Focus On Flexibility To Reduce Your Chance Of Injury
Have you ever had muscle cramping when going on a hike or run? Have you ever experienced areas of tension in the sides of your thighs? How about ankle or calf tension, or pain that limits you from continuing, causing you to stop or slow down?
If you are like most people tension and pain as we try to get stronger, or improve our fitness through starting or progressing an exercise program, are par for the course.
Let’s talk about what is happening here.
When we experience pain or tightness as we exercise this tells us that there is a loss of joint mobility present in one or more joints. This loss of mobility causes a reduced efficiency in the mechanics of your body, creating tension in the connective tissue and muscle groups. Your muscles are working harder and straining because of the change from normal mechanics.
Consider an alignment problem of the front end of your car. The bigger the change in the alignment from what is ‘normal’ the greater the strain as well as friction to the tires, bearings and moving parts of your car’s front end. Over time this imbalance creates wear to the tires as well as to the bearings.
In the same way a hip and leg problem, or a shoulder problem, is a system that is not working as efficiently as it should. This creates increased friction, and the muscles will strain to try and compensate. This can cause muscle pain and even injury over time.
Where does stretching fit?
Having the flexibility to accomplish your sport or activity is necessary for success. This allows you to develop greater strength and skill as you continue to push yourself, getting better at your sport.
Failing to have this flexibility and pain can limit your improvement.
Too much flexibility can be a problem. Having the range of motion necessary for you activity or sport should be the goal. Balance of motion and the muscle support or strength to use that motion.