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How to stretch to stay supple!

Joint mobility or flexibility is a conditional motor quality, which is defined as the ability to make movements, taking advantage of the maximum joint range. It depends on the genetic heritage, which affects individual anatomical characteristics, but also on sex (women are more gifted than men), on external factors such as temperature (cold does not help to be flexible) and on any skeletal and muscular trauma, which they can reduce mobility, as well as a sedentary lifestyle.

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Furthermore, mobility is the only quality which, instead of presenting an evolution parallel to the development of the person, undergoes an involution that manifests itself already from the first years of life . The joints of children, in fact, are much more flexible than those of adults. This depends on the structure of the joints, on the cartilage which is more developed at a very young age, on the ligaments which are more elastic and on the low muscle tone. With the growth it becomes very important to work on one’s mobility , and stretching is a good method to obtain satisfactory results, at any age.

Stretching comes from the English verb “to stretch”, which means to stretch. In 1968 Bob Anderson, the most famous stretching expert in America, began to devise a physical training program, hypothesizing stretching exercises for the various muscle groups that he first experimented on himself and on a small circle of friends, and then spread them. through courses and seminars in every part of the USA, creating programs for different sports.

This technique is still used today to improve flexibility , but also to prepare the muscles before the effort of a training session or a competition, and also to promote muscle lengthening at the end of the effort, therefore at the end of the training session or at the end. competition. In short, stretching is a real training method to increase mobility, but also a set of positions to be used in the warm-up and cool-down phase.


Learning how to stretch is simple, but some precautions are important:

  • Stretching positions should be reached gradually and maintained for at least 30 seconds .
  • You don’t have to bounce or bounce up and down.
  • The pain threshold must not be reached. Stretching, on the other hand, must give a pleasant feeling of well-being .
  • Breathing must be slow, controlled and apnea must be absolutely avoided.

As with any form of training, continuity in exercise is also more important than ever for joint mobility. With muscle lengthening it is in fact possible to keep our joints healthier, preventing the effects of aging and osteoporosis.


To find out more, you can download Bob Anderson’s manual here (in English).

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