Flexibility is a morphofunctional property of the musculoskeletal system, which determines the limits of movement of body parts. In this article we will talk about training methods to improve flexibility.
Two forms of flexibility
- Active, characterized by the magnitude of the amplitude of movements in the independent performance of exercises due to muscular effort;
- Passive, characterized by the maximum magnitude of the amplitude of movements achieved by external forces.
In passive exercises for flexibility the amplitude of movements is greater than in active ones. There are also differences between general and special flexibility. General flexibility is mobility in all joints, which allows you to perform a variety of movements with large amplitude. Special flexibility is the maximum mobility in individual joints, which determines the effectiveness of specific activities.
Dynamic, static and mixed stato-dynamic stretching exercises are used to develop flexibility. The manifestation of flexibility depends on the anatomical structure of the joints, the elasticity of muscles and ligaments, muscle tone, the general functional state of the body and on external conditions. The following factors should be taken into account when planning and constructing workouts.
Usually before 8-9 a.m. flexibility is reduced, but training for its development at this time is very effective. In cold weather, when the body cools down, flexibility decreases, when the ambient temperature rises, after the warm-up it increases. Fatigue reduces active flexibility, but can contribute to passive flexibility.
Flexibility also depends on age: the mobility of large parts of the body increases from 7 to 13 – 14 years, and stabilizes to 16 – 17 years, and then begins to decline. At the same time, if you don’t do stretching exercises after 13-14 years of age, flexibility may start to decrease already in adolescence. And vice versa, even at the age of 35-40, after regular exercises, flexibility increases and can even exceed the level of flexibility that was when the person was younger.
The method of repeated stretching
It is based on the property of muscles to stretch much more with repeated repetitions of the exercise with a gradual increase in the amplitude of the movement. First the exercise is performed with a small amplitude, increasing it to the maximum by 8-12 repetitions. The limit of the optimal number of repetitions of the exercise is the beginning of the reduction of the range of motion.
Static stretching method
This method is based on the dependence of the value of stretching on its duration. First it is necessary to relax, and then to do the exercise, holding the final position for 10 – 15 seconds up to several minutes. Complexes of static stretching exercises can also be performed with a partner.