Stretching Exercises and Flexibility Exercises are an Important Part of Integrated Training

After Lower Back Exercises, Stretching Exercises and Flexibility Exercises are the most neglected part of fitness programs.

Integrated Training is the approach of the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and it simply means that all components of fitness are integrated in the workout routine so that the training program is well-rounded and balanced.

The major components of integrated training are aerobic exercise, flexibility exercises, core exercises, balance exercises, reactive exercises, and weight training.

If your workout routine neglects, one of those components then it is not complete.

Here are some basic stretches.

Neck Stretches

Lower Back Stretches

Groin Stretches/ Adductor Stretches/ Hip Stretches

Piriformis Stretches

Hamstring Stretches

Hip Flexor Stretches

Lat/ Back Stretches

Upper Back Stretches

Shoulder Stretches

Rotator Cuff Stretches

Flexibility and Ab Exercises

Without good flexibility in your spine, you will get less out of your ab exercises.

You abdominal muscles work to move your spine. If you are stiff and inflexible, you will have less than normal range of motion in your spine. When you decrease the range of motion that a muscle can work through, you decrease your ability to strengthen that muscle.

You must have a flexible lower back to get the most out of exercises like crunches. And a flexible spine might take some pressure off your lower back during ab exercises like leg raises.

Flexibility and Lower Back Exercises

Hamstring, hip, and lower back flexibility affect posture and form during lower back exercises.

Stiff hamstrings can limit range of motion from the pelvis and place increased pressure on the lower back. And if the hips do not move as well as they should more pressure is placed on the lower back.

Flexibility and Core Strength

Flexibility is important for the development of core strength. If your spine, hips, or shoulders are stiff then your muscles cannot operate at peak effiency. In addition, if you are inflexible, your body will compensate when you move to take the path of least resistance.

Movement compensations place additional pressure on certain areas of the body, and this increases the likelihood of injury.

Flexibilty and Funtional Training or Athletic Enhancement

Hopefully, from the above sections, you're starting to understand that stretching exercises really complement everything else.

Proper flexibility is all about efficient movement!

When your body moves efficiently, you have less pressure on your joints and you have the most stability through your joints.

Less pressure generally leads to a decrease in the risk of injury, and more stablity generally leads to increased athletic performace.

Flexibility exercises are so important in an integrated training model, and for many people they are more important than the other components. Include some type of stretching exercises in all of your workouts to create a balance body.

Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles

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