Strong and Flexy
A few weeks ago we started on our journey on building fitness. Real useable fitness. It all started with Coach Greg Glassman’s article “What is Fitness” in 2002 (you can read it HERE). If you want to know the definition of fitness go check out the start of the series HERE.
In the article Coach Glassman outlines the 10 General Physical skills. One of those is flexibility. It’s the ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint, meaning how far does each joint move through what it is capable of doing?
Can you touch your toes? How about your own shoulder blades? There are a pile of different tests to see where you are flexible and where you are not. In fact, if you want to try a free test, check out the GoWOD app.
Flexibility vs. Mobility
Before we talk about how to get better at flexibility, it’s important to know the difference between flexibility and mobility. Flexibility is the ability of the joint to move through it’s fully possible range of motion passively, that is while muscles are relaxed.
On the other hand, mobility is the body’s ability to move the joint through it’s functional range, meaning the muscles are doing the moving.
Why is this important? Well, if you lack flexibility, your mobility will suffer. That means you won’t be able to have proper technique as you work on building the other parts of your fitness.
It also means that if you have good flexibility but poor mobility it tells us a fitness professionals that you have a mechanical problem between your brain and body. So, rather than stretching you need a different kind of work to get better.
The Importance of Being Flexy
The easiest way to explain this is using rubber bands as an analogy. If you have a nice, new rubber band you can pull it way back over and over, generate a lot of force, and it generally won’t break.
Now that same rubber band that has sat in your desk for a few year, never been used, never been stretched out. It gets dried out, brittle, fragile, and doesn’t stretch well. It doesn’t produce much force and might break if stretched too far and too far ins’t much.
Being flexible is about more than being able to do the splits (although it’s good for your hips and low back if you have that ability) it ties into your ability to gain strength.
It also ties into how you feel day in and day out.
Your low back pain, knee pain, tight shoulders, even sciatica can be tied back to poor flexibility. Time to get to work.
Gaining range of motion by increasing flexibility is simple; you need to stretch. Not like the 10 count stuff you used to do in gym either.
Using apps like GoWOD, ROMWOD, and Down Dog Yoga Anywhere are great places to begin working on your flexibility. But, just like anything else, it takes time. Try this: choose an app above (if you choose Down Dog, do the restorative sessions) and do a 20 minute session each day for 30 consecutive days.
You’ll start to find out, not only where you’re tight, but what tightness is causing some of your most annoying, persistent pain.
You can always work with a mobility specialist as well. We may or may not know a few. Let us know. We’ll connect you.
Now, go get flexy so you can get stronger!
Still not sure what to do next? Fitness is what we do. We teach people of any ability level in the Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, Broomfield, and Brighton area to start where they are and work toward the level of fitness they need and desire to feel good about life.
If you’re tired of trying on your own with little or no results, it’s time to hire a pro. Or, in our case, a team of pros. Schedule a FREE First Steps Consultation with one of our coaches HERE.