The human body is impressive. There is no better display of this than elite athletes dominating year after year in world-class competitions, or dancers performing in a beautiful ballet like Swan Lake or Cirque Du Soleil. Some of these people are so flexible, it seems like they’re made of rubber.
Meanwhile, other people can’t extend their legs and touch the tips of their toes. Why are some people so limber while others can barely stretch a couple of inches?
What Is Flexibility?
Flexibility refers to a person’s range of motion involving the joints and muscles. It’s essential to carry out daily activities, such as getting out of bed, walking, and bending down to tie your shoes. The more a person moves, the greater is his or her flexibility. By the same token, a sedentary lifestyle often results in diminished flexibility.
Why Are Some People More Flexible Than Others?
There are many factors that influence one’s flexibility. Among them are the following:
1. Gender: Women’s bodies are designed to give birth. This allows the female anatomy to expand easier, especially around the hips.
3. Muscle Elasticity: Muscle elasticity refers to muscles and tendons working together allowing the body to stretch and return to its original state during and after activity. This is something that can be achieved through stretching exercises.
4. Age: As we age, we naturally lose some of our muscle elasticity. However, there are things we can do to remain limber with the passage of time. In fact, flexibility is one of the main factors which allows a person to remain independent as they age. Stretching exercises, strength training, yoga, and tai chi are good examples of activities that assist in retaining flexibility.
5. Anatomy: Every joint in the human body has a different structure. Ball-and-socket joints (such as hips and shoulders), allow us to move our limbs in different directions. Some people have different joint structures, such as a longer or shorter femoral neck or depth of a hip socket. This has an effect on range of motion.
What Are the Characteristics of Flexible People?
People who are physically flexible typically present the following characteristics:
- Active lifestyle
- Lean body
- Full range of motion of joints
- Muscular strength
- Cardiovascular endurance (stamina). This can only be achieved through regular physical exercise.
- Generally, the person is young or relatively young
How to Become More Flexible
As previously mentioned, you can become more flexible by incorporating regular exercise into your lifestyle. In addition to stretching exercises and strength training, joint mobility exercises will increase flexibility and reduce the chance of injury when playing sports or participating in high-intensity workouts.
Request an Appointment at The Orthopedic Clinic Today
If a lack of flexibility or any other issue is preventing you from living your life in full motion, let us help you.
At The Orthopedic Clinic, we’ll individualize a treatment plan for your specific needs to provide you with the best care possible.
Call us at (386) 255-4596 to schedule an appointment.