FLEXIBILITY: A DEFINITION, RESEARCH, THE FUTURE

  • J. Holt
  • L.E. Holt
  • T.W. Pelham

Abstract

This presentation will focus on what needs to be done academically, clinically, technologically and experimentally with respect to flexibility.1 - Increase the number of researchers and experiments associated with flexibility.2 - Improve the accuracy and precision of research technology, such as 3D analysis, online readouts and telemetry.3 - Improve the practical means to achieve active and therapeutic increases in flexibility. New devices to enhance flexibility must; involve stretching, utilize PNF benefits, eliminate the need for a partner, be safe, be user friendly, progressive, and provide instantaneous feedback on all aspects of the exercise procedure. This article aims to provide an overview of what research tells us about flexibility. As an essential component of fitness, flexibility is a property the importance of which has traditionally been acknowledged, then given little attention in both experimentation and practice. This component, as with other physiological parameters, is not fixed. Certain factors (e.g., aging, injury) clearly have a negative influence on flexibility. Among factors, and there are several, which have a positive influence on flexibility, factors based on principle and which operate within certain constraints, stretching is probably the most potent. And among various stretching techniques, research indicates that PNF and certain of its derivatives are the most effective. Flexibility has been traditionally accepted as an integral part of bath fitness and sport specific conditioning. Flexibility exercises have been advocated as an agent in the prevention and treatment of exercise-induced and sports-induced injuries, as well as a means to improve performance. Yet, flexibility has not been well defined in the literature, nor has it been adequately researched. This has lead to misinterpretations and in dealing with this factor. The authors present a new and hopefully improved model of flexibility. It includes amore precise definition, and ways of demonstrating and measuring this important therapeutic and conditioning parameter.
Section
Coaching and Sports Activities