Aspects of Flexibility

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Four Major Joints


Fixed Type of joint that is considered immovable; found in the skull as fused sutures.
Pivot The pivot joint allows rotation to occur; found in the neck and lower arm (forearm).
Hinge The hinge joint permits back and forth movement (not side to side); found in the elbow and knee.
Ball and Socket The ball and socket joint allows movement in many directions; found in the hip and shoulder.


Benefits of Flexibility

1. Reduces Injuries

A person with a low level of flexibility is more prone to injury. Injury can occur not only during exercise bouts, but also while performing everyday tasks (putting away groceries, washing the car, lifting a child, etc.).

2. Decreases Low Back Pain

An estimated 80%+ of the population suffer from low back pain. Stretching of the low back muscles is not all a person can do to help reduce low back pain. One can also stretch the hamstrings (posterior upper leg) as well. Because the hamstrings of the legs attach to the bones associated with the back, proper stretching will increase the flexibility of the back.

3. Prevents Post Exercise Soreness

After an exercise bout, muscles become fatigued and shortened because of the work phase of the exercise. Stretching during warm-up and cool down lengthen shortened muscles, relax contracted muscles, and help prevent muscle soreness.

4. Relieves Emotional Tension

During work, test taking, or any other number of situations many people get "stressed out" and feel tension starting to build in certain muscles. For example, after typing on a computer for a lengthy period of time a person will stop and roll their head side to side trying to stretch their neck in the process. Stretching is a good relaxation tool that an individual can use to relieve the stress they may face on a daily basis.


Flexibility Exercises

Trunk and Shoulder Extension

Trunk and Shoulder Rotation

Hamstring Stretch

Quadriceps Stretch

Calf Stretch

Groin Stretch

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