Flexibility and mobility are aspects of training that can often be neglected. Being flexible has a lot of benefits, especially for combat athletes. It is best to begin by understanding what happens when you stretch.
There are three key points that peopleassumeare responsible for increasing the Range of Motion (ROM) in a joint by stretching:
Viscoelasticity:Simply said, the more elastic a muscle is, the more and further you can stretch it.
Neural stretch tolerance:The more you stretch, the more your nervous system will allow you to stretch further.
Muscle length:The more and further you stretch, the longer a muscle will become. The longer the muscle, thus a bigger ROM can be achieved.
But are they right? Points 1 and 3 are often misconceived. You can’t increase the length of a muscle. You can increase the length of the muscle fascicle slightly, but that’s it.