Flexibility: a component of physical fitness related to health - Raphael Velazquez (2023)

Physical Fitness: Components of Fitness Part 1: Health Related

Fitness Health Component: Flexibility

Flexibility and mobility? They are the same

No, they are not. However, both are needed for a variety of reasons, such as:

· Reduction of injuries

Full freedom of movement

active movement

Passive retentions

Flexibility: a component of physical fitness related to health - Raphael Velazquez (1)


Flexibility is the ability of a joint or joints to move through an unrestricted range of motion without pain. (UC Davis Health) It is a passive form of voluntary movement. Moving your body through ranges of motion is helpful in connecting with your body, as it allows you to notice problem areas that may be weak and tight, strong but tight, weak and loose, just to name a few complications that can arise.


To keep things simple, mobility is active dynamic movement through the range of motion of a limb, while flexibility is passive.

Now let's look at this from a practical point of view. Suppose you are trying to lift a box off the floor. It is quite heavy and you lack mobility in the hips and ankles. You go to look for the box and when you go up you feel a pull in the lower part of your back.

tie both together

The meaning of high mobility and flexibility is that you are as mobile as you are flexible. You can only move dynamically through areas of movement that you have access to. If you are extremely rigid, you will not be mobile. This also limits the amount of force and agility you can produce. Trying to push the limits of the range of motion in which you have flexibility, mobility, and strength can lead to injury. As we all know, no one has time for that.

What if I work in the field of flexibility or mobility?

Passive stretching stretches the muscles and connective tissues to improve... you guessed it... flexibility!

When it comes to flexibility, mobility should not be missing.

If you hold a long enough position in the end range that you can access (without excruciating pain), you activate the Golgi tendon organ and inhibit the muscle spindle in the muscle (see image below).

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Flexibility: a component of physical fitness related to health - Raphael Velazquez (2)

Before we break down the GTO and muscle spindle individually, let's talk about how they work together. Their function in the body is to work together in regulating muscle stiffness. One is located in the muscle belly (muscle spindle) and the other in the musculotendinous junction (MTJ). Both are important in sending information to the CNS (brain and spinal cord) about what is happening in the muscles and what is happening between the muscle and the joint to prevent injury and to know where the muscles are in spatial conditions. With all the information it allows the body to know where it is in space (proprioception)

huso muscular

Okay, let's start with the muscle spindle (pictured above). Muscle spindles are sensitive sensory receptors that inform the central nervous system about changes in length and the rate of change in length of individual muscles. Almost all muscles contain muscle spindles.

The information obtained allows the body to know its position and movement in space, which is necessary for motor control, posture maintenance, and a stable gait.

If you've ever tried to stretch a hamstring while sitting on the floor and tried to stretch past a certain point and felt the hamstring muscle contract, you can thank the muscle spindle for that. The muscle spindle prevents overstretching of the hamstring muscle when the change in length occurs at a rate that seems likely to cause injury. This is also known as the stretch reflex.

golgi tendon organ

The Golgi tendon organ senses muscle tension in muscles when they are contracted or stretched. It is located at the musculotendinous junction. When GTO is activated during stretch, it temporarily inhibits the muscle spindle within the stretched muscle. This allows you to stretch deeper as the information sent to the GTO indicates that it is safe to go beyond your normal range of motion.

Without the GTO, the muscle spindle would activate and prevent you from going deeper into a stretch.

Board according to the board principle

Let's say you're cleaning out your garage and you see this heavy box. You will be lifting it while squatting, and if you go up, you will hurt your back. AHA!

Hold this image in your mind and if you have felt this pain before or are facing it now, I was there myself.

Before we go any further, I want to take a look at what we call the set-by-set approach. I'd like to thank two industry titans, Mike Boyle and Gray Cook, for developing this simple concept that addresses movement disorders, injuries, and the possible role of the adjacent joint where the injury occurred.

Flexibility: a component of physical fitness related to health - Raphael Velazquez (3)

If you look at the figure above, you can see circles around the joints in red (mobility) and blue (stability). To be clear, all joints must have some degree of stability and mobility, but a joint must be flexible rather than stable, depending on where it is in the body and where it is placed.

In the image above, the hip joint is shown in red. This joint needs to be mobile so that we can jump, run, walk, climb stairs, sit, bend, etc. To get straight to the point, if you have had limitations in the joint movements that the hip can make, you must have problems with the joints above and you have problems below. The body will accommodate (compensate for) the lack of hip mobility. When the mind makes a move, the body will do what it can (whether it's done correctly or not).

Got it... How does this apply to a real scenario?

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Flexibility: a component of physical fitness related to health - Raphael Velazquez (4)

It's time to return to our perspective on back pain when trying to lift and move a heavy box. As I look at the joint-by-joint approach, I hope you understand that due to a lack of flexibility/mobility in your hips, you will have a hard time getting into the correct position for your muscles to move. Your bones/joints can move. the correct position to perform the movement. When we lack flexibility and mobility, we don't have access to the correct mechanisms and ranges of motion. Now other muscles are compensating and doing more work than is necessary to perform a movement that you set up in your head. So while you're trying to lift that box and you can't move your hips, your lower back will try to compensate for the flab…and this is where people get hurt.

If you ask a joint that has more stability than mobility to become more flexible, the muscles will distort and you will be on your side longer than necessary.

The emphasis and focus on flexibility allows you to access the ranges of motion our bodies have access to (watch the babies move/they have solid technique!), improve your body's ability to make the components fitness training to work well and reduce the risk of injury. .

I have understood! How can I improve my flexibility and mobility?

You can work on your flexibility by stretching. Two ways to stretch and work on flexibility are static stretching and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF). One important thing I want to start with with all stretching styles is that you need to make sure that you are placing your body in the correct position to properly feel the stretch and not placing any other part of your body in a compromising position.

Static stretching is what most people know as stretching. Stretching this way means holding the muscle you're stretching for at least 30 seconds to a point where it feels uncomfortable.

Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) occurs when the muscle of a stretched muscle contracts in its fully stretched position. The reason for this stretch is that it activates the stretch reflex function of the muscle spindle so that the muscle knows that it is safe enough to go into a deeper range of motion when stretched. You should hold the position for about ten seconds before relaxing and working to maintain the stretch in the new range of motion.

There is a wonderful book calledpermanent pain managementof Dr. chewing spirit. He is a bodybuilder turned physical therapist turned healer. Nicknamed the Mind Method, his approach involves stretching that requires PNF stretching and static holds for 30 seconds to up to a minute. The stretches are divided into two sections, spinal stretches and fascial stretches. His approach is simple and effective in stretching to induce tension in the muscles to affect the fascia and help distribute the way your body holds tension correctly.

In summary, spinal stretches help create and maintain length in the spine to allow better connection/signaling to the brain, spinal cord, and body. While fascial stretches help maintain static stretch in a limb or limbs to allow the fascia to be held in tension in a stretched state. These are hard to do and will make you feel tight.

It is mandatory:

1. Hydrate

2. Breathe with the diaphragm

3. And be patient with this practice.

Yoga is also another way to hold positions and work on your flexibility while working on your mental focus, so feel free to explore new spaces and go on journeys to help you improve this component of fitness.

Below are some stretching exercises that can help improve your flexibility and mobility over time. Do them in the order shown.

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flexibility exercises

Dedrake 1

holding a small balloon

lower back stretch

stretched side of the neck

Hip flexor stretch

mobility exercises

quadruple adductor mobility

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flexibility and mobility

Flexibility is a crucial part of health-related fitness. It is the ability to move the joints through unrestricted ranges of motion that the joint or set of joints can move to get to a place or achieve a goal. Flexibility is worked on passively by holding a position for a while.

Mobility is a dynamic method of training the body's range of motion. This allows you to position and move well and prevent injury.

By improving flexibility and mobility, the two of you will continue to help each other. Over time, this will help you get stronger, move better, and reduce injury.

For mobility and flexibility exercises please scroll up and subscribe to my YouTube pageHere.


I know this has been a crowded post and I hope you will bookmark this page as a reference. I will continue to update this post with current information and action items for you. I want you to remember that although I have said many things, the most important thing is to be aware in everything you do. As you read through this and more of my articles, please take time to see what is most relevant to you right now to relieve pain, help you move better, rather than make you stronger. I'd rather be the painless person in the room than be strong with a lot of aches and pains.

The aptitude components related to Part 2 skills will be released shortly.

Need help getting in the best shape of your life?

I have prepared a fitness starter kit for you. If you are new to fitness, want to get back in shape, need to get going, this kit is for you.

The fitness kit includes:

2 Week Fitness Program (PDF)

Nutrition Plan (ebook)

Three downloadable questions (PDF)

3 Simple Factors That Influence Your Training (EBOOK & Infographic)

10 tips to get in the best shape of your life (EBOOK and infographic)

Fitness kit for beginners.

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