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6 Ways to Improve Flexibility, Part 2: Flexibility Evaluation and Assessments

1 Jun 2008

Once you’ve clarified your flexibility goals, you’re ready to take the right start with a flexibility evaluation. These assessments will help you get a good idea of your current overall flexibility and form a good starting point for developing a flexibility program unique to you.

Most fitness specialists can take you through a flexibility evaluation, and if you’re only looking for a flexibility evaluation, you can call your local health club facility and speak with a fitness manager to schedule an appointment with a trainer. If you’re looking for an evaluation and a program tailored to your flexibility goals and health history, you’ll need to work with a fitness professional having extensive experience or additional training in flexibility programming. Be sure to request working with one having an expert knowledge of flexibility.

You can expect a flexibility evaluation to be more specialized than a general fitness assessment. While general fitness tests can provide you with an overall idea of your fitness level assessing cardiovascular fitness, body composition, strength, and other fitness components, a flexibility evaluation takes a more specific approach. A flexibility evaluation will provide you with a good, solid understanding of your body’s pliability—you’ll know the range of motion of your major joints and relative tightness or elasticity of large muscle groups. You may be surprised by some of the results! For example, a common flexibility goal is to reduce lower back stiffness. Oftentimes, lower back stiffness may have little to do with lower back flexibility—your flexibility assessments may suggest tightness in the glutes and hamstrings, which can contribute to an achy, inflexible back. Have an open mind and trust your fitness coach to explain your test results.

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