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HSS2111 (7)
Chapter 7

HSS2111 Chapter 7: Flexibility

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Health Sciences
Tien Nguyen

HSS2111 B Professor Tien Nguyen 1. Flexibility and Stretching Technique 02.08.2017- 03.01.2017 Flexibility: ability of a joint to move freely through its full range of motion (ROM) Range of Motion (ROM): full motion possible in a joint; each joint has a ROM that is normally available at that joint Stretching: to achieve flexibility in a joint, the surrounding muscles must be stretched  Purpose – injury prevention and treatment; beneficial to warm-up before stretching Flexibility – Range of Motion  Ligaments – unlike stretching muscles and tendons, overstretching ligaments is not desirable  Muscle-tendon unit (MTU) – skeletal muscles and tendons that connect them to the bones; stretching to improve flexibility is associated with increased length of the MTU  Hypermobility – looseness or slackness in the joint and of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding the joint  Stiffness – elasticity in the MTU, measured by the force needed to stretch  Stretch tolerance – greater stretch for the same pain level (i.e stretch sensation)  Trigger points – irritable spots, usually tight bands or knots in a muscle or fascia; often refers pain to another area of the body Active ROM: stretching on your own, no assistance; When a person moves a given body part through its possible motions, independently  Demonstrates person’s ability to voluntarily perform available motions at that joint  Slightly less motion is possible (compared to passive) b/c the nervous system limits the range of movement to protect muscles and tendons around the joint (i.e stretch reflex) Passive ROM: stretching with assistance; When another person moves a joint through its possible motions as the person being stretched remains relaxed (i.e therapist stretching client)  Therapist able to determine the ‘endfeel’ (limiting factor) for that joint  Endfeel: the perceived quality of movement at the end of a joint’s available ROM o The type of endfeel a joint displays will provide insight into the health and function of ligaments, joint capsules, muscles, and tendons being stretched Factors influencing flexibility:  Genetics – shape of bones that form the joint, joint looseness (hypermobility) passed down genetically  Length of MTU’s – longer MTU = greater ROM; i.e adults typically lose 3-4” of lower back ROM as measured by sit-and-reach test  Gender – girls are more flexible than boys (diff lessens with age) b/c women have wider hips (pelvis)  Lack of use or misuse – not enough stretching can cause reduction in flexibility (tightness), muscle imbalances due to exercise and training techniques (stiffness)  Age – flexibility caries across the life span, ROM decreases as age increases  Swelling, scar tissue, and neurological impairment can limit a person’s ROM Stretching Techniques Static Stretching: muscle is slowly stretched and held in that position for a period of time (secs); isometric stretch  Assisted by the individual, a partner, an apparatus, etc.  Person should feel warm sensation, not sharp pain, in the muscle belly  Keys: max control, little threat of muscle/tendon tearing, max elongation of muscle fibers  Safest form of stretching, but takes longer to complete Ballistic Stretching: muscles are stretched through the force of momentum of a body part, in a rhythmic bouncing, swinging, or jerking motions; used mainly in athletic realm for warm- up  Joint moved through slow and fast speeds, continuously; approx. 30 secs per set o i.e chronology progressive velocity flexibility program: warm-up, static stretch; slow, short-range; slow, full-range; fast, short-range; fast, full-range  if not done correctly and appropriately, it can activate the stretch reflex and cause injury  good for dynamic flexibility, but increased chance of injury and soreness (reduces static ROM) Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF): a type of static stretch, resisted range of motion; combination of
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