When people think of exercising, the first thing that comes to one's mind is strength. Then we have the shape of the body, elasticity, stamina, endurance, flexibility. As mentioned, there is also flexibility, something that might not seem to be as important as muscles and fat reduction, but, it actually is so important that no training session should be done without some time spent for stretching.
Muscles, tendons, ligaments…
These are all types of tissue in the body that should be flexible. So, what should be known about flexibility secrets? First of all, women are generally more flexible and more elastic than men. Some experts explain this with the fact that women have less muscle mass, so there are problems when performing some motions (muscle mass not allowing a complete motion). This is especially evident with ligaments and tendons in joints (wrists, for example). In aikido, certain techniques are not so easily applicable on women; they simply can extend joint more than men. In judo, there are specific exercises that target neck only for strengthening muscles in that area and making it more flexible and stretched.
Why is flexibility important? Well, when exercising, muscles are put under a lot of tension, and if not flexible enough, strains and spasms might occur. Sometimes, muscle fibers can tear, which is injury treated almost as a broken bone. To avoid all this, muscles have to be flexible, but this also goes for the entire body. When it comes to wrists, there are simple exercises that can increase the flexibility of joints. For example, the entire palm should be pressed towards the forearm. Other arm’s hand should help in this process, too, and the palm should be pushed for as long as a person can withstand the pain.
Also, abdominal muscles should be flexible. This might not be so easy, because most of the exercises regarding the abdominal area are based on flexing, which simply shortens the muscles. To avoid this, the back should be stretched before and after performing abdominal exercises. There is also an exercise great for this situation, although it is not done easily. It is inverse push-up position. The body is propped on hands and feet, but this time, the back is facing down while the stomach is looking up. It is not easy entering this position in a first place, but it can be done. So, it is obvious that beside strength and shape, there are some other features of the body that should not be neglected.