Flexibility training for everyone

Regina Veach, club member, assumes the seated back bend of Fusion One.

Whether in the world of sports or everyday living, the ability to move the various parts of the body freely and completely is quite important. Without a reasonable degree of flexibility, the body would perform its movements quite inefficiently. It would also experience much soreness and injury. You should not underestimate the significance of flexibility.

Although flexibility training provides many benefits, a benefit that is welcome by many people is the positive effect that this type of training offers those with lower back problems. To prevent or manage low-back pain, stretching (flexibility) exercises should be performed regularly.

As you attempt to increase your flexibility, you should keep in mind that a purpose of flexibility training is to stretch the major muscle groups and joints of the body. In addition, when establishing your flexibility routine, make use of a system. You could, for instance, start at your head and work your way down to the feet. Using this or some other format will help you remember the exercises and prevent you from missing important parts of the body that should be exercised.

As to the frequency of your flexibility training, try to exercise at least three days per week. If your exercises (flexibility routine) are simple and easy enough to perform, you could, very well, do them every day of the week. If your routine is strenuous, you should select one or two rest days when no exercises or non-strenuous ones only are done. Rest and relaxation periods may also be added throughout each session.

Visualization (creating a mental image of something real or imagined) is an important element that may be used to enhance your flexibility improvement efforts. The idea is to see in your mind’s eye the exercise you are performing. Viewing the exercise in such a manner will help you perform it correctly and facilitate some degree of relaxation, especially when the exercise is held for an extended period of time and deep, slow, rhythmic breathing are made use of.

Some people find that taking a warm bath or shower just before stretching, makes the body more responsive to the exercises. In addition, using relaxation and proper breathing techniques while stretching seem to increase the positive effects of most flexibility exercises.

When performing flexibility exercises, you should avoid rapid, “bouncy” or jerky movements. The exercises should be done slowly and each should be held from 15 to 30 seconds. In addition, you should not confine your selection of flexibility exercises to those common and familiar ones. Seek exercises from other sources such as ballet, gymnastics, Fusion One, yoga, etc.

The Fusion One program offers a wide range of simple, safe and effective flexibility exercises. Many of the seated ones may be done while at home or even at work. Using the Fusion One system, you are able to select and perform exercises from three levels ... a low (floor) level, a middle (chair) level and a high (standing) level. Using this system of levels will permit you to select exercises that suit your capabilities.

Ongoing Fusion One classes are offered at the Cultural Center. To join any of these classes, visit the Center at 2280 Aaron St., Port Charlotte, or call 941-625-4175, ext. 223.

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