2 Strength and Flexibility Core Principles
In todays post, we take your attention to 2 basic principles, Strength and Flexibility, that factor in a range of sporting activities. Not only allowing the delivery of sporting excellence, but also translate to everyday performance keeping you working at an optimal level.
Presenting….flexibility and strength!
Flexibility is defined as the range of movement within a joint or across a series of joints. This principle is essential to everyday movements, achieving desired comfort in a range of different postures and tasks throughout our lives.
Squats, overhead and lifting movements are all incorporated in low level (crouched), office/desk based roles along with a whole host of manual labour occupations. Moreover, good flexibility is an indicator of correct muscle recruitment patterns in propulsion and locomotion functions alike such as walking/running and overhead lifting.
The splits are a position that almost everyone understands having the pleasure of witnessing at one point, and yet not many can relate to personally.
As you can see to the left, this set of splits is being performed upside down (some like a challenge), throughout a balance beam routine (keeps getting better). However, flexibility doesn’t have to be this complicated and here at Sports Physio UK we like to keep things simple.
Evidence supporting even just one session of stretch-strengthening work can be beneficial to the body.
Yoga is an ancient art practiced for thousands of years connecting mind and body through a series of different postures, poses and breathing techniques. The purpose of each session is to find and challenge your own limits leading to increased flexibility and strength control.
Strength has many definitions referring to someone’s character or even the concentration of a substance. The one we are interested here is the muscular strength in particular. Muscular strength by definition is a muscle group developing maximal force against a resistance in a single contraction.
The kind of strength you see over on the right is known as dynamic combining multiple components at once. Force producing strength (concentric) and force controlling strength (eccentric) is applied at the wrist, shoulders and torso for the gymnast to traverse the pommel horse. This combination allows gymnasts to showcase the highest quality of aesthetics possible.
The very same components at applied at the calf and hamstrings when walking or running providing the push at ‘toe off’ and deceleration/control at ‘heel strike’.
This sort of dynamic strength is targeted throughout a general Pilates class. Having acquired the desired flexibility and range to move through regular stretching, we now control the range with subtle movements and exercises. A large contribution of Pilates routines focus on ones torso or ‘core’ as it is more commonly called.
This is probably not the first time you have heard of the enigma that is the core, being told “it needs to be stronger” and “it can cure back pain” In theory these are both relatively true. The core is a primary stabiliser in almost all postures including walking, standing and even sitting. Targeting the core before any pain strikes works as the prevention rather than the cure which happens to be one of our strongest philosophies here at Sports Physio UK.
What can you do?
Both Pilates and Yoga classes are available here at the clinic down in Shaw. These develop not only the range and control in order to move and function efficiently free from pain, but also practice the skills and attributes to aim towards the best possible you. Possibly even sporting excellence.