Flexibility is the most neglected fitness component, yet arguably the most important.
Flexibility has a direct impact on:
- muscle recruitment and force;
- joint mobility and stability;
- posture and alignment;
- proper movement patterns.
A healthy body is a flexible body. Weight training and cardiovascular training are vital to good health, but when flexibility is neglected, stiffness, pain, injuries and overtraining can occur. Flexibility compliments the other fitness components by keeping the body limber to move freely during exercise and every day movements.
The goal for everyone, athletes and dancers, young and older populations, should be to achieve optimum flexibility.
Achieving optimum flexibility
Optimum flexibility is a combination of active, passive and dynamic flexibility. Which means the body is equally flexible while moving or holding a position (using the muscles of the body, gravity or the weight of the limbs). Optimum flexibility is achieved through flexibility training.
Flexibility training is a combination of:
- stretching techniques (active, dynamic and passive)
- core strength
- balance work
- Breathing techniques
- Kinesthetic awareness
The Extensa method is a flexibility training method. It was created to be accessible to all demographics as well as be effective and fun. Three programs were created under the Extensa banner to form the Extensa method. Each program achieves optimum flexibility through specialized training depending on demographic, fitness level, interests and learning preferences.
The three specialized programs are:
- Extensa Fitness: a full body flexibility class that follows a traditional group fitness format. It is the main flexibility program and is taught in gyms, recreation centres and mind body studios. Extensa Fitness caters to all levels of fitness.
- Extensa Flow: a full body flexibility class that follows a traditional dance based format. Flexibility is achieved using dance technique and choreographed sequences to music.
- Extensa Performance: a sports specific flexibility program. Flexibility is achieved based on athletic goals. Every sport has different flexibility needs.