According the American Council on Exercise (ACE), flexibility is defined as "the range of motion of a given joint or group of joints or the level of tissue extensibility that a muscle group possesses.

 " That means that each joint and each group of muscles in your body might have a different range of motion (ROM) or a different level of flexibility. Some areas of your body may be very tight, meaning that the muscles feel short and restricted. Some areas of your body may feel very loose and you may be able to lengthen and move those muscles freely.

There are many reasons why having a flexible body is essential to our health and well-being.

Flexibility and Daily Life

·         It prevents everyday injury including: muscle and disc strains that occur when turning over in bed or getting out of bed; shoulder tweaks that result from lifting or reaching tasks; back aches due to transitioning to standing from sitting, bending down to pick something up, or even walking up and down the stairs

·         It improves your posture making you look taller, leaner and more confident.

·         It makes getting down on the floor and playing with your kids and babies much easier and you are less likely to get injured when you are running around playing chasing or football.

·         Travel is more comfortably because of your ability to sit in many different positions and do things with your body in confined spaces you otherwise could not do.

·         Time spent stretching is also a good time to relax in a calm environment after a busy work day, it can get you moving in the morning or help you relax at the end of a day.


Flexibility and Sport

·         It makes cardio activities lighter and easier.

·         Flexibility is one of the main fitness components, important for success in many sports. In certain sports, such as gymnastics, it is one of the most important physical attributes.

·         It enhances sports performance; allowing for better arm and shoulder extension and rotation for swimmers and basketball players, longer strides for runners, deeper knee bends and hip flexion for skiers.

·         Activities that lengthen and stretch muscles can help to prevent injuries, back pain, and balance problems.

·         Stretching exercises can be used in injury rehabilitation, preparation for sport (warm up), and for recovery after exercise.


How Flexible are YOU?

The “Sit and Reach Test” is a very simple flexibility test that you can perform at home.

·         Take off your shoes. Sit on the floor upright with your legs stretched out in front of you.

·         Spread your legs until your feet are 12 inches apart (actually measure this and mark these points on your mat, if you are using one, for future use so you can check your flexibility every month or so).

·         Place a measuring tape in between and parallel to your legs with the 15” mark in line with your heels, the part of the tape between your legs will be 1 to 15 inches and the part of the tape beyond your heels will be measuring above 15 inches.

·         Now place your hands on top of one another and lift up and bend forward and try to extend your hands beyond your heels

Repeat this three times and record your highest score. If you are doing flexibility training It is a good idea to keep a note of your score including the date so you can see how you are progressing.

Here is the result chart for Sit and Reach Norms:






































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