Strength or Length? Which Is More Important To Develop & Improve Functional Movement?
They are both important and balance is best. If you only have time to focus on one during a workout – choose strength. Work the body with strength-building exercises through a full-range of motion and you’ll develop functional strength and improve joint range of motion.
If you have very tight muscles and want the benefits of a good stretch – focus on strengthening the opposing muscles to give you maximum benefits for improving functional movement, strength, and flexibility.
Here Are A Few Examples of Ways To Use Strength Training Exercises to Develop Both Strength & Flexibility:
- Chest tight – strengthen the Upper Back muscles
- Hip Flexors tight – strengthen Hip Extensors
- Outer Thighs tight – strengthen the Inner Thigh muscles
- Lower back tight – strengthen the Abs (especially Oblique’s)
As the oppositional muscles get stronger for support, the tight muscles you want to be stretching will begin to release. With improved strength of the opposing muscles, you will gain strength AND length!
Just stretching without a focus on strength, and your body cannot develop the muscle support needed to maintain your new flexibility!
For better body posture, improving functional movement, and great whole-body health – STRENGTH, is more functional for a healthy life than becoming hyper-flexible like Gumby!
Posture awareness is an important part of developing good functional movement habits. We’ve got to be able to sit and stand well with the right muscles working to use the right muscles when we move!
Discover more about what you can do to become aware of your seated & standing posture habits, check out “Posture Principles for Health.”