A comprehensive program of foundation movements, designed to replicate at least an average range of motion for all the joints of the body, whenever possible to provide the ROM necessary for the individual’s occupation/activities. And slow progressive use of stretching exercises to increase/maintain ROM. This can include myofascial release techniques, yoga, Pilates, aquatic exercise, static stretching, etc. Variety isn’t just the spice of life, it is a sound principle for maintaining healthy body and mind.
WOW! That is a lot of great advice you have been given thus far. I just want to offer a couple more pieces to help.
No matter the technique you chose to gain flexibility, proper alignment is a MUST. Just because something looks like a great stretch doesn’t mean it is, if parts aren’t in there correct places. With that being said, remember that stretching is really all about increasing the distance of the origin from the insertion of the muscle.
My second piece is about a having a system. When we talk flexibility, there are many ways to improve one’s range of motion. What I think is most important when dealing with clients is have a system. What I use looks something like this:
1.epsom salt bath–least invasive; helps remove toxins
2.heat pad–easy to perform; passive
3.foam roll–trigger point therapy
4.stretch– active isolated, pnf, static
5.integrative strength–re-introduce muscle to correct movement patterns
Flexibility isn’t typically something that people list high on their goals, although it should be. When I put programs together for people, I keep in mind two important factors 1. pain tolerance 2. willingness.
hope this helps,
Great answers. The research definitely suggests that are many different types of stretching exercises that can improve ROM about a given joint.
Joanne describes the 4 most commmonly used types. Yoga, Pilates, etc. employ one of more of these fout types.
One point the research clearly supports is that to improve ROM, stretch following a cardiovascular or strenght workout when the tempurature in the area of the targeted connective tissues will be slightly elevated.