When talking about weight training, we've encountered quite a number of myths. Whether it’s the ‘bulky muscles’ myth, ‘stunted growth’ myth or one of the most popular myths, the ‘decreased flexibility’ myth, once you start reading about strength training and weights, you’ll run into a lot of do’s and don’ts.
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It may be hard to wrap your mind around this but weight lifting, when properly done, actually increases flexibility. Based on how you train you can either considerably diminish flexibility or increase it. The term ‘muscle-bound’ comes to mind of every non weight lifter that encountered pictures of robot like men or women. The term is used to describe a person whose own muscles prevent him or her from doing the most basic tasks. Of course, there are people, who fit into this stereotypical box but we’re talking about a few exceptions. The majority of weight lifters, especially professional ones, engage in a type of weight training program that strengthens and lengthens the muscles.
Also, when talking about flexibility, keep in mind that more is not always better. Unless you’re a professional athlete or dancer you should never try to increase flexibility beyond the conventional range of the joint. Doing so stretches connective tissue beyond its normal state and as a result it weakens the joint making it much more prone to injury. Our muscles are like rubber bands. So, if they are overstretched and then subjected to a load they are more likely to tear as a result of their overly starched state. This is why a natural level of muscle stiffness has to be maintained for optimal athletic performance.
A study conducted by the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks shows that strength training exercises actually improved flexibility in participants using a full range of motion. This means that if you’re cutting your repetitions short, you will lose your flexibility to some degree. So, as already stated, it’s important to keep an eye on posture and technique. The best thing to do is seek out professional advice and guidance.
Come to our studio in Aberdeen, Southside Hong Kong and meet up with our professional trainers who will explain and guide you through your weightlifting program.