Chapter 10 * Flexibility NASPA Standards

Chapter 10 – Flexibility
NASPA Standards:
10.1 – Nature and Purpose of Flexibility
10.2 – Improving Flexibility
10.1 – Nature and Purpose of
4 Objectives:
1. Describe the characteristics of flexibility.
2. Explain how you benefit from good flexibility.
3. Explain why it is important to balance
strength and flexibility exercises.
4. Explain how the fitness principles of
overload, progression, and specificity apply
to flexibility.
What is Flexibility?
Flexibility is the ability to move your joints
through a full range of motion. Two types
of joints are:
• Hinge joint – works like a hinge, allowing
movement in only two directions.
• Ball and socket joint – allows movement in all
directions. (hip/shoulder)
Range of motion is the amount of movement
you can make in a joint.
Benefits of Good Flexibility
Improved Function
• Everyone needs a minimum
amount of flexibility for
everyday task.
• Some people need more
flexibility depending on the
task they perform.
Improved Health and
• Stretching exercises help
prevent injury, soreness,
and have a beneficial effect
on certain conditions.
• Provide relief from leg
cramps and shin splints
• Improve posture
• Prevent or relieve back pain
• Reduce fatigue
• Relieve stress
Characteristics of Flexibility
Body Building and Flexibility –
• Some people will never be able to score as
well on flexibility tests as others, no matter
how much they stretch.
• Anatomical differences help determine what
we can and cannot do.
• Do not compare your fitness scores with
others. Compare your scores with your own
previous scores.
Characteristics continued….
Hypermobility – the ability to
extend the knee, elbow,
thumb, or wrist joint past a
straight line, as if a joint could
bend backward.
• Often called “double
• Inherited trait
• People with hypermobility
may be prone to injuries
and the development of
Joint Laxity – when a joint
allows the bones to move in
ways other than intended.
• Occurs when the ligaments
around the joint are
• Can lead to sprains, torn
cartilage, and dislocations.
• Ligaments cannot be
strengthened by exercise,
however strengthening the
muscles around a joint can
help reduce looseness.
Balancing Strength and Flexibility
• Strength and flexibility should go together.
• Only doing strength exercises can lead to a loss of normal
range of motion. (muscle-bound)
• If you only do flexibility exercises, then your joints may
become susceptible to injury, because strong muscles are
needed to reinforce the ligaments that hold the bones
• A balanced exercise program includes both strength and
flexibility exercises for all your muscles, so they can apply
equal force on all sides of a joint.
• Keeping muscles on opposite sides of a joint in balance
helps them pull with equal force in all directions.
Fitness Principles and Flexibility
Principle of overload -
Principal of progression –
• To increase flexibility you
need to stretch or
lengthen your muscles
more than you normally
do in daily activities.
• You need additional force
such as your own body
weight, a partner, or a
weight to assist in the
• Gradually increase the
intensity of exercise. (i.e.
stretching further, longer,
more reps)
• Maintain your flexibility
once you have reached
your goal.
Fitness Principles continued…
Principle of specificity –
• Flexibility exercises
improve ONLY the
specific joints that you
• Overall flexibility is
achieved by stretching
all of your body’s
Maintaining flexibility –
• Once you have reached
your flexibility goal you
must continue to move
all your joints and
muscles through this
new improved range of
motion on a regular
10.1 Checking for Understanding
1. What are the characteristics of flexibility?
2. How do you benefit from good flexibility?
3. Why is it important to balance strength and
flexibility exercises?
4. How do the fitness principles of overload,
progression, and specificity apply to
10.2 Improving Flexibility
NASPE Standards:
3 Objectives –
1. Explain the difference between static
stretching, PNF stretching, and ballistic
2. Describe the fitness target zones for static and
ballistic exercise.
3. List the guidelines for doing flexibility exercises