Flexibility is the range of motion (ROM) of your joints or the ability of your joints to move unrestricted. It also refers to the mobility of your muscles, which allows for more movement at the joints.
3 Important Types of Flexibility:
- Static Passive Flexibility: is a measure of how far you can hold a joint in a position when there is an external force creating the movement (For example - A friend holding your leg up to stretch your hamstring)
- Static Active Flexibility: is how far you can hold a joint in a position when you are creating the movement with your muscles. Your stretching limit is due to the length of the muscles being stretched (antagonists) and the strength of the active muscles (agonists). (For example - Holding your leg out as far and as high as possible)
- Dynamic Active Flexibility: is the ability to perform movements, with a full ROM of your joints, when the muscles of the moving body part are creating the movement (For example - Swinging your arms or legs)
7 Reasons You Suffer from Tightness:
- You never move through a joint’s full ROM. If you consistently fail to use full ROM, you will lose it.
- You perform the same movements without full ROM due to a variety of factors including work, sports, etc. This causes strengthening that limited ROM while decreasing the ability to move in full ROM.
- You maintain a constant static position. This decreases your full ROM outside of that position. An example of this would be sitting at work using a computer for long durations of time. This will cause your shoulders to adapt to this body position.
- You have an unstable joint due to a muscle imbalance. This causes your nervous system to signal the muscles surrounding that joint to tighten in order to make it stable.
- An injury occurs to one of the soft tissues in a joint. This too will cause your nervous system to signal the muscles surrounding that joint to tighten in order to allow the tissue to properly heal.
- Trauma to a muscle occurs and it is not properly treated causing scar tissue and adhesions. This will reduce flexibility due to restrictions between muscle and/or facial tissue.
- You don’t stay properly hydrated!
Benefits of Shoulder Flexibility
- Better Posture: Continued slouching, due to tight shoulders, will result in poor posture causing a hump in your back. Adding flexibility will improve your posture allowing you to remain upright.
- Pain-Free: Tight shoulders will surely cause impingements, tendonitis, and can also cause headaches and everyday soreness. Adding flexibility will alleviate this pain and discomfort.
- Added Power: By adding flexibility to your shoulders, you will not have to struggle against your own body in order to perform any activity. You will have more power and speed to lifting a weight, throw a ball, etc.
- Better Breathing: By adding flexibility to your shoulders, you will no longer restrict your breathing by preventing your ribs and spine from expanding. You will be able to take in more air with every breath improving your overall conditioning.