Let’s discuss flexibility/mobility. While flexibility and mobility are not the same thing, they are closely related. Flexibility for our discussion, is the ability to achieve a full range of motion over any given joint. Mobility is the ability to control your flexibility through that same range of motion in all three planes of motion. For a gymnast, that means being able to go fully into the split. For a baseball player, that means having full range motion of the shoulder girdle. Flexibility is essential to any sport that we do (and life is a sport). To the degree that we lack flexibility. We’re also going to lack mobility, and that’s going to lead to joint injuries very quickly. Flexibility training is quite vast in the modalities available, and when one digs deeper into the studies it becomes clear as to why stretching is such a controversial subject: variety and individuality. Lets start with variety, ready, go! Static stretch, passive stretch, active stretch, PNF stretch, dynamic stretch, contract/relax stretch….the list goes on and on. Now lets talk about individuality, take a deep breath and go! Hypermobility, hypomobility, viscero-motor inhibition, type 1 fibers, type 2 fibers, vertebral subluxations, injury history, inflammation levels, daily activities, athletic history, free time, these are but a few of the factors that need to be addressed before deciding if stretching is beneficial or detrimental.
More next week on flexibility…..