Flexibility training aims to improve the range of motion/movement of joints. Flexibility is always joint specific and whole body programs are needed in order to improve an athlete’s whole body flexibility. There are many different types of flexibility training some of which were covered in Factors Affecting Performance, How does training affect performance?, types of training and training methods, flexibility training. For some reason Improving Performance does not list PNF stretching, though it is listed in Factors Affecting Performance. Once again, Improving Performance has turned a dash point into a dot point, so more depth of understanding is required.
The syllabus content is:
Students learn about:
Students learn to:
- analyse TWO of the training types by drawing on current and reliable sources of information to:
- examine the types of training methods and how they best suit specific performance requirements
- design a training program
- describe how training adaptations can be measured and monitored
- identify safe and potentially harmful training procedures.
Design a flexibility training program
Flexibility programs should cover all joints to ensure whole body flexibility is developed. Flexibility programs can utilise each of the many different methods of flexibility training. Stretching should be done every day if possible (3 minimum), with no long rest periods required. A flexibility program may have an athlete completing dynamic stretches during his other training programs as part of their warm-up or cool-down. It may also incorporate activities such as yoga, tai chi, or pilates. Stretching routines can be performed first thing in the morning, or last thing at night before bed. The important thing to remember with flexibility training, is to encourage variety in exercise, joint focus, and stretch type.
How flexibility training adaptations are measured
The adaptation that occurs in response to flexibility training is an increase in joint range of motion or increase in flexibility. Joint range of motion is measured in various ways depending on the joint being measured. A sit-and-reach test, which is very common for measuring flexibility, only measures the range of motion at the hip and vertebrae. It specifically stretches the hamstrings and gastrocnemius muscles. Such a measure does not indicate the athlete’s flexibility at the shoulder, wrist, ankle or knee.
Safety in flexibility training
Safety issues in flexibility training are not large. As long as stretching is done correctly, not moving past the point of discomfort into pain, for example, an injury is unlikely. The safest types of stretching include: static stretching, dynamic stretching and PNF stretching. Ballistic stretching can cause injury, because as the athlete bounces they may move into painful areas of stretching. It is important in training to ensure you stretch all muscles around a joint to avoid imbalances. Stretching should be performed after an adequate warm-up of the muscle to help prevent injury. Excessive flexibility may also cause joint weakness, making the athlete more prone to injury.
Past HSC PDHPE exam questions
Since the update to the HSC PDHPDE syllabus in 2010, there have been no questions relating to this dot point.