Flexibility Exercises LengthensMuscles and Improve Balance
The main purpose of flexibility exercises is to lengthen the muscle, increase joint motion, and improve balance.
As we age, our muscle and joint flexibility unfortunately decrease and tighten. Stretching exercises are a great fitness solution to this problem.
The concept is to lengthen the muscles while improving flexibility. This takes time. Results are usually not immediate. For the best results, flexibility exercising goals should be long-term and accompanied by a healthy diet with foods from all of the major food groups.
Most exercises can be done in the comfort of your own home and do not require any fitness equipment.
There are 3 methods of flexibility exercises:
1. Static Exercises
2. Ballistic Exercises
3. Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) Exercises
Static exercises are also known as isometrics.
Isometrics exercises are high intensity muscle movement without movement of the joints.
The point is to put stress and load on the muscles (approximately 15 to 20 seconds) without going through a range of motion. The stretch should be held at a comfortable position, putting just enough tension to stretch, but should not to be painful.
Be careful not to bounce as this could cause injury to the muscle. It is recommended to do 2 to 3 sets of each exercise.
Several common static exercises include:
- Spinal twist
- Hamstring stretch
- Calf stretch
- Chest stretch
- Shoulder stretch
- Quadriceps stretch
- Forearm stretch
- Triceps stretch
- Inner thigh stretch
- Back stretch
This form of exercise is predominately geared for athletes and sports training.
It is also sometime referred to as power training.
Ballistic exercises are done in an accelerated manner. The basic concept is to force the muscles to adapt to contracting very quickly (almost explosively) followed by a period of relaxation. It is thought to jump start muscle growth.
Several common ballistic exercises include:
PROPRIOCEPTIVE NEUROMUSCULAR FACILITATION (PNF) EXERCISES
- Bench Throw
- One-Arm Row
- Overhead Press
- Dumbbell Squat Jump
- Close-Grip Bench Throw
- Barbell Curl
PNF exercises are most commonly used in sports medicine and medical rehab treatment.
The basic concept of PNF flexibility exercise is for one muscle to contract while another is relaxed. This increases strength and range of motion, and helps to develop healthy muscle tissue.
PNF exercises are done with the assistance of another person; this ensures that the stretch is done correctly and does not cause injury.
See More About: Aerobic Exercise
| Benefits of Aerobic Exercise
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