Mayur Deshpande
  Personal trainer in Mumbai
Stretching Science Factors and Benefits

Stretching Science

Flexibility of joint


Which factors effects flexibility of joint?

What are the benefits of stretching?


Which factors effects flexibility of joint?

Age and inactivity - Several studies have indicated that there is a distinct relationship between age and degree of flexibility. The greatest increase in flexibility usually occurs upto and between the age of 7 to 12.Aging increases both the diameter of collagen fibers and number of intermolecular cross-links. Aging increases the mount of dehydration in and around soft tissue structures.
Generally, the more active a person is throughout the aging process, the more flexible they will be. When muscles are not actively stretched through a full range of motion, it becomes shorter and less resilient, making it difficult to obtain the balance essential for proper alignment during activity.

Gender- Although there is no conclusive evidence, females are generally appears much more flexible.one hypothesis for this is that, genetically, females are designed for a greater range of motion, especially in the pelvic region, to accommodate childbearing.

Pregnancy- In pregnancy, due to secretion of relaxin hormone, range of motion increases, especially in the pelvic and lumbosacral spine. This increase in joint and connective tissue laxity may increase pregnant womens susceptibility to injury.

Body type & strength training- There is no relation between body type and total body weight and the ability to achieve range of motion. Strength training does not effect on range of motion at joint, but athletes have to incorporate stretching exercises into the training program. Strength training independently decreases flexibility is a myth.

A muscle that has been immobilised with a cast will demonstrate increase in stiffness over time (longer than four weeks).

Increase in body temperature causes a decrease in muscle stiffness. This can be environmental temperature or temperature increases induced by friction of muscle contraction. We therefore tend to be less stiff around 2.00 in the afternoon.

An increase in intramuscular fluid (fluid in the muscle cell) may increase stiffness due to a splinting effect. This is the proposed reason why use of creatine monohydrate tends to make muscles feel stiffer.


What are the benefits of stretching?

• Stretching exercise improves range of motion at joint.
• Stretching exercise at joints avoids muscular imbalances created by daily activities or exercise.
• Stretching exercise facilitates neuromuscular co-ordination.
• Stretching exercise improves blood supply and nutrient to joint structure.
• Studies have shown that nerve impulse velocity is enhanced with dynamic flexibility training.
• Stretching exercise reduces muscular tension.
• Improved range of motion at hip joint decreases risk of lower back problem.