Flexibility Benefits, Increases & Hindrances
Flexibility is the the range of motion of your joints or the ability of your joints to move freely. Furthermore the mobility of your muscles and the allowance of movements around the joints.
Why Is Flexibility Important For Weightlifting?
Flexibility is something that always comes up during a coaches’ brief, or pre gym talk, and it can be a great hindrance to individuals who’re looking to get started on their fitness journeys, but do not fear, it’s not something that can’t be fixed. Almost
every athlete, whether beginner or elite, will partake in flexibility work prior to working out, to prevent injury and give themselves the best chance of performing. As a whole, we as athletes often find extra work on our hips, knee’s, shoulders and ankle joints are necessary to perform the correct form throughout our lifting (weightlifting, circuit training or bodybuilding).
What Can Limit Flexibility?
Have you even been in the gym and seen someone be incredibly more flexible than what you are, which then you’ve asked them what their secret is, to which they reply ‘Don’t know, just natural I guess’. Well, truthfully, there is a large possibility that they’re not lying, in fact, as humans we have numerous variables potentially limiting our natural ability to be flexible:
- Age: Without causing offence, the older you are, the less flexible you will natural become. Especially if you’ve lived a very sedentary lifestyle.
- Sex: Well, unfortunately for the men, women are known to be naturally much more flexible than men and will require less remedial work for their lifting.
- Human Body Structure: The length of which your bones are, yes, that’s true. Although taller, longer boned individuals can potentially produce larger muscle tissue, they miss out on natural flexibility, and there is the compromise.
- Body Bulk: In reality, its not too difficult to guess this one, the bigger your body is, the harder it’s going to be to get into difficult flexible positions. Whether its body fat or muscle mass, the problem remains the same. You simply don’t have enough room when your arms, legs or mid rift becomes too big.
How Can I Improve My Flexibility?
So looking at these hindrances you should now have a better idea of what potentially could limit you as an athlete, and at the same time have an idea of how to self- diagnose the problem. But just in-case you’re struggling we’ve provided some idea below for you to digest.
First and fore most relax, take a deep breath and just chill. There’s no way you can perform a deep stretch when being tense and aggravated. How can you possibly attempt to create lasting changes in flexibility if you’re stressed? Clear your head, spiritually settle down, focus on muscle stretching and reap the benefits.
The time has come to bring back static stretching, and yes we know it’s been absolutely slated due to studies being released, but believe us, it has its place! You know that tight feeling we develop? The one you feel when you press that barbell above your head or the one you get when you squat deep? Yeah that’s the one, well, by keeping the stretches simple, and utilising only a moderate intensity you could possibly discover a huge relief in not only tightness, but physical improvement.
Is Short Or Deep Stretching Better?
Lastly, lets distinguish the difference between short stretches and deep stretches, you’ve probably already drawn conclusions, and trust us, the difference is huge.
Short stretching is static stretch in which you’d perform for less than 20 seconds, and any stretch than falls under the umbrella of dynamic stretching. We perform these stretches with the outlook of warming our bodies up and letting our muscles stretch to the current maximal point. But, we don’t go further than that maximal point, we don’t stretch it further and increase that range of motion.
Deep stretching is where this all changes and it takes patience, lots of patience. Write down the list of stretches you’re going to perform and have it structured, with times and repetitions next to each one. For each stretch look at the duration lasting longer than 45
seconds, and the whole stretching session itself lasting longer than 45 minutes. Try to only cover specific areas of your body during a session, else the session will last much longer than 45 minutes.
What Classes Does Unit 27 Offer For Improved Flexibility?
Unit 27 has the following classes which work heavily on improving your flexibility and core strength as well which is a huge part of it. If you’d like to try out the following classes feel free to get in touch with us, or sign up for our awesome training sessions and we will see you in the gym!
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