I recently attended the Sounders Sport Science symposium and one of the presenters mentioned how observational data from Top Sports Lab has indicated that flexibility (or lack of) is a big predictor for injury in soccer. Upon hearing this I was a little surprised. Having worked in a variety of other sports, co-authored 2 peer-reviewed studies (1, 2) on flexibility for sport performance, and done quite a bit of research on flexibility training, I knew that perhaps more so than any other physical quality, flexibility is surrounded by myths and misconceptions. Here’s a short list of those myths:
- Increased flexibility makes you faster and more explosive
- Increased flexibility reduces your likelihood for injury
- Flexibility training reduces lactic acid
- Flexibility training reduces soreness
In several of the cases, the myth isn’t just incorrect, it’s actually the OPPOSITE of what actually happens.
So this got me thinking of how lack of flexibility could actually be an injury correlate in soccer players when it shows almost no positive relation (and in many cases a negative one) in other activities. The answer is quite simple…the pictures tell the whole story.
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