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Why is Flexibility Important for Men?

written by: Cheryl Gabbert • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 7/30/2009

Sometimes men tend to overlook the importance of flexibility. Men are sometimes more concerned with building strength, but aren't worried about flexibility. This practice can be detrimental to your fitness level and can hamper your overall athletic ability.

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    Why Is Flexibility Important?

    If you're asking the question, "Why is flexibility important for men?", there are several reasons. Men may think that strength training and cardio are the only areas of fitness that need concentration. This commonly held belief is not true. Building muscle without flexibility sets you up for the risk of injury. Muscles that are worked without being properly stretched become tight and shortened. Men who lift heavy weights but avoid flexibility training are much more likely to pull or tear a muscle during sporting events, work, or even daily activities. Men are less likely to be naturally flexible, so flexibility is even more important for men.

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    Better Athletic Performance

    In addition to an increased risk of injuries, flexibility increases a man's range of motion at all ages and fitness levels. If you're an athlete, this can mean a better reach in sports. You'll be more likely to make that tackle or grab that basketball if you're flexible. Athletes should perform stretching exercises that are specific to the sport he is involved in for best athletic performance. This will also ensure the lowest risk of muscle straining injury. For example, the baseball pitcher should concentrate on his pitching arm, while runners should work on the range of motion in the legs. Overall stretches are important, but sports specific stretches are imperative.

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    Can You Be Too Flexible?

    Too much flexibility is actually as detrimental to athletic performance as not enough flexibility. For most men, this is not a problem. Men tend to be less flexible, although some men may be naturally very flexible. These men can suffer injuries too. Joints are more likely to become dislocated when there is too much flexibility in the surrounding muscle tissue. As in most things, balance is key to optimal athletic performance and injury prevention. Flexibility exercises should be done immediately following strength training, as well as cardio. Never perform any flexibility exercises until your muscles are warmed up. A warm up should consist of walking or moving to get the circulation going and the muscles warmed. Flexibility exercises done before warming up could result in pulled/strained muscle injuries.