Being able to determine differences between limbs (e.g. in strength, balance or flexibility) is very important. Too often both the tests, and the treatments/exercises, used consider both legs as being equivalent. So they do double leg squats, and sit and reach for flexibility. But most athletes have a dominant leg, and jump off one leg, and may only have injured one side. So it is very important to have ways of comparing one leg against another. And the speedflexer allows this in a quick and simple way.
It is also important to be able to identify specific hamstring flexibility – as opposed to just touching your toes – which involves your back and hips and not just your hamstrings. And the speedflexer allows this in a quick and simple way.
We know that deficits in flexibility between legs are worth being aware of, and that they can be addressed using many different exercise programmes (not just stretching, but also for example a gradually progressive strength training programme). Monitoring flexibility might be particularly useful to watch for early signs of overtraining, under recovery, or sudden changes related to adolescent growth spurts for example.
We also know that the degree of flexibility will vary according to the demands and training of athletes. For example, the elite dancers we measured had an average flexibility of 91degrees…and some a lot higher…
Dr. Kieran O’Sullivan
PhD M Manip Ther B Physio SMISCP MISOM
Department of Clinical Therapies,
University of Limerick
@kieranosull / @paineddotcom