Coach Alicia Fong

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Health tip for week Feb 8th

  • Always do some kind of flexibility prior to exercising.

What is the first thing that comes in mind when the word flexibility is used?  Stretching.  Well, flexibility is a lot more than just stretching.  There are many types of flexibility training:

  1. MyoFascial Release
  2. Static Stretching
  3. Neuromuscular Stretching (Contract-Relax, Contract-Relax-Antagonist-Contract)
  4. Active Isolated Stretching
  5. Dynamic Stretching
  6. Fascial Stretching
  7. Eccentric Quasi-Isometrics
  8. Neurodynamic Mobilization
  9. Self-Mobilization Techniques

This is probably more than you need to know if you are not a personal trainer; however, I listed them to give you an idea that flexibility training is much more comprehensive.

Let’s start by understanding the role of flexibility training.  It enhances performance, prevent injuries, and correct muscle imbalances.  Flexibility is the degree to which an individual muscle will lengthen.  Flexibility is the most neglected aspect of many fitness programs.

Poor flexibility creates many health problems and can be damaging to all structures within our bodies.  It creates poor posture resulting in mechanical imbalances in your back, hips shoulders and neck.  These imbalances shift your body segments out of proper alignment.  The results are stress, strains, even worse posture and stiff tight muscles which limit your range of motion and contribute to back, neck, and pelvis pain.  Many factors limit flexibility such as bones, muscles, ligaments muscular bulk and weight.

Many people in the fitness area do not understand well the role of flexibility for enhancing performance and prevention injuries.  The order should be flexibility first.  All my clients end up with some sort of stretching routine that I encourage them to follow daily.  It helps restore balance between opposing muscle groups.  It aids in stability of joint structures and reduces injuries.

Be aware that over-stretching is not always good either.  Over-stretching ligaments can produce unstable joints.  This can alter the normal length-tension relationships, which leads to synergistic dominance and faulty movement patterns.  This initiates the Cumulative Injury Cycle and places unwanted stress on the entire kinetic chain.

It is important to keep in mind a person’s body structure and his/her current state of flexibility, then design the flexibility routine accordingly.  The general rule is “stretch the tight muscles, don’t stretch everything for the sake of stretching”.  If you don’t know which muscles are tight, seek professional help.  Most trainers will be able to help you.

At AF Performance Center, we are offering 2-day Flexibility Seminar February 20 and 21.  This seminar is great for all trainers, physical therapists or anybody who want to learn about flexibility in depth.  You will learn all 9 different types of integrated flexibility listed above and more.  Call 310-895-5385 or visit for more information.

February 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment