FAQ051: Can I be TOO flexible?

How Flexible We are Is Determined By Many Factors

Some of our flexibility is base on our genes. This is because I think about it as there are two types of flexibility.

You can be flexible in your joints and you can be flexible in your muscles.

I think the genetic component of flexibility relates to our joints. If one of your parents could sit on their heels for hours, you probably can too.

Other things that determine our flexibility is what we do everyday (including sports). For dancers and gymnasts, they need to be more flexible for their sport. If they don’t have the bend they need, they can’t perform properly.

So I get asked this question all the time… can I be too flexible? I know you hate this answer but the answer really is, “it depends”

Flexibility Along the Spectrum.

When we think about the joints in our body like our knee or shoulder, we have to think of them as being along a continuum. On the one end we have flexibility, on the other we have stability.

The stiffer a joint is the more stable it is. Think about your knee versus your shoulder. Your knee can move mostly just back and forth. It has a lot of ligaments holding it in tight. It is a relatively stable joint. Compare that to the shoulder. The shoulder has to be able to move all over the place. It needs flexibility to go overhead and in all directions. That can sometimes make it vulnerable. This is because at times, when our joints are too far on the flexibility side of the spectrum, they can break down.

Check out the video as we talk about this a little bit more.

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Missed out on our past FAQ videos? Check out this one on what is the rotator cuff or this one on when should you see a physiotherapist?

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Christina Prevett

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