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Do You Know The 3 Different Types Of Flexbility Training?

Feb 2, 2008
Flexibility Training has become quite a rage these days. It mainly involves performing a series of exercises that help maximize the range of motion and muscle stability. The main benefits of this kind of training is that it improves the blood flow to the muscles and lowers the risk of injury.

There are 3 basic types of exercises that achieve this aim : Static, Dynamic and Isometric/PNF.

Of these the Static exercises follow the traditional pattern of stretching the muscles to their maximum point, holding them for 5 to 10 seconds and then slowly releasing them.

Every warm up should include at least 10 minutes of static exercises. By pulling, holding and relaxing every muscle group in the body it helps to improve circulation and prepares the muscles for more vigorous activity that is to follow. It even lowers the risk of muscle tears and tendon stretching that can be rather painful.

Dynamic or ballistic exercises are more controversial as they involve stretching with added momentum and sometimes even using weights. Since they can be potentially harmful it is this risk factor that forms the basis of the controversy. Therefore,it is always advisable to consult a knowledgeable trainer before attempting this form of flexibility training.

One example of the above would be trying out lunges by moving one foot forward and kneeling slightly while keeping ones back straight and bouncing gently.Another commonly used dynamic exercise is to rest one knee on a ball and slowly rotate the ball away from the body, giving a moderate bounce at the maximum point.

The third kind of flexibility training is that of PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) which involves a combination of passive and isometric exercises. Not only does it have a fancy technical name but it also possesses some useful features that should be motivating enough for exercise enthusiasts to try out.

If performed in the correct manner under the guidance of an expert trainer or fitness professional,PNF exercises have the capacity to maximize movement and prepare the body for more strenuous exercise.

Most of the exercises are best done with a partner. The muscle you want to work on is stretched and contracted for several seconds while your partner applies resistance to prevent movement.

For example, stretch your arms out and slowly move them behind you, then contract the biceps, triceps and shoulders. Have the partner gently pull your hands together a little past the 180 degree mark as you attempt to pull your arms back to 180 degrees.

Another particularly effective exercise is to lie on your back against a flat surface and raise one foot vertically. Your partner can hold your foot and slowly press that foot backward until you are able to feel the tension in your hamstring(muscles on the rear of your thigh).Once you feel the tension gradually contract your muscles and attempt to move your foot forward with your partner providing the right amount of resistance.

Do keep in mind that the exercises mentioned above should only be attempted after one has received proper training and guidance from an experienced fitness trainer.If done incorrectly PNF exercises can lead to muscle sprains or even damage the joints.

Whichever style of workout you choose, make sure you include at least some of the flexibility exercises in your warm up. They will help to maximize your performance during the more strenuous part of the workout.
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