Unit 6 Notes "Achieving Flexibility and


Lifetime Fitness

Unit 5

Achieving Flexibility

Flexibility is a person’s ability to move body joints through a full range of motion

Benefits of Flexibility

Wellness – optimal fitness

Prevention of low back pain and improves posture

Healthy joints

Injury prevention

*Stretching before and after exercise can help prevent sore muscles

Factors which limit flexibility

Bone structure (types of joints limit flexibility, flexibility is joint specific)

Muscles and Tendons (Extension, Flexion and muscle imbalance)

Ligaments (hyperflexibility)


Gender (Females are generally more flexible)


Types of Joints in the body o

Hinge joints – knee and elbow o o

Ball and socket joints – shoulder and hips

Pivot joints – neck and forearm

Extension is the straightening movement of muscles at a joint

Flexion is the bending movement around a joint

Muscle imbalance occurs when one muscle group is worked much more than the opposing muscle group thus becoming much stronger

Hyperflexibility is too much motion in a joint due to overstretched ligaments caused from improper exercises or injuries

Applying Training Principles to Flexibility

Whether you choose to combine your flexibility with your warm-up, it is imperative to follow

the principles of training.

Principle of Overload

Frequency – 3 times per week

Intensity- stretch slowly until slight tension is felt in muscle.

Time – 10 to 30 seconds

Principle of Progression

Increase your stretch gradually as you continue to change the frequency, intensity and/or time of the stretch

Principle of Specificity

Flexibility can only be gained in those joints of the body which are exercised.

Flexibility Techniques

 Static stretching – a safe method of increasing flexibility in which the muscle is

 stretched to its farthest point and held for at least ten seconds.

Ballistic stretching – involves bouncing or bobbing against the muscle and is harmful

Dynamic stretching - used to warm up for practice or competition by mimicking sport-specific types of activities to increase the range of motion of a specific joint

Contract and Relax stretching – a muscle is contracted before it is stretched

(partner stretching)

Safety Precautions to use when stretching

Perform stretching exercises within your own physical limitations

Progression should be gradual

Avoid ballistic stretching

Partner stretching can be dangerous. Communicate with your partner!


It is important to establish personal goals and to design an individualized program that will help you reach your highest level of fitness. You should be concerned with health-related activities, sports, skill, and stress diversion activities and good nutrition.

A goal is an outcome for which you are striving; something you want to achieve or intend to do in life.

A clearly stated goal is: o

Concrete – a definite objective you want to achieve o o

Measurable – a way of knowing when you have reached your goal

Related to a definite time frame – a deadline to reach your goal

Short-term goal is within a month

Intermediate goal is 2-3 months

Long term goal is months to years

Important facts about goals

Goals must be:

Important to you

Individual (personal)

Realistic (doable, obtainable)

Specific (state exactly what you want)

Written down

*When selecting appropriate activities to help you obtain your goal, you should pick activities you enjoy and meet your time schedule. You should also participate in activities that would be most beneficial for developing the specific fitness area you are trying to improve.

*Monitoring and recording your progress will serve as motivation. You can adjust your goals as your improve and reach your goals!!!.

*Creating a maintenance goal for health related fitness components should include long term cardio, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition.

Here is an example of the Goal Sheet you will be using this semester. Your Goal Sheet will be a part of a Fitness Portfolio. We will discuss your Fitness Portfolio at a later date.