Hide All

2000 Publications

Current Issues in Flexibility Fitnessby Knudson DV, Magnusson SP, McHugh MP - last modified 2012-11-27 00:00
President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports: Research Digest 3(10):1-6, June 2000.


Team Danmark Test Center, Rigshospitalet, TTA, Afd 2001, Copenhagen, Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma, New York, NY.

Flexibility is a property of the musculoskeletal system that determines the range of motion achievable without injury to a joint or group of joints (Holt, Holt, & Pelham, 1996). Static flexibility tests measure the limits of the achievable motion but these limits are subjective.

Dynamic flexibility tests are more objective and measure the stiffness of a passively stretched muscle group. Normal ranges of static flexibility are well documented for most joints. Major deviations (top or bottom 20% of the distribution) from the norm may be associated with a higher incidence of muscular injury.

While there is a theoretical association between flexibility and several musculoskeletal problems, there are few prospective studies showing significant associations.

Currently, there is little scientific evidence on which to base individual prescriptions for static flexibility development beyond the maintenance of normal levels. More longitudinal studies of dynamic flexibility may provide a greater insight into the role of flexibility in health and performance.