regular Joe. This is due to the fact that lack of flexibility will adversely affect the eight other bio motor abilities. When planning an exercise program for a client we look at which bio motor abilities are necessary to perform their sport or daily life. Our goal is to improve and enhance any deficits and the first place is flexibility.
Flexibility is the range of movement around a particular joint or set of joints. I always assure clients that we are not looking for Cirque du Soleil flexibility, just normal range of motion in the joints. Once you have achieved normal flexibility we work to maintain your range of motion. This allows your body to move smoothly without pain or restriction. If you ignore the signals of lack of flexibility – mainly tightness and then pain – you will find yourself (knowingly or not) compensating your movement. Default movement patterns develop which adversely affect your biomechanics and muscles.
When muscles become tight and stiff they lose the ability to efficiently contact and expand. This results in a decrease of muscle performance and has a rippling effect throughout the body. Power and speed are lost; endurance decreases and agility, balance and co-ordination become compromised.
Also consider the vitality of your muscles. Tight muscles can lead to decreased blood flow which can lead to poor circulation, increased muscle fatigue and exercise recovery time. Nurture your muscles by:
- Drinking plenty of water daily
- Eating healthy
- Treating yourself to a massage
- Taking an Epsom salt bath when you have sore muscles.
- Do corrective stretching to enhance your posture and achieve normal range of motion in joints.
- Listen to your body twice a day – does it feel tight? If so, STRETCH
A flexible body helps create a flexible mind which creates space for us to THINK, PONDER AND MOVE.