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Health and Fitness - Flexibility
In this module you studied the following:
The benefits of flexibility include: improved performance, reduced potential for injury, reduced muscle soreness, increased agility and increased blood flow to the joints.
Flexibility is an integral part of a conditioning program and enhances performance by extending the range of motion in which one can optimally perform.
Muscles that are strengthened should be stretched, and vice versa.
Flexibility is the ability of a limb to move freely about a joint through a full range of motion.
There are two types of flexibility: dynamic and static.
The most effective stretches are performed slowly, and held for 15 - 30 seconds.
There are several training methods used to develop flexibility; however, most fall under the following general categories: dynamic, static, ballistic, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF).
Dynamic stretching consists of controlled movements which increase in range and/or speed so that you gradually reach your full range and speed of movement.
Static stretching (sometimes referred to as passive stretching) develops static flexibility and uses slow, controlled movements through a full range of motion.
Ballistic stretching uses the momentum of the body or a limb to force a stretch past the normal range of motion and then return to the starting position.
It is best to have a partner help when using PNF techniques.
Many individuals stretch in a misguided attempt to warm-up; however, stretching and warm-up should be considered distinctly different activities.
A warm-up should always precede any physical activity whether it be stretching, exercise or sports.
Activity-specific (or related) warm-up occurs with a low-intensity version of the activity that is to follow.
All warm-ups should be of sufficient intensity to elevate body temperature; sweating is a good indication that you are ready to move on to the next phase of your workout.
Exercise should not be ended abruptly, but gradually slowed, to avoid pooling of blood in the skeletal muscles, and to facilitate the removal of metabolic end products.
Dynamic stretches of the muscle groups to be exercised during a physical training session should be performed following a warm-up.
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