More Flexibility does not Mean more Stability


Being a muscle specialist, I have been introduced to many different modalities that all aim to increase ROM and flexibility. While having more ROM and flexibility may be a great accomplishment there are few modalities that have a goal of more stability. Having increased ROM does not mean that you have increased stability.

For example, stretching the hamstrings is usually done with a passive motion to elongate the muscle tendon so that with each hold the muscle will continuously stretch in to a further position. The position is usually limited by the ROM of the joint or tissue that restricts the motion.

Many people try and go past the joint structure if they feel they can achieve more of a stretch. Yes, you can increase your flexibility and ROM with a passive stretch routine however, with each stretch you just opened a ROM that your body is not used to and may have been past a point at which that muscle can contract.What this means is that if you do an exercise with the new ROM that your body is not normally in, you are asking the body to stabilize itself in this new range.

For some people, it is not that big of an issue but for some it can cause injury and soreness that is more extreme than normal exercise induced pain. Why, because the stretched muscle cannot contract in the new range to support and stabilize that joint.In no way am I speaking negative on other modalities, I believe that every modality such as PNF, ART, massage have their place but at some point, if you want to have better gains, less injuries and keep your range of motion you will have to address stability along with flexibility. One way is to find a muscle activation technique specialist in your area.

This specialist will be able to help your muscles contract in extreme ranges that support your joint ROM. So, when you do an overhead press you will be stable from front to back and side to side while doing the exercise. This will decrease the chance of muscle imbalances and involving muscles that are not supposed to be engaged during that exercise.

About the Author

This article was written by Maurice Harden, Owner of Dynamic Fitness & Medical Training. Maurice Harden is a ten-year military veteran who was also trained under the new Army Physical Fitness Program. He is the first and only MAT specialist in the Tampa bay area who graduated from the Master’s Degree program focused on muscle activation techniques. He also holds a Bachelors in Health & Wellness, and an Associates in Pre-Physical Therapy. His licenses and certification include: Certified Muscle Activation Technique specialist (MATs), Certified MAT jumpstart trainer ( MATj), Medical exercise specialist (MES). ACT – personal Trainer. Maurice has also taken all three resistance training specialist courses to become certified. Maurice Harden has over ten years of experience as a certified nursing assistant and patient care technician working in the medical Industry with various types of patients, ranging from severely obese to post surgery.