2 Chapter ObjectivesAfter completing this chapter, you should be able to1. Define and measure flexibility.2. State why flexibility should be measured.3. Describe the difference between relative and absolute flexibility tests.4. State the guidelines that should be followed in the administration of flexibility tests.5. Prescribe activities to improve flexibility.
3 FlexibilityFlexibility is the ability to move the body joints through a maximum range of motion without undue strain.*Not a general factor; specific to given joints and toparticular sports or physical activities.Flexion – joint angle is decreasedExtension – joint angle is increased
4 FlexibilityFlexibility depends on the soft tissues of joints (ligaments, tendons, and muscles) of a joint than on the bony structure of the joint itself.Bony structures of certain joints do place limitations onflexibility, however.
5 Flexibility Flexibility also related to: body size (body fat) age gender physical activityLoss of flexibility in aging process is probably due tofailure to maintain an active program of movement.Generally, active individuals are more flexible thaninactive individuals (some exceptions, however).Habitual postures and chronic heavy work throughrestricted ranges of motion can lead to adaptive shorteningof muscles.
6 Why Measure Flexibility? Flexibility important component of health-related fitness;lack of it can create functional problems or disorders.Low back disorders is one of the most prevalent healthcomplaints (second to common cold for visits to doctors).Many low back disorders are caused by poor muscle tone ofof lower back, poor flexibility of the lower back, andinadequate abdominal muscle tone.
7 Why Measure Flexibility? Anyone with a stiff spinal column is at a disadvantage inmany physical activities; also fails to get full value fromshock-absorbing arrangement of spine.Lack of flexibility can be responsible for:bad posturecompression of peripheral nervespainful menstruationShort muscles also limit work efficiency; also greater riskof injury during physical activity.
8 Why Measure Flexibility? Individuals with good flexibility have:greater ease of movementless stiffness of musclesenhancement of skillless chance of injuryFlexibility tests also can identify individuals with too muchflexibility.
9 Tests of FlexibilityClinical assessment - Leighton Flexometer, the electrogonio-meter, and the goniometer; provide rotary measure; degrees of rotation around a 3600 arcPractical tests – provide linear measure; tape measure, yardstickRelative flexibility - test score (movement) compared withthe length or width of a specific body partAbsolute flexibility - measure only the movement in relationto an absolute performance goal
10 Pre-test Instructions for Test Performers Perform 5 to 10 minutes of light aerobic exercise to warm up.Perform slow, sustained static stretching of all joints to be tested.Declare if they have any back problems.
11 Sit and Reach TestTest objective. To measure flexibility of the lower back and posterior thighs.Age level. Five through adulthoodLogical validity; reliability coefficient reported.Figure 12.1 included specifications of the box used for this test (next slide)Figure 12.2 illustrates test.Table 12.1 includes norms for ages five through college-age.
13 Modified Sit and Reach Test Individuals with short legs relative to the trunk and arms may have advantage performing previously described sit and reach test; modified test accounts for this potential bias.Test objective. Measure flexibility of lower back and posterior thighs.Age level. Under eighteen through fifty-plus.Logical validity.
14 Modified Sit and Reach Test DirectionsTest performer sits on floor with hips, back, and head against wall, extends legs fully and places feet against the sit-and-reach box.Places the hands one on top of the other and reaches forward as far as possible without letting the head and back come off the wall; shoulders may be rounded.(A yardstick is placed on the box with zero end pointed toward test performer and touching his/her hands. Yardstick is held in place by test administrator.
15 Modified Sit and Reach Test 1. Gradually reaches forward three times, as yardstick is held firmly in place. Holds third stretch as far as possible for two seconds.Scoring. Two trials administered. Score is number of inches reached to the nearest one-half inch.Norms. Table 12.2 includes norms for ages under 18 through fifty-plus.
16 Sit and Reach Wall TestProvides a quick estimate of lower back and posterior thigh flexibility.Age level. Junior high through college-age.Logical validity; reliability not reported.Table 12.3 includes norms for high school through college.
17 Trunk and NeckTest objective. To measure the ability to extend the trunk (relative flexibility).Age level. Six through college-age.Face validity; reliability and objectivity coefficients reported.Figure 12.3 illustrates test.Table 12.4 reports norms for college students.
18 Trunk ExtensionSimilar to trunk-and-neck extension test, but measures absolute flexibility.Age level. Six through college-age.Face validity; reliability not reported.Figure 12.4 illustrates test.Table 12.4 reports norms for college students.
19 Shoulder-and-Wrist Elevation Test objective. To measure shoulder and wrist flexibility (relative flexibility).Age level. Six through college-age.Face validity; reliability and objectivity coefficients reported.Table 12.5 reports norms for college students.
20 Shoulder LiftSimilar to the shoulder-and-wrist elevation test, but measures shoulder flexibility only (absolute flexibility).Age level. Six through college-age.Face validity; reliability not reported.Figure 12.5 illustrates test.Table 12.5 reports norms for college students.
21 Figures 12.6 through 12.13This figures illustrate observation measures of flexibility.No scores are recorded for these measures.Measures may be used to identify individuals with inadequate flexibility.
22 Exercises to Develop Flexibility Three stretching techniques can be used to develop flexibility.Static stretching involves slowly moving to a position to stretch the designated muscles and holding the position for a specified length of time (10 to 30 seconds).The stretch for each muscle should be repeated two or three times in each stretching session.
23 Exercises to Develop Flexibility Ballistic stretching makes use of repetitive bouncing motions.Not recommended Force produced by effort to stretch may be greater than the extensibility the muscle can tolerate Also induces the stretch reflex.
24 Exercises to Develop Flexibility Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) involves a combination of alternating contraction and relaxation of both agonist and antagonist muscles.Requires the assistance of a partner.Both static stretching and PNF will improve flexibility, but lack of agreement regarding which technique is superior.
25 Exercises to Develop Flexibility Guidelines for Static StretchingSpend 20 to 30 seconds in a gentile, static stretch with each exercise; perform each exercise two or three times.Increase the extent of the stretch gradually and progressively, with full extension, flexion, or both being placed on the joint.Breathe slowly, rhythmically, and with control.Stretch beyond the normal length of the muscle, but only to the point that a slight stretch pain is felt.Practice regularly; perform the exercises several times each day.
26 Exercises to Develop Flexibility Flexibility is highly specific to each joint and activity.Flexibility exercises should be performed for each joint in which increased flexibility is desired.Pages 138 through 139 include descriptions of static stretching exercises for the: neck anterior hip and thigh shoulder and upper chest groin area upper back posterior lower leg lower back foot and ankle trunk posterior hip, upper leg, and lower back