Flexibility – Extending Your Knowledge

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Flexibility – Extending Your Knowledge

More important reasons to remain flexible…. Especially as we age.   Thank you, @PaulBarry

  How Connective Tissue Interacts With & Affects Your Flexibility

  • Resistance to lengthening of a muscle is dependent on its Connective Tissue.
  • Muscle & Connective Tissue can elongate at any age but will require hard work to gain improvements.
  • Overuse of Connective Tissue can create fatigue, possible tear & limiting your Flexibility.
  • Unused or under used Connective Tissue provides strong resistance which limits Flexibility.
  • Elastin fray’s & loses some elasticity. Collagen levels increase & enhance stiffness.
  • When a muscle gets longer, the surrounding Connective Tissue becomes tighter.
  • Joint caps enclosing the end of our bones & ligaments account for most of our stiffness.
  • Muscle fascia (Fibrous Connective Tissue) accounts for approximately 40% of stiffness.
  • The key target area of stretching is our muscle fascia as it has the most elastic tissue.
  • Be conservative early on as overstretching can weaken & destabilise a joint.
  • Inactivity of muscle/joints can create chemical changes in Connective Tissue restricting Flexibility.


How Aging Is Believed To Affect Flexibility  

  • The primary factor is receiving quality & appropriate training for your athletic abilities.
  • The slower rate of developing greater Flexibility is due to changes in our Connective Tissue.
  • As we age our level of internal hydration reduces which reduces Flexibility.
  • It is believed that stretching stimulates either production or retention of lubricants.
  • The lubricants are believed to build up between the Connective Tissue Fibres.
  • This action can prevent the normal formation of adhesions between Connective Tissue.
  • This reduction in adhesions of Connective Tissue creates a better range in Flexibility.
  • Exercise itself can delay some of the loss of Flexibility that occurs due to the ageing process.


Other Changes Attributed To Reduction Of Flexibility As We Age

  • Increasing calcium deposits & adhesions.
  • Increasing levels of fragmentation. 3
  • Changes within the chemical structure of the Connective Tissue.
  • Loss of suppleness created by replacement of muscle fibres with fatty collagenous fibres.

There have been no studies undertaken on the Ageing Process & its effect on Flexibility. However, the theories are based on known actions & their relationship to our human anatomy & physiology.

          1, 2, 3, 4, 5   Alter M – The Science of Flexibility 2004

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