The Body’s Flexibility and ROM - Research paper over flexibility

During this week’s lab testing’s we examined the participant’s mobility and proprioception via three different tests. There was the overhead squat test, the stork test, and the modified sit and reach test. My personal results for each were: classification A for overhead squat, meaning that I was able to get the broomstick in the correct position over the mid-foot and maintain balance all the way down; in the stork test I held the position for fifteen seconds with my left foot and fifty-four seconds for my right foot leaving me with an average of 34.5 sec and in the good category; in the modified sit and reach test I performed up to forty centimeters thus placing me into the thirty percentile. Flexibility, mobility, and proprioception are highly exaulted in the fitness industry, and it is seen by the boost of yoga and palates. The question arises how important is flexibility, mobility, and proprioception? Can flexibility determine athleticism or injury possibility? If it is important how can flexibility be improved, and when should it be practiced.
www.mobilitywod.com - i use it
            For starters it is important to know what some of the terms are. According to Lephart, SM et al. (1998), proprioception and accompanying neuromuscular feedback mechanisms provide an important component for the establishment and maintenance of functional joint stability. Neuromuscular control and joint stabilization is mediated primarily by the central nervous system. The culmination of gathered and processed information results in conscious awareness of joint position and motion, unconscious joint stabilization through protective spinal-mediated reflexes and the maintenance of posture and balance. According to the research of Batson, Glenna(2009), as the science of proprioception changes, approaches to proprioceptive training also change. Thus, proprioceptive training in medicine has expanded to include balance protocols. The way to prevent lower extremity injuries is a form of training called perturbation. Perturbation training is designed to evoke focal neuromuscular control at injured joint sites, as well as more global postural responses for overall balance and coordination. Specific practices from rehabilitation that integrate balance exercises into proprioceptive training are considered.

For increases in Mobility a study was conducted by J.G. Godges et al. (1992), and the results showed how to increase mobility in the hip. The analysis of variation on right and left hip extension range of motion (ROM) revealed a significant interaction. Analyses of simple main effects showed that 3 weeks (six sessions) of passive hip extension stretching significantly improved right hip extension ROM and left hip extension ROM. There also was a significant interaction for trunk flexor muscle performance. The analysis of simple main effects revealed that 3 weeks of daily trunk flexor exercises significantly improved trunk flexor muscle performance.
Knowing how to increase a person’s ROM the question arises of how important is it to injury prevention? Research conducted by Fong, Chu-man et al. (2011), suggests that greater ROM can prevent injuries in the knee upon landing and contact. A smaller amount of ankle-dorsiflexion displacement during landing is associated with less knee-flexion displacement and greater ground reaction forces, and greater ground reaction forces are associated with greater knee-valgus displacement. Additionally, restricted dorsiflexion range of motion is associated with greater knee-valgus displacement during landing and squatting tasks. Because large ground reaction forces and valgus displacement and limited knee-flexion displacement during landing are anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury risk factors, dorsiflexion ROM restrictions may be associated with a greater risk of ACL injury. Landing biomechanics were assessed via an optical motion-capture system interfaced with a force plate. Knee-flexion and knee-valgus displacements and vertical and posterior ground reaction forces were calculated during the landing task. Greater dorsiflexion ROM was associated with greater knee-flexion displacement and smaller ground reaction forces during landing, thus inducing a landing posture consistent with reduced ACL injury risk and limiting the forces the lower extremity must absorb. These findings suggest that a restricted ROM can lead to increased injury in certain areas.
In sports with high knee and ankle injuries, such as football or soccer, the findings of these articles can greatly benefit the athlete. By using the tests as stated at the beginning of this paper, mobility and proprioception can be evaluated. Participating in perturbation training and passive stretching ROM can increase, and along with that stability also.
Therefore increasing mobility is important for the athletes performance. According to research conducted by Woods, Krista et al. (2007), the research included here conveys that certain techniques and protocols have shown a positive outcome on deterring injuries. As a result, a warm-up and stretching protocol should be implemented prior to physical activity. The routine should allow the stretching protocol to occur within the 15 minutes immediately prior to the activity in order to receive the most benefit. Static stretching should be conducted after a warm up of dynamic lifting is done. It shows that static stretching alone without proper warm up does not increase ROM or show significant decrease in injury prevention.
            With the literature showing such great advantages for increased ROM it is important to include improvement practices for any athlete. Doing perturbation training, and passive stretching the proprioception, and mobility will improve considerably. Improvements will lead to an increase in overall ROM and a decrease in possibly injury to specific ligaments and joints during stressful practices. Stretching before any activity can reduce the probable outcome of injury and thus lead to a longer career for the athlete. If you’re not born flexible then get flexible, it’s as simple as that.
Cites sourced:
Batson, Glenna(2009). Update on Proprioception Considerations for Dance Education Retrieved. http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?sid=62ebe390-b4d8-47ae-a4b7-0cabcb58633c%40sessionmgr13&vid=1&hid=8&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=s3h&AN=42518903
Lephart, SM et al. (1998). Proprioception of the ankle and knee. Retrieved. http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?sid=3ebb611c-6ff8-4e24-9a9d-d7fb427a43c6%40sessionmgr114&vid=1&hid=123&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=s3h&AN=SPHS-629313
            J.G. Godges et al. (1992). Effects of Exercise on Hip Range of Motion, Trunk Muscle Performance, and Gait Economy. Retrieved. http://ptjournal.apta.org/content/73/7/468
            Fong, Chu-man et al. (2011) Ankle-Dorsiflexion Range of Motion and Landing Biomechanics. Retrieved. http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?sid=1f820b07-d0cb-4f7d-a722-e635349343c5%40sessionmgr12&vid=1&hid=104&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=s3h&AN=58505590
            Woods, Krista et al. (2007) Warm-Up and Stretching in the Prevention of Muscular Injury. Retrieved. http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail?sid=df61d7be-bf9d-4061-a82f-9d05125427a5%40sessionmgr13&vid=1&hid=104&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZSZzY29wZT1zaXRl#db=s3h&AN=27647011

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

The Accute Effects Of Different Squat Intensities on Vertical Jump Performances
The Accute Effects of Different Squat Intensities On Jump Performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.