Calorie and Energy Expenditure Information
Body Flexibility Improves Physical Fitness
How to Measure Flexibility - Sit-and-Reach Test - Touch Toes - How to Improve
Flexibility in Joints, Muscles, Tendons, Ligaments, Upper and Lower Body
Importance of Warm-Ups, Cool-downs and Stretching to Extend Muscles and Joints
Flexibility and Physical Fitness

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Body Flexibility for Physical Fitness

Flexibility and Physical Fitness

What is Body Flexibility?

The fourth basic component of physical fitness, body flexibility is the range of motion around a joint. Meaning, the body's ability to move joints throughout their full range of motion, thus increasing muscle-usage and overall physical mobility. Suppleness and flexibility in the joints can help reduce injuries in all types of exercises, and enhances balance and physical cordination.

How to Measure Your Flexibility?

Sit-and-Reach Test
Sit on the floor in an upright position with your legs stretched out in front of you. Stretch your arms in front of you and reach forward towards your toes. The closer you get to your toes, the more flexible your body. This is a good measure of the flexibility of the lower back, and backs of the upper legs.

Touch-Your-Toes Test
Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at the waist, reaching towards the floor without bending your knees. See how close you can get to your toes.

Shoulder-Flexibility Test
Take your right arm and reach down your back as far as possible. Reach your left hand up your back and try to touch your right hand.

How to Improve Your Flexibility?

To improve your flexibility, choose exercises that lengthen the muscles such as swimming, selected calisthenics or a basic stretching workout. Alternatively, consider joining specialist classes on Yoga or Pilates.

Warming-Up and Cooling Down

Flexibility can also be improved with stretching exercises during regular warm-ups and cool-downs when starting and ending an exercise program. See Warm-Ups

Sources include:
- President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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