One of the Five Components of Fitness is FLEXIBILTY. Therefore, it's an area that needs to be addressed. Some athletes do a good job with this part...others are lagging. But all athletes, both young and older, could probably stand to increase their awareness of this component.
Today, we'll tap into the philosophy used by Strength & Conditioning Coach Mark Asanovich of the Jacksonville Jaguars regarding Flexibility Training. I'll highlight a few points....then, you can choose to download the pdf file put together by Coach Asanovich
For whatever reason, athletes tend to be extreme in their approach to flexibility training. Either they will do little or no stretching or they will become zealously obsessive compulsive. As is the rule for all components in the fitness equation, moderation is the key. The goal of flexibility training; therefore, is to attain normal ranges of flexibility – and no more! ...........
……..Stretching is most prudent and productive following a warm-up. Warm-up decreases the internal viscosity of the muscle and increases the pliability of the connective tissue. Placing a “cold” muscle under stretch will place it at greater risk. This would be comparable to attempting to stretch meat taken out of a freezer. It is not until the meat thaws (“warms-up”) that it becomes pliable enough to stretch.
…… How much warm-up is optimal? For the most part this is a trial and error happenstance. Obviously, it should not be so long or intense so as to cause fatigue, yet still long/intense enough so as to elicit the internal physiological changes to promote optimal performance and prevent injury. The general rule of thumb is that once a mild sweat is broken, the athlete is ready for higher levels of activity.
To read this entire segment on flexibility, download the pdf file here: