281020 How to Increase Flexibility and Range of Motion? Part one of two
By Brad Walker
Are you suffering from tight hamstrings, stiff hips, or an aching back? Finding it a little hard to put your socks on, or get out of the car? It’s time to loosen up. Flexibility and mobility are two especially important aspects of fitness. They help you move and exercise better, prevent injuries, and reduce muscle and joint pain.
Flexibility is not discussed as often as it should be when it comes to general wellness and fitness. Some people might think that flexibility and mobility are the same; but they’re not. Flexibility enables you to increase your range of motion, while mobility refers to the ability to move a particular muscle or limb in many different directions seamlessly.
Range of motion (ROM) is also a term that refers to your joints’ ability to move a particular distance and in specific directions. Each of your joints has a normal ROM that is typically expressed in degrees.
A decrease in ROM and/or flexibility of any one of your joints can affect the whole kinetic chain. For example, an abnormal ROM or flexibility of the shoulder joint can adversely impact the entire arm’s function. Hence, these aspects of fitness are crucial to anyone if they are to lead a quality life.
About Brad Walker
Brad Walker is an internationally recognized stretching and sports injury consultant with 30 years of practical experience in the health and fitness industry. A Health Science graduate of the University of New England, he has postgraduate accreditations in athletics, swimming, and triathlon coaching. He has worked with elite level and world champion athletes and has lectured for Sports Medicine Australia on
Brad has written many health and exercise books including several international best-sellers, including: The Stretching Handbook; The Anatomy of Stretching; and The Anatomy of Sports Injuries. His stretching and sports injury articles have been published in numerous health and fitness magazines and extensively online at sites such as About.com, Athletes.com and BodyBuilding.com