Flexibility - Optimise your training, improve your recovery and train safely

How much time do you spend focusing on your recovery? How much value do you put on flexibility and good mobility?

These are important questions because it is often the case that training doesn’t go well or injuries occur because of either poor recovery or poor flexibility/mobility. I’m going to use flexibility and mobility interchangeably however it is important to realise they are different. Flexibility is the range of a joint mostly to do with resting muscle length and mobility is having full range with the control to match.

The biggest benefit of flexibility is safety and injury prevention. While stretching immediately before a session may not offset your risk of injury, having good flexibility you can move better and more safely during your session.

Here’s an example, let us say your hamstrings are tight, this muscle group attaches to your hip and your hip is at the base of your spine. Now, when you bend forward to tie your shoes or pick up your bag it feels tight because your hamstrings are at full stretch, something else needs continue to bend to allow you to reach your shoes or bag. Your extra range will often come from your low back. If you already have a history of back pain, then this puts you at risk of aggravating your back or worse.

Improving your flexibility should be its own training session. Your warm up isn’t sufficient to cover a long term change in your flexibility. It should be easy to spend 5-10mins every night stretching your main muscle groups like your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. If you sit through the adverts on TV, you can spend that time stretching.

For some more information and links to further research see the link below.