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Concept 10: Flexibility


Concept 10: Flexibility

Active Assistance
  Muscles are stretched using an assist from an active contraction of the opposing (antagonist) muscle.
Agonist Muscles
  Refers to the muscle group being stretched.
Antagonist Muscles
  In this concept antagonist refers to the muscle group on the opposite side of the limb from the muscle group being stretched (e.g., biceps is antagonist of triceps).
Ballistic Stretch
  Muscles are stretched by the force of momentum of a body part that is bounced, swung, or jerked.
  Looseness or slackness in a normal plane of the muscles and ligaments (soft tissue) surrounding a joint.
  Motion in a joint outside the normal plane for that joint, due to loose ligaments.
  Bands of tissue that connect bones. Unlike muscles and tendons, overstretching ligaments is not desirable.
Muscle-Tendon Unit (MTU)
  The skeletal muscles and the tendons that connect them to bones are often referred to as the muscle tendon unit or MTU. Stretching to improve flexibility is associated with increased length of the MTU.
Passive Assistance
  Stretch imposed on a muscle with the assistance of a force other than the opposing muscle
PNF Exercise (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation)
  A type of static stretch most commonly characterized by a precontraction of the muscle to be stretched and a contraction of the antagonist muscle during the stretch.
Range of Motion (ROM)
  The full motion possible in a joint.
Range of Motion Exercise
  Exercises used to maintain existing joint mobility (to prevent loss of ROM).
Reciprocal Inhibition
  Reflex relaxation in the muscle being stretched during the contraction of the antagonist.
Static Stretch
  A muscle is slowly stretched and then held in that stretched position for several seconds.
  Elasticity, or lack of it , in the muscle-tendon unit.
Stretch Reflex
  Also called the myotatic reflex, the stretch reflex is an automatic reaction of the muscle to excessive stretch to prevent the muscle from becoming overstreched or injured.
Trigger Point
  An especially irritable spot, usually a tight band or knot in a muscle or fascia. This often refers pain to another area of the body.

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