1150 Parker Square Rd, Flower Mound, Texas 75028

Which is more important: Strength or Flexibility?

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Are you a stretcher, Dear Reader?

 

Like, do you take time each day to improve your flexibility?

 

I watch our daughter at gymnastics and they spend about twenty percent of every practice going through a variety of stretches for upper body, lower body, getting their back ready to move, opening up their hips and generally prepping their entire body for the rest of the day's practice. 

 

We all know that gymnasts are flexible -- but, how often do we forget how STRONG they are? They're able to do amazing physical feats because of their powerful combination of strength AND flexibility through a broad range of motion.

 

It's what I like to call the Goldilocks Balance (not too much, not too little, but just right) of muscular strength and joint flexibility that allows us to move confidently and smoothly through daily life. We need that balance to be able to get down and up off the floor to play with our kids and grandkids. We need that balance to be able to catch ourselves when we stumble while walking on an uneven surface. 

 

I think of my dad, who pretty much spent the last 30 years of his life sitting in a chair. When he came to visit me and hung out on the steps of our pool for a while, he struggled to climb back out. He had lost so much strength in his legs, and add that to the transition from near weightlessness in the pool to being out of the pool, with a tall step up...well...he needed help. 

 

And my mom who was terminally ill, but still able to live independently - until we went on a family vacation and she chose to utilize a wheelchair rather than slow us down while walking. Those few days in a wheelchair led to an immediate need for at-home caregivers once we returned. She was no longer strong enough to manage her own mobility. 

 

Or my grandmother who wanted to have an easier time getting out of her chair, so she bought one of those motorized chairs that boost you to a standing position. A couple of months with that chair and she literally couldn't stand up on her own out of any other chair.

 

Strength is undoubtedly important. ...And who doesn't get a kick out of bringing in ALL the bags of groceries in one trip?

 

And on the flip side is flexibility: think of the bodybuilder stereotype who is super strong, but they're so inflexible, they can't wipe themselves on the toilet. (I don't know anyone like this, but we've all heard the stories!) 

 

Poor flexibility leads to poor posture, which leads to chronic pain. For example, tight hamstrings can pull the pelvis into a poor position which leads to chronic back pain. A poor range of motion (ROM) when lifting weights will restrict strength gains to only the ROM used consistently. In turn, that will lead to an inability to use the entire ROM, which leads to chronic tightness, poor posture, and makes a person more prone to injuries like strains and sprains. 

 

So, obviously, flexibility is important too.

 

Our Personal Training program promotes building strength through your capable range of motion. We do this by:

  • Moving weight through a full range of motion
  • Avoiding half-reps or partial reps (although partial reps may be incorporated strategically)
  • Avoiding "kipping" as much as possible
  • Stabilizing the body in each movement (using core strength when appropriate)
  • Gradually increasing the amount of weight lifted as proficiency dictates

However, as we age, this steps may not be enough to maintain a healthy, pain-free range of motion in our bodies. Ideally, we want to maintain or improve our strength while also maintaining or improving our functional range of motion. I see this as a key component of mobility.

 

According to Harvard Health, mobility is defined as "your ability to move purposefully as you go through life. It is the foundation for living a healthy and independent life. Mobility comprises all the skills required for everyday living: physical stamina, strength, balance, coordination, and range of motion." 

The addition of the Serious Results Stretch Program will:

  • Reduce muscular and joint discomfort
  • Speed up muscle recovery
  • Improve mood
  • Reduce stress
  • Reduce risk of injury
  • Enhance blood circulation
  • Improve balance
  • Improve mobility

I truly believe that neither strength nor flexibility are more important than the other. They are two equally important aspects of a truly active and fulfilling lifestyle. And we're working constantly to bring these improvements to the lives of our clients and ourselves. 

 

If you'd like to improve your lifestyle - start by talking with us about how we can help you improve your stamina, strength, balance, coordination, and range of motion. Book a consultation HERE.

 

We're conveniently located in Flower Mound, Texas, and proudly serve our neighbors in Highland Village, Argyle, Double Oak, Copper Canyon, Coppell, Lewisville, Lantana, Bartonville, and other nearby areas. If you want expert guidance in exercise, nutrition, and mindset, but don't live in one of these areas, then set up a call with us to talk about our remote options.

Show up. Communicate. Trust the process.

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