Why Flexibility

Going to the gym, most of us dream to lose unnecessary, and the rest of pump. Health is somewhere at the end of the task list. And this is an inexcusable omission! But we are not going to scold you, we want to talk about flexibility.
Someone genuinely does not understand why to go to stretching classes, work on stretching, if the agenda is not a career in the circus, and the non-financial goal: to get into the jeans that you carried in adolescence. Others have heard that flexibility is an indicator of youth, but they do not know what to do with this secret knowledge. Here you (not all) information that will help to look at flexibility from a different angle. But, having caught the inspiration, do not rush to jump to the splits with a run: you will need the help of specialists, otherwise you will get to one of them after - with a trauma, obtained during attempts of self-stretching. So, take the first step.

Flexibility is ...
Flexibility in the language of doctors is the degree of joint mobility. And this concept is not common. Flexibility is always local, refers to certain parts of the body - one joint or a group of them. Therefore, if you sit quietly for hours in a "deep lotus" pose, this does not mean that the slopes to your feet will be as easy for you. Flexibility in the language of fitness is divided into types: Dynamic (or kinetic) - the ability to exercise dynamic movement in the joint at the maximum amplitude.

To understand what it is about, quickly swing your foot up. Active-static: after making a swing, hold your foot in weight - the climb will not be as high as in the first example, and muscles, antagonists of stretch will work. Statically-passive: in this case, the stretched position is preserved with the help of simulators, an instructor, and your own hands. Hold your leg with your hands - and you will understand what we are talking about.

Flexibility factors
Someone in childhood is taken to class in rhythmic gymnastics or ballet, someone - no. And they do it right. If you were among those who were pointed to the door, it's time to forget this nightmare and blame genes in everything. From them, for example, the elasticity of the muscular and connective tissues largely depends. It is better to say thanks to nature for the other - it has given women more flexibility than men: in particular, we have more elastin in the connective tissue. During pregnancy, through the allocation of certain hormones, this property is strengthened, however, only for a while.

What is even more pleasant is no discrimination in weight and height. So do not be surprised at the sight of chubby ladies who easily sit on twine or bend in half: this gift is not related to the waistline, unless, of course, the fat on the stomach is not a mountain-barrier on the way. Among other factors of flexibility - the temperature of both the environment and the joint itself, as well as, for example, the time of day. According to the fitness editor of Men's Health, Dmitry Smirnov, the peak of flexibility is from 14.30 to 16.00. If all these wonderful details still do not touch your heart, concentrate on the main thing: the ability to bend is lost with age, just like, for example, strength, endurance or muscle mass.

Do you question the need to work on the latter? Read the following paragraph and add flexibility to the task list.

Flexibility means youth
It is not necessary to develop the amplitude of movement in the joints in order to record the twine or bridge in the list of its achievements. Much more important is another - the possibility not to feel stiffness at any age. Children are born flexible, but the process of losing this physical quality is launched very quickly. If the remote perspective does not yet frighten, here are other reasons for excitement: posture and spine. Inadequate flexibility of the shoulder joints leads to kyphosis - the curvature of the spine by the convexity of the back.

First, it's ugly. Secondly - it prevents the body from fully functioning: for example, raise your hands to get flakes from the shelf. Moreover, a good "correction" is a guarantee of your health. "Posture indirectly affects the internal organs: if we are not hunched up, they work better, and do not press against each other," explains the doctor of sports medicine and fitness Ilya Melekhin. - From problems with the spine there are headaches, and cerebral blood flow disorders (because the blood vessels of the spinal cord are squeezed). Since we have receptors through the spinal cord to all organs, then the latter work worse. This is proven by neuropathologists. "

Flexibility can save you from serious injuries: not only in sports, but in everyday life. "When certain joints (eg ankle) are better bent, they can change their position to a greater degree. Therefore, if you slightly twist your leg, the joint will react normally to this. And if it is "ossified" - everything can end with tearing and tearing of ligaments, "says Ilya Melekhin.

Understand the language of flexibility
It can serve as an indicator of the state of health. For example, if you have a cold, it will be more difficult to bend, even if you do not feel any familiar symptoms. If you feel a strong pain in the muscle, doing the usual stretching exercise - the body calls you to the doctor. "Diseases of internal organs or the spine, viruses, cold temporarily worsen flexibility," Dmitry Smirnov asserts. - One Italian coach with the help of this "weapon" prevented the tragedy that could happen to his client. The latter felt a sharp pain in the stretched muscle - as the doctor called it, the man was in the pre-infarction state. "

Pros of stretching
Yoga, Pilates, swimming and even (to some extent) strength training - assistants in stretching. You will ask, what for then stretching? It's just a straight path - exercises aimed at working on flexibility, as well as stretching and relaxing muscles. You can train both in special group sessions at the club, and with your fitness instructor. "The main tasks of stretching - relaxation and recovery of muscles after stress, this inevitably leads to getting rid of the general stress. So stretching is the ideal way to relieve stress after a day's work: many of the clients come to the class just to "exhale" and calm down, "says Maxim Shved, the instructor of the fitness clubs network" FizKult ". In addition, competently selected stretching exercises improve the effectiveness of sports.

Stretching exercises stimulate the production of growth hormone - somatotropin. He is responsible for the rejuvenation and recovery of your body, and also for "fat burning".
There are a lot of stretching methods. Your coach will tell you about them. The most crude classifications are of two types: dynamic and static. Certain exercises exercise more on the joints, others on the muscles. Flexibility has one very nice property - it can be developed quite quickly. And it's unpleasant - it requires constant training, otherwise all the results will just as quickly come to naught. According to Dmitry Smirnov, the optimal schedule for flexibility training - daily exercises, a minimum, at which the results will be visible, - to be engaged every other day.

Where to begin? Not from home classes. "It's important to remember that exercises on flexibility are a priori not an easy and safe training," Dmitry warns. - Stretch is also a load, so it can be traumatic and not useful. Only the trainer and the doctor should tell you what is needed and can not be done. " Contraindications for stretching - violations of the musculoskeletal system, recent fractures, dislocations, various joint diseases. In addition, diseases of the cardiovascular system associated with the occurrence of blood clots, and in some cases, varicose veins - a special point, which is also not too lazy to consult a doctor. "When varicose veins are complicated by thrombosis, there is no need to stretch," says Andrei Zherdev, a candidate of medical sciences, a vascular surgeon. If you do not find contraindications,

Develop both flexibility and stability
Nevertheless, it is not necessary to develop flexibility in all joints. "There is an opposite concept -" stability ", - Dmitry Smirnov tells. - For example, the knees, elbows and cervical spine should be strong and stable, and the hip joints - mobile. The body needs a balance: different departments require either one or the other, and both of these functions need to be developed. Flexibility for the sake of flexibility is harmful and unreasonable. You can get injured if the joint is hypermobile. And if all the "pull" the same, the imbalance will persist. "

Joint Mobility Stability
Knee joints
Hip Joints
Lumbar spine
Thoracic spine
Cervical spine
Shoulder joints
Elbow joints
Carpal joints

Flexibility test

Will tell you which joints you should pay more attention.

Shoulder joints 1

  • Sit on the chair with your back to your partner. Put your hands in the lock and put it on the back of your head, with strong blades on your shoulder.
  • Ask the partner, rested against your back with your body or knee, pull your elbows back.
  • Having reached the point of average discomfort, stop and fix the result.

Good: The elbows passed the shoulder line
Excellent: The humerus bones are at right angles to each other
Super: The elbows are connected together

Shoulder joints 2

  • Lay down on the bench so that the shoulders slightly dangle from its edges. Put your feet on the bench and press hard against her loins.
  • Avoiding the deflection in the spine (that is, without lifting your back from the surface), first lift your arms straight in front of you, and then slowly lower them back behind your head as far as possible (without bending at the elbows).
  • To make the result more accurate, you can take in the hands of a body painter or light bar.

Good: Both hands went below the bench's bench.
Excellent: Both elbows passed below the bench's bench.
Super: The palms touched the floor

Shoulder Rotators

  • Stand up or sit sideways to the mirror. Bend your arms in the elbows to the right angle between the shoulder and forearm and divide them to the sides, without changing the angle of the fold - the forearms should be parallel to the floor (as in the first picture).
  • Roll your arms up and back, trying to move your hands as far as possible behind your head.
  • Now maximally turn your hands in the other direction. Evaluate the result.

Good: The palms were leveled with the level of the head at the top and the level of the body at the bottom, both extreme positions being symmetrical relative to each other.
Excellent: The palms passed a vertical line running along the body and head at both points; both extreme positions are symmetrical relative to each other
Super: The final positions of the forearms at both points are perpendicular to each other and are symmetrical

Continuation of the test
Thigh flexors

  • Lie on the edge of the bench so that one straight leg hangs from it, another bend at the knee and pull yourself.
  • Back "push" into the bench. Fully pressing the knee of the bent leg to the chest, try to lower your straight leg to the floor (without bending it). Evaluate the result.

Good: The knee of the straight leg was leveled with the plane of the bench.
Excellent: The knee of the straight leg passed the plane of the bench.
Super: The heel of the straight leg touches the floor

Thigh extensors

  • Sit on the bench, putting one foot on it. With the body, turn towards the straight leg, the sock - in a neutral position (do not pull it to yourself or from yourself).
  • Lean forward, keeping perfectly straight back. Evaluate the result.

Good: The fingers touch the heel of the straight leg.
Fine: The fingers hold onto the heel of the straight leg, the elbows touch the bench.
Super: The fingers hold onto the heel of the straight leg, the elbows are lowered below the bench

Leading hips

  • Get on your knees and put a fitball in front of you. Straighten your arms and put them on the ball with your hands, spread your knees as wide as possible.
  • Do not bury the pelvis back or forward - when viewed from above the hips should be in one line.
  • The shins are bent at right angles to the hips. Evaluate the result.

Good: The hips are at an angle of 100-110 degrees (slightly more than straight) relative to each other.
Excellent: Hips at an angle of 130-150 degrees relative to each other.
Super: Hips at an angle of 180 degrees relative to each other (you actually sit on the floor)

Snatch test
The result of this test depends not only on the mobility of the joints, but also on other factors, but it works with the "regions" of the body, whose good condition is primarily responsible for the absence of sports injuries.

  • Stand up straight, place your legs slightly wider than your hips and slightly turn your feet apart. Take in hand a stick or a light bar from the bar, a grip jerky: the widest possible.
  • Lift the stick over your head, taking it a little farther behind the centerline of the body, the lights of the blade. In this position, maximally take a seat down and evaluate the result.

Good: Incomplete squat, back straight, neck not moved forward; there is a slight discomfort in the region of the hip joints and the back of the neck.
Excellent: Full squat, back bent in the lower back, the vulture did not move forward; there are no uncomfortable sensations in the lower back, light tension in the middle of the back
Super: Ideal squat, perfectly bent back, heavily distended pectoral muscles; uncomfortable sensations

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