Strength and flexibility are both keys to health – without enough strength, the body cannot perform at its peak, whether that means standing upright all day without pain, or benching 100kgs! Flexibility is critical for easy and pain-free movement – without enough flexibility, our range of motion can be reduced, and our “Pain-free” range of motion might be even smaller. Which, though, is the more important aspect to develop?
Strength and Flexility – it’s balancing act..
It’s a fact that many of our articles that cover one aspect vs another often start out by saying “both matter!”… and that’s true here too – however, to be more exact we can say that it’s the balance of strength and flexibility which is key to obtain. Having high strength might allow you to function under greater physical stress than others – but can you do it pain-free, and how’s that range of motion looking? Similarly being incredibly flexible is not only helpful in an athletic sense but might also help you avoid pain during everyday movement and even dodge and injury – however, without enough strength you can easily become tired, leading to poor posture and more strain.
It’s also important to understand that when we’re discussing strength as it relates to posture and overall health, we’re not primarily thinking of lifting heavy weights in the gym, so much as keeping your body in balance throughout the day, perhaps under load. Similarly, flexibility doesn’t have mean doing the splits with ease or holding your own at a gymnastics meet – rather, we’re thinking of your ability to fully rotate your shoulder without pain, or stretch up to reach objects on a high shelf. Therefore, the kind of strength and flexibility we’re thinking of here isn’t out of reach for anyone – and it doesn’t require hours of training each week – but you do need to understand your personal balance, and how to improve it. Of course, if you are a gymnast or bodybuilder, this balance becomes even more important!
How do I build strength or flexibility
Building strength or flexibility in the core for posture is thankfully quite simple – straightforward strengthening exercises can help develop proper support for your joints and decrease overall postural stress. Incorporating stretches and exercises that focus on flexibility then help your body maintain the ability to move through its full range of motion.
Research has shown that even a small amount of training means:
- When you focus on increasing muscular flexibility, your posture is likely to improve.
- Lifting weights strengthens your back, shoulder, and core muscles, which are all essential to standing with proper posture and preventing lower back pain.
- Stretching your muscles and joints also leads to a greater range of motion, improved balance, and increased flexibility.
So what next? – This is the tricky part – while there are certain tests and drills you can do at home to assess the flexibility and strength of areas of your body – just check out youtube to find tonnes (try some, you might be surprised!) these kinds of drills are really intended to provide a baseline against which we can measure improvements during training. They’re great for this, and we recommend them – however, what these individual tests don’t create is an overall picture of your posture, balance and strength as a whole.
It’s in these kinds of areas which chiropractors have an edge since we assess your body as a whole – even though you may have an issue with one specific area, we consider the body as an interlinked system, understanding that pain or stiffness in one area may really have a source elsewhere. It’s based on this overall assessment that we can recommend personalised exercises, which themselves are nothing especially complicated to address your overall weak spots.
In fact, this is one of the major areas we’re looking at during your chiropractic consultation! (Still just £45 at the time of writing!)
Taking it further
For many people, some basic work to address the balance of flexibility and strength is all it takes to get back up and running as you’d like, or to keep things ticking over well. For those who want to maintain optimal function or work in advance to prevent an issue coming up down the line, we also offer advanced approaches known as Chiropractic Biophysics. This kind of approach goes beyond the basics and seeks to fine-tune your posture, gait and overall function based on your personal goals – and works to stave off potential issues before they become painful – just because you’re not currently in pain doesn’t mean that everything is functioning at its highest level or that your daily wellness routine is as optimized as it could be!
Our team specializes in all things posture and providing comprehensive individualised care plans – adjustments, stretches, exercises, and all! For those who want more, there’s also Chiropractic Biophysics available.
Schedule an appointment today if you’d like to learn more about balancing your strength and flexibility!
 Why Being Flexible is Great for Your Health. Healthline. 2020.