Why Is Flexibility Important?
It’s important to have and most of us have at least enough flexibility in our muscles to perform basic tasks, but how does flexibility play into your fitness training?
Flexibility Versus Mobility
These two terms are often thought to mean the same thing. That is not the case. Flexibility refers to the ability your soft tissues - the muscles in your body - have to stretch. Mobility is a more general term that references the ability to reach the full range of motion in a specific area. Flexibility is a part of mobility, but they are not mutually exclusive. One can be flexible and not mobile, just as one can be mobile while still lacking flexibility.
The Benefits Of Good Flexibility
Being flexible is much more than just being able to sit in a split comfortably. Having good flexibility and muscles that have the ability to stretch offers a number of benefits for your overall wellbeing.
Low back pain is an increasingly common problem and, quite often, the pain is stimulated by tightness and/or a lack of flexibility in the hamstrings. Tight hamstrings pull down on your pelvic and create pressure on the low back. When your muscles have the ability to stretch, it reduces the tension your muscles put on the bones and joints they tie in to.
Just as flexibility can play a role in reducing pain, it also can help reduce your risk of injury. Think about stretching a rubber band over a corner compared to trying to stretch a sheet of paper over that same corner. The paper would probably rip. Now consider those examples as your muscles. Tight muscles will reduce your range of motion. A limited range of motion puts your muscles, tendons, and ligaments at a higher risk of injury.
Your muscle tissue is highly vascular, meaning that it has a high concentration of vessels that carry blood through your body. When the muscle tissue is tight or contracted, the blood has trouble transporting oxygen and nutrients to where they need to be. Increased overall flexibility encourages better circulation, but stretching, in and of itself, can also increase circulation by stimulating the blood movement to the muscle and joints.
Why You Should Work On Flexibility
Your flexibility is one of the first bodily abilities that deteriorates as you age. That means that in order to simply maintain (not even improve) your flexibility, you have to constantly be working on it. In order to reap the benefits it has to offer, from pain reduction to reduced risk of injury, flexibility has to be an integral part of your regular fitness training routine.
Not sure where to start? Check out the Whole Intent Strength and Flexibility package and start stretching today.