Definitive guide to flexibility series

Range of motion is a necessary element for human movement. It is a principal element of assessment for health professionals working with musculoskeletal injuries or in rehabilitation or high performance settings. Yet the relationship between range of motion and flexibility is vague at best. We know we need a certain amount of flexibility, but how much is enough?

Flexibility is one of the most contentious issues in sports medicine. The topic creates massive discrepancies in opinions about its role in athletic performance or rehabilitation settings and there appears to be no apparent consensus. The reality is that reviewing and appraising the literature surrounding flexibility or stretching highlights a vast array of differing conclusions leading to much confusion and potentially misinformed beliefs about its effect and role.

The purpose of this series is to discuss these topics including a more complete understanding of flexibility as a biomotor ability, explore the variables relevant to stretching and highlight the potential effects beyond the musculoskeletal system. By unraveling the body of research surrounding this topic we aim to bridge the application of research to clinical settings in addition to provide practical guidelines to help inform clinicians and athletes of the potential benefits of flexibility training. We hope that with this information you will be able to not only better understand this area but also enhance your clinical skills.