- Define flexibility
- Examine the benefits of flexibility
- Identify ways to increase flexibility
- Create an effective stretching program
- Assess your own flexibility
- Static Flexibility: the outermost limit of a stretched muscle measured while holding a stretch in place. This can also refer to a technique used to improve the outermost limit of a stretched muscle performed by holding stretches for 15-60 seconds.
- Dynamic Flexibility: the relative degree of ease a muscle can move through a normal range of motion. The can also refer to a technique used to improve static flexibility and ease of motion done by performing exaggerated movements.
- Elasticity: the ability of the muscle to return to its resting length after being stretched.
- Plasticity: the tendency of a muscle to assume a greater length after stretching.
- Proprioceptors: sensors within muscles that send feedback to the central nervous system conveying muscular length and tension. The two primary sensors related to flexibility are Golgi Tendon Organs (GTO’s) and muscle spindles.
- Joint Structure: the fixed arrangement of a joint that is a determining factor for range of motion. An example would be ball-in-socket joint or modified hinge joint.
- Myotatic Reflex: a reflexive stimulus of the muscle to contract as a muscle is being stretched.
- Reciprocal Inhibition: the principle that when one muscle is stimulated to contract the opposing muscle is will relax.
- Autogenic Inhibition: an inhibitory reflex that allows one sensor in the muscle to override the signals of another sensor. Also called the inverse myotatic reflex.
- Active stretching: a mode for stretching that is unassisted or involves no internal stimulus.
- Passive stretching: a mode for stretching that uses an external source such as a partner or gravity to assist in the movements.
- Ballistic stretching: a technique used to improve range of motion performed by gently bouncing back and forth to stretch and relax the muscle.
- Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF): a technique used to improve range of motion performed by a sequence of stretching and contracting muscles. These sequences target the neuromuscular structures to facilitate relaxation of reflexive activity.