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Enhancing flexibility - research results

When the researchers retested the participants at the end of the programme, they found that the training group had significantly improved their score on the sit and reach test, a standard test of flexibility, while the control group showed no improvement.

While this study does have limitations - all the subjects were over 60, they had no training history, and the sit and reach test measures just one area of flexibility - it is nonetheless significant. Indeed, subsequent studies have duplicated these results across a much wider range of flexibility tests.

Researchers have thus concluded that resistance exercises performed through a full range of motion promote increased flexibility.

If you think about the sports that use weight training as a major part of their conditioning program (athletics, rugby, American Football), that should really come as no surprise. These are all sports that demand a combination of strength, power, speed, flexibility and coordination - if the weight training made these athletes stiff and injury prone, they would not be able to perform at such high levels.

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