Increased Strength and Mobility = Better Health

We believe that we’re more than a health and performance gym. Our goal is to work with people of all ages and all abilities to help them lead the most active and satisfying lives possible. Therefore, to keep the team up to date, we do Continuing Education with them weekly.

Our lead Doctor of Physical Therapy, Justin DeParmentier, found an intriguing and well-researched article by James L Nuzzo Ph.D. an exercise scientist (learn more about Here). Published in Sports Medicine, Dr. Nuzzo challenges the value and importance of using flexibility to measure your fitness and health.

Since the 1950’s healthcare experts – including most at any health and performance gym – have looked at five metrics to assess one’s health and fitness. These metrics are flexibility, body composition, cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, and muscular endurance). But:

Your flexibility does not predict healthiness, morbidity, or mobility.

For almost 100 years, flexibility has been a core part of fitness and rehab programs. But, Nuzzo notes that there has been peer research for 70+ years showing that:

  • Flexibility doesn’t equate to better health or decreased mortality.
  • Nor does it correlate to improved athletic performance, except perhaps in swimming.
  • Better flexibility does not correlate to better rehabilitation outcomes.

However, in contrast, strength does function as a key indicator of health and well-being. Because when you are stronger, your mobility improves. And more mobility leads to a better quality of life and a longer life.

Similarly, strength predicts athletic performance in almost every sport. And it has become the core of professional athlete training across the board. Based on this evolution, strengthening exercises have become part of most rehabilitation programs. Because patients see better outcomes faster.

While flexibility does not predict health, lengthening our muscles can feel good. It helps keep us limber. But lengthening can be accomplished without static stretching.

Our health and performance gym team uses resistance training and dynamic stretching.

Because resistance training flexes – lengthens and shortens – your muscles as a byproduct of building strength. For example, lat pulldowns use weight and resistance to build strength. At the same time, the reaching and retracting movement of the Latissimus dorsi increases shoulder flexibility.

In contrast, dynamic stretching puts the muscle lengthening first. But it incorporates strengthening at the same time. A favorite example is a reverse lunge. As you lower one leg and put it behind you, you’re stretching. But the movement also requires engaging your core, legs, and gluts.  This motion strengthens them.

We focus on all aspects of your health, strength, mobility, and – yes- flexibility.

Every program elevate incorporates dynamic strengthening exercises that will help you reach your goals. And we see clients and patients with a range of goals from training for triathlons to simply staying vertical and active). Whatever your goals, we’re here for you. Just Contact Us.

And you can learn more about what we Here.