Sunday, June 24, 2012

Resistance Training to Improve Flexibility

One of the many fallacies about strength training is that it will decrease one's flexibility. I was happy to see the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research [25(12)/3391-3398] refute this ideology at the University of North Dakota.  Researchers measured static stretching at various points (hamstrings, shoulders, etc...) and compared it to a group that solely performed strength training.  The results of this preliminary study suggested that full-range resistance training regimens can improve flexibility as well as the static stretching programs.  Take-home point: do not fear that strength training will reduce your flexibility.  Exercises like the above (2-arm/1-leg Kettlebell Stiff-Legged Deadlifts) are an outstanding way to improve glute (minimus and maximus) and hip strength.  Additionally, it's a great way to improve balance and work on grip endurance.

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