The Relationship Between Strength And Flexibility

The Relationship Between Strength And Flexibility

Andy McGlynn

Mobility and flexibility can often be overlooked by coaches within a strength and conditioning program. Instead, generic warm-ups on cardiovascular machines or body weight warm-ups including some stretches are often favoured. There’s very little emphasis put on flexibility or mobility as a separate component or session.

Here’s a look into the relationship between strength and flexibility, and why it’s not something that should be overlooked by personal trainers:

Strength and Flexibility Benefits

Stretching has, for a long time, been believed to be the most effective form of increasing flexibility and mobility. Not only this, but it’s often thought that stretches can help to prevent injury also. Stretching can be incorporated into training sessions either within a warm-up for a strength or a skill based session or as a separate session.

women stretching in gym class

There are various types of stretching techniques used by personal trainers, including: static, dynamic, assisted and PNF. Following alongside the research it is important to consider the type of athlete when deciding on the format of the flexibility component. Static stretching has shown to improve Range of Motion; however, studies show that it actually has a detrimental effect on the power and strength that a muscle can generate.

Dynamic Stretching

group stretches

Dynamic stretching has been shown to be just as effective as static stretching to improve range of motion. However, unlike static stretching, dynamic stretching has been shown to improve strength and power output, as well as jumping and running performance.

In many ways dynamic stretching is often more sport specific. In this sense, it can be made functional to the demands of a particular sport or position and can mirror the specific positions required during the session. When learning to be a personal trainer, you'll understand resistance exercises have also been shown to increase the range of motion. But to develop this; an athlete should carry out exercises that concentrate on both the agonist and antagonist. 

Strength And Flexibility Workouts

An aspect of flexibility should be included within a strength program either as standalone sessions or incorporated in the sessions themselves. A strength and flexibility workouts program is an important aspect of improving performance in athletes.

yoga mat showing the importance of strength and flexibility

Typical strength and flexibility workouts include yoga, which is found to be extremely beneficial for athletes. These kinds of exercises can be undertaken after a week of high performance sessions, which can sometimes take its toll on the muscles. Strength and flexibility workouts through yoga can help to relax the body and mind, perfect for training athletes or those who frequently take part in high-impact sports.

The amount or the importance of flexibility as a component would need to be reviewed on a case by case basis. With special attention to the current movement, performance, and sport of each individual. A strength coach would then need to review the evidence and make a judgement based on the information that they find.

If you have any questions relating to flexibility or strength training, or indeed on any of the courses we offer, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.