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Flexibility > Introduction

The quest for improved football performance and injury prevention is incomplete without incorporating a dedicated approach to flexibility . Failing to appreciate the importance of this qualitiy can undo all of the benefits achieved with other types of conditioning and increase the chance of injury while reducing movement efficiency and effectiveness.

Flexibility refers to the ability to move a joint and the surrounding muscles through a full range of motion
Flexibility is critical in football because of the joint stress associated with dynamic multi-joint movements. Lack of range of movement can lead to injury and a reduction in speed, agility, strength and endurance potential. It can also limit your individual skills.

Certain approaches to stretching will dictate the outcome - if you wish to increase your range of movement on a permanent basis, you need to include regular sessions in your programme. The main principle during these session is that you must hold each stretch for a long period of time and during a dedicated session i.e. not as a pre-workout stretch. Conversely, if you are preparing for a game or training session, your approach is elastic elongation - these stretches promote temporary muscle should be held for less time i.e. 10 seconds, so that the muscle does not become too loose before training, which is a hazard.

Visit the Football Fitfiles for Flexibility drills
A warm-up period is important prior to any fitness or skills session. The warm-up raises the body temperature by circulating blood to the working muscles providing oxygen and fuel to prepare for more strenuous exercise.