Flexibility? The ideal is our society is youth and beauty. It always seems to us that the youngest and most handsome triumph. In reality, this is not always the case. Not by a long shot. But from afar, people who seem to be successful, actors, singers… transmit this image of youth.
Okay, so decided. All quflexibility in childrenwe will be young. The bad news is that it’s impossible. Fortunately, we are celebrating years and living experiences, if not what would be the other option? I don’t want to tell you about it.
But there is good news. If we want to remain young as we age, the solution is to remain flexible. A flexible body is still young, just as a flexible and curious mind continues to learn and maintain youth.
I’m going to tell you a few interesting things about flexibility today.
What is flexibility?
Flexibility in people refers to the ability of joints to move within a wide range of motion. Each joint, depending on the activity to be performed, has a range of motion that is considered healthy and acceptable.
This capacity is highly desired by everyone, as having flexible joints is a good indicator that we stay in shape and also implies that we have no pain when moving.
Flexibility is even associated with youth. Yogis say that your age marks the flexibility of your spine.
But the reality is that we are not all flexible in the same way. We also often complain that we are losing that ability. In addition there are certain factors that condition us:
- The genes. We do not all have the same genetic inheritance and our genes condition us in this too.
- The structure of our joints. The structural base of the joints is the same for everyone but their form is not the same in all cases. These differences in the shape of the joints cause us to have different capacities of movement of the same.
- The elasticity of the soft tissues, i.e. muscles, tendons and fascias, also varies from person to person.
- The strength of the opposite muscle group, which will be the one that has to pull the tissue to take it to overcome its limit.
Types of flexibility
Within the definition of flexibility, we can distinguish two types: static and dynamic.
The term static flexibility refers to that range of absolute movement of the individual that can be achieved without movement taking place. That is, how far we go, bend or turn and how we maintain that position.
Young and flexible
Dynamic flexibility refers to the range of motion reached by the moving individual, that is, the maximum we turn or bend using speed or motion to reach that maximum range.
After seeing this, we are aware that the field in which we must work more is the muscle and fascia. This fascia is the connective tissue that connects and envelops all the structures of the body giving support, protection and shape to the organism.
Bones, joints or ligaments are less susceptible to being worked at this level although they contribute in the same way to the flexibility of the organism.
Benefits of flexibility
Improving our flexibility will bring us a number of benefits that we should always bear in mind when considering whether or not it is important to improve our flexibility.
- Better posture: a flexible body will be able to place itself in a good position and keep it painless.
- Less muscular tension and inflammations. For the same reason, flexible muscles will be able to move more without being resentful and sore afterwards.
- Higher level of exercise. If your joints are flexible, they will need less energy to move us within the range required by the exercise or activity you are doing.
- There is a greater blood supply to the joints.
- Another benefit is improved coordination and balance in the body at a general level.
- Fewer back pains, as a flexible spine will obviously move better and adapt better to the different activities you do.
- In addition to the body, you will also have a more flexible and relaxed mind, as both form a unit.
Explanation of flexibility
It seems that stretching does not make our muscles permanently longer, but that such exercises could activate routes in the brain that make the nervous system more tolerant of muscle extension before we feel pain.
In experiments with animals, it has been seen that the fact of extending the muscle over a prolonged period of time leads to the creation of sarcomeres, basic subunits of the muscle fiber, but when the stretching ends, the muscle returns to its original form. And it is far from clear that this has increased the flexibility of the animal.
So why does it seem that if we stretch regularly we are more flexible?
It’s the nervous system that determines a person’s stretching ability. The nerve endings found in muscles and tendons warn the brain when that muscle has stretched too much, in a way that would not be safe and then those nerve endings warn the brain in the form of pain and resistance to movement.
These nerves warn you, “If you don’t stop, this muscle is going to break. That’s why a person under anesthesia has a greater range of motion and flexibility in their joints.
People who are able to stretch their muscles, have achieved after much practice, train their nervous system so that they do not feel pain in much more advanced stretching positions.