Regardless of your fitness goals, the key to long lasting effective results is building a strong foundation and progressing your training correctly to ensure correct movement patterns and reduce injury. Flexibility training has become recognized as an important way to help aid in preventing and treating various injuries.
Flexibility is the ability to move a joint through its complete range of motion. Many factors can influence ones flexibility, including joint structure, lifestyle, activity level, body composition etc. If the kinetic chain of movement is misaligned, or not functioning correctly, it can result in postural distortion patterns of muscle imbalances.
Unfortunately due to today's sedentary lifestyle many people are effected by postural imbalances. These imbalances often effect ones level of flexibility which leads to the development of relative flexibility. This is where your body finds the path of least resistance during functional movement patterns, and uses other muscles to compensate for poor flexibility in order to perform a movement. If not corrected, these improper movements will ultimately result in injury.
In addition to our sedentary lifestyle forcing us into poor posture, muscular imbalances are also prevalent in athletes due to pattern overload. Pattern overload is consistently repeating the same movement, such as long distance running, cycling and baseball pitching. Over time, these repetitive movements place abnormal stress on the body. Even regular gym goers may be affected by pattern overload by training the same routine repetitively and often using machines incorrectly.
What can you do?
Muscle imbalances need to be addressed through a flexibility training program to help restore the normal extensibility of the entire soft tissue complex and prevent injury so your training can continue.
Functional flexibility training uses dynamic movements which require integrated, multiplanar movements performed with ultimate control, without any compensations. On land, functional flexibility cannot be performed unless the individual can perform movements with adequate control. Individuals who struggle to maintain control must start with corrective or active flexibility techniques.
Training in the water however, assists in maintaining control and allows athletes to use functional flexibility training techniques to correct their imbalances and improve flexibility. The Aquastrength training system provides assistance for upper and lower body motions. Buoyancy is able to help enhance flexibility of tight and imbalanced muscle groups. This allows for improved range of motion with less discomfort than if attempted on land. Water reduces the effects of both gravity and momentum, by reducing these compressive forces as well as slowing our bodies' movements, people have improved feedback which works to improve posture, coordination and balance.
Don't let muscle imbalances stand in the way of your success. Check out Aquastrength's range of products and programs here.