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Jan 25- Flexibility.doc

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University of Alberta
Physical Education and Sport
Brad Kern

Jan 25 – Flexibility Why is it important to have good flexibility? Flexibility • Ability to move a joint smoothly through a full ROM • Having good flexibility will reduce your chances of injury • Flexibility has static and dynamic components Originally believed that decreased ROM results in: • Decreased performance capabilities • Uncoordinated or awkward movements • Predisposes athlete to injury • When you increase flexibility, you do decrease stability of the joint • Evidence indicates that flexibility may be more important for participation in more dynamic activities • High intensity stretch-shortening cycles (muscle/tendon unit requires storage of elastic energy) • Without necessary flexibility the tendon may exceed capacity • The stretch shorten cycle has different phases – there is a rapid eccentric phase, then there is a contraction phase • The stretch shorten cycle enables more power to be delivered. • Stretching can influence viscosity of tendons making it more compliant = injury reduction • Static stretching will make you less susceptible to injury • Dynamic stretching is a functional base type of stretching. It uses movement to stretch (ex. Using high kicks and functionality to increase flexibility in the muscles) Factors That Limit Flexibility • Bony structures – we cant really change this though. • Tissue approximation • Excessive fat • Muscle and tendon lengths – most responsible for ROM. You can take advantage of the elasticity and plasticity of the muscle and tendon lengths. • Connective tissue – if tissue is mobilized for too long, it will lose its elasticity • Scarring and contractures • Skin Range Of Motion • Active range of motion = dynamic flexibility • Active ROM is the ability to move a joint without assistance • Passive ROM = static flexibility • Passive ROM is when motion of joint when another person moves the joint (no muscle contraction) • We must be able to move through unrestricted range • We could measure a punters ROM by putting electrodes on him and measuring time action • Sit and reach is a good measure of static flexibility • In sports, extremities must be able to move through unrestricted ROM to reduce lilkelihood of injury and increase performance • Muscles must be elastic for additional activity during the activity. • Must have elasticity for additional stretch encountered during activity Agonist vs. Antagonist Muscles • Joints are capable of multiple movements • Antagonist is involved in stretch and is involved with resisting movement • Know what agonist is Ex. • Quads will extend knee with contraction • Hamstrings will stretch during extension • Quads (muscle producing movement) referred to as agonist • Muscle undergoing stretch referred to as antagonist • Agonist and antagonist work together to produce smooth coordinated movements Asse
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