Flexibility is an important aspect of Physical aptitude. Contrary to what one might think, Flexibility is not being able to touch your toes, but it is the ability of the body joint or series of joints to move through an unrestricted, pain free range of motion.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, it is one of the essential qualities for acquiring and developing human physical conditioning. Flexibility ranges from a vivid regions of body movements and it varies from person to person; however, a bare minimum range of flexibility is necessary for everyone to maintain a healthy and fit body. Just like Endurance, Agility and Strength, Flexibility is another structural support of a physically fit body.
Flexibility is important at any age. It plays a role in unhindered movement and can affect your balance, coordination and agility. As you get old, importance of flexibility becomes even more apparent. Flexibility training in older adults is often effective at increasing joint range of motion in various joints and functional outcomes can be improved. Because due to ageing of joints, movement can become restricted and thus as ageing cannot be completely paused, protecting your joints and maintaining the mobility can help you at the later stages of your life.
As per Estellio H M Dantas (Famous author and Physical fitness teacher) “There are
four factors which are primarily responsible for degree of joint flexibility: mobility, elasticity,
plasticity and pliability”. Joint mobility accounts for joint movement affecting majority of
flexibility resistance. Elasticity relates to stretching of muscle components. Plasticity is the
factor that allows respective body part to be stretched and pliability refers to the softness of
muscle and skin near the adjoining tissue. Thus mixture of all the factors is equally important
“ Flexibility in the time of great change is a vital quality of leadership. ” - Brian Tracy
Improved flexibility provides a wide range of physical benefits and can have a positive effect
on overall well-being:
a) Less Injuries – Once your body is adapted to optimal level of fitness and flexibility, it
will provide a greater resistance to injuries and can withstand more physical stress.
Stretching after any sports or physical activity is an equally important part of reducing
the soreness and recovery of body.
b) Improved posture and balance – Improvement in flexibility enhances your overall
joints motion and leads to an improved body posture and balance. Flexibility training
such as yoga has been one of the best ways to improve balance since long ago.
c) Less Pain – Flexibility helps to reduce the stress on muscles and joints leading to
lesser pain even after performing complex physical exercises.
d) Increased Strength – Strength increases with contracting in muscles with the help of
muscle training. Flexibility increases the range of motion of muscles and thus with a
wider range of motion, enhanced muscle training would lead to increased strength.
e) Enhanced Athletic Performance – As Michael Schumacher says, “When coupled with
proper muscle control and stability, an increase in flexibility will allow an athlete to
achieve proper postural positions needed for specific sports and task”. Thus flexibility
will take out an extra bit from any athlete in order to help him achieve required range
to become a champion.
Best way of Flexibility training and improving is YOGA. Yoga helps in enhancing your
flexibility performances as it trains a wide range of muscles. SURYANAMASKAR is
another important form of exercise to get the best out of your body flexibility requirements.
Along with these exercises, different forms of stretching are the best form of improvement in
Thus Flexibility exercises and stretching are recommended as part of complete exercise
program along with other muscle training and aerobic trainings. As ‘Flexibility is the key to
Stability’, being flexible is beneficial for a long term physical fitness goal of any person.