It is the range of the movement of a joint or a series of joints that is obtained by a momentary effort with the help of a partner or an equipment.” Flexibility is specific to a particular joint or a set of joints. Being flexible in a particular area or joint does not mean the person is also flexible in another. (Yoga for Flexibility)
These types of flexibility are grouped as per their types of activities involved in the athletic training. The exercises involving motion are known as dynamic and the exercise which does not involve in motion are known as static. The different types of flexibility are:-
- Dynamic Flexibility
It is also known as kinetic flexibility, is the ability to perform kinetic movements of the muscles to bring a limb or a joint through its full range of motion.
- Static/Active Flexibility
It is also known as active flexibility, is the ability to assume and maintain the extended positions using the tension of the agonists and synergists effect while the antagonists are being stretched. For example, lifting a leg and keeping it high without any support.
- Static-passive flexibility
It is also known as passive flexibility, is the ability to assume the extended positions and then maintaining them using own weight, the support of the limbs, or some other things like a chair.
FLEXIBILITY AFFECTING FACTORS:-
Flexibility/Mobility is affected by the following factors:-
- Internal Factors
- The type of joint
- Internal resistance within a joint
- Some bony structures that limit movement
- Elasticity of the muscle tissue
- The elasticity of the tendons and the ligaments
- Elasticity of the skin
- Ability of a muscle to relax and contract for a greater range of movement
- Temperature of the joint and the associated tissues
- External Factors
- Temperature of the place where an individual is training
- The time of exercise of the day
- The stage in the recovery process of a joint after the injury
- Age of an individual
- A person’s ability to perform an exercise
- Commitment to achieving the flexibility
- The restrictions of clothing or an equipment
- Decreased Risk of Injury
An effective flexibility training routine can improve the physical performance and reduce the risk of injury. By improving the range of motion, the body requires less energy for the same movements and a person will also have more flexible joints thus lowering the injuries.
The static stretching can help reduce muscle soreness after exercise. The slow and gradual movements involve the controlled elongation of the muscle through its full range of motion and are held for 15-30 seconds. Stretching help improve the muscular balance and the resting posture.
Reduce Lower Back Pain
Stretching promotes muscular relaxation and due to this, it lowers the back pain. More flexibility in the hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps, and other muscles help reduce stress on the lower back and also reduce the tightening that leads to pain.
Increased the Blood Flow and Nutrients to the Soft Tissues
Stretching increases the blood supply to the muscle tissues, and the entire body delivering the essential nutrients via the bloodstream. It also increases the joint synovial fluid, which is the lubricating fluid that facilitates the transportation of the nutrients to the joints. This increases the range of motion, less joint pain and reduced risk of joint degeneration.
Better Overall Health and Vitality
Flexibility training benefits by reducing the pain, improved body movement, reduced muscle soreness and enhanced physical performance. Stretching exercise such as Yoga help relaxes muscles and the mind. The feeling of the well-being and vitality one will notice as a result of a regular flexibility regimen provide many important health benefits.
YOGA FOR FLEXIBILITY FOR BEGINNERS:-
People generally ask “How can I make myself more flexible“. So, here are some effective flexibility workouts.
Standing forward fold
This pose stretches the lower back and the hamstrings. Perform this yoga pose for around 30 seconds to 3 minutes.
Method:- Stand with the feet and shoulder width apart and bend the knees slightly for a solid foundation, and slowly lower the upper body so that it hangs all the way forward.
Standing Forward Fold with Shoulder Opener
The benefits are same as the forward fold along with some more flexible shoulders.
Method:- From the standing forward fold, interlace the fingers behind the lower back. Give the best to straighten the arms and bring the arms over the head toward the floor in the front. Make sure to move the shoulders away from the ears, breathe during stretching.
This pose strengthens the shoulders and the arms while stretching the hamstrings, calves, and Achilles tendons. Hold this pose for around two minutes.
Method:- In this, the body is maintained in an upside-down V-shaped position. Come to the hands and feet, if a person looks from the side the body should be forming a triangle shape. If the shoulders or hamstrings are tight, then slightly bend the knees. Spread the fingers and bring the head between the biceps and move the shoulders away from the ears and extend the tailbone up and back, and breathe.
This pose strengthens and stretches the body. Crescent pose is also referred to as the high lunge. It also improves balance and the ability to focus by steadying the gaze on an unmoving point.
Method:- Starting from the downward dog, step the right foot up between the hands. This puts the person into a runner’s lunge with the fingertips touching the mat on either side of the right foot. The front foot is flat on the mat and the back heel is lifted. Hold on for around 30-60 seconds and then switch legs.
This pose will stretch the hamstrings and the lower back. It will strengthen the quadriceps, feet, and shin muscles.
Method:- From the crescent pose, straighten the front leg and step the back foot forward so the feet are roughly 3 feet apart. Turn the back heel down to the floor, creating a pyramid shape with the legs. Put hands on the hips and raise the upper body on an inhale and begin folding forward away from the hips on an exhale.
This yoga pose stretches the shoulders, lower back, quads, ankles, the tops of the feet, and the shins. Hold this pose for around 2 minutes to open the groin, thighs, and hips.
Method:- Start on the hands and knees. Bring the big toes together and spread the knees slightly wider than the ribcage. Move the butt to the heels and allow the torso to rest on the thighs.
This pose opens the hip and stretches the glutes, knees, and ankles.
Method:- Sit in a cross-legged position. Cross the legs at the calves so that the feet are under the knees. Breathe deeply with the hands on the knees or thighs.
This pose stretches the inner thighs, adductors, and groin.
Method:- Sit down and bend the knees, and bring the soles of the feet together. The knees will splay out to the side but if a person is inflexible, the knees will be higher off the ground.
This pose is best to increase the lateral flexibility. It stretches the spine, neck, and the shoulders.
Method:- Sit up tall with the legs stretched out and place the right foot on the ground just outside the left thigh. Place the right hand behind. On an inhale, hug the right knee toward the chest with the left hand and elongate the spine upwards. On an exhale, slowly twist the upper body to the right.