Flexibility is needed to perform everyday activities with ease. To get out of bed, to pick up kids, to do daily house duties and the list goes on, we NEED flexibility! Flexibility tends to deteriorate with age (naturally) , often due to a more sedentary lifestyle or the "middle age spread, mid life crisis that some refer to" .
As we grow form tiny little tots, over time what we are doing is creatine body movement patterns and posture habits that can lead to reduced mobility of joints and compromised body positions. Staying active and stretching regularly as we grow older will help prevent the loss of mobility, which in turn gives us independence as we age! Not only does being flexible SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the change of experiencing occasional and chronic back pain, it seriously helps you lead an easier life in regards to moving freely!
So what's the purpose of Flexibility training and why do we do it at Technofunc?
Firstly, I don't know about you, but the above information makes me cringe! I couldn't imaging getting older and feeling less and less in control because I didn't focus on an important part of my training as I was younger - stretching. You may not think you need it but there is SOOOOO many benefits other than being flexibile that mobility and flexibility training helps with which I will list later on!
Having improved or aiming to improve your flexibility dhould be a major focus in your exercise regime because it impacts on your overall results more than you know! Improving this may enhance your performance in HIIT cardio and Strength sessions, as well as in daily life and sporting activitives. There is scientific evidence that the inciden of injury DECREASES when people include flexibility and mobility training into their routines as their enhanced ability to move unimpeded through a wider ROM (Range of Motion). When used correctly this type of training actually allows you to become more INTUNE with your body and can be used as a form of ACTIVE Rest that will help improve both mental and physical recovery!
After pushing the body to work hard, your body needs that relaxation time to release the tension and rejuvenate the mind and body connection. The best time to do this is at the end of the workout or end of a week of intense training.
So here are the MAJOR benfits of flexibility training:
- Reduces stress in the exercising muscles and releases tension developed during the workout
- Assists with posture by balancing the tension placed across the joint of each muscle that cross it. Having proper posture minimizes stress and maximises strength of all joint movements
- Reduces the risk of injury during exercise and daily activities because muscles are more pliable
- Improves performance of everyday activities as well as performance in exercise and sport
Guidelines for flexibility training:
- Don't overdo it: work within your limits
- Breathe comfortably. exhale as the muscle lengthens to assist in relaxation
- Perform flexibility exercises for each muscle group for total body improvements
- Work with warm muscles because they lengthen more easily with less discomfort.
- Modify. You can alter the difficulty of a stretch by paying attention to it single joint versus multijoin movements
- Position of a stretch ( weather it involves balance)
Its important to focus on stretching activities that serve 2 functions. Relaxation and Flexibility. This doesn't mean that the entire time has to be spent stretching. As we do in our mobility classes we make sure we are moving with the stretches, you have the mood lighting for a better relaxation and also the relaxing music to get you in your Zen Zone!
Stay tuned for next weeks blog post where we uncover the important components of Flexibility training and the types of flexibility training with advantages and disadvantages of each!