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27 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

What determines joint flexibility?

1. joint structure and distensibility of the joint capsule

2. Muscle elasticity and plasticity

3. Heredity

4. Gender

5. Internal Temperature

6. Body fat or muscle bulk

7. Age

8. Nervous system activity

Muscle Spindle

Monitor change in muscle length during rapid stretch.

Stretch Reflex

When a muscle is stretched, the muscle spindle detects this change and the sensory neuron sends an impulse to the spinal cord where it synapses with a motor neuron causing the muscle to contract.


A mechanoreceptor near the musculotendinous junction sensitive to tension. GTO causes the muscle to reflexively relax.

Autogenic Inhibition

Relaxation in the muscle experiencing tension. Active contraction of a muscle immediately before a passive stretch

Reciprocal Inhibition

Relaxation in the opposing muscle experiencing increased tension.

Simultaneously contract the opposing muscle being stretched.

Total body flexibility test?

There isn't one.

Assessing flexibility

Sit and reach test - tests for lower back/ hip joint flexibility.

Examine quality of movement and measure for flexibility 1 leg at a time.

Static flexibility

Passive vs. Active. no movement

Dynamic flexibility

With movement. Active ROM, should be higher than static. Functionally based, sports specific movements

What type of stretching puts us at the greatest risk of injury and especially under what circumstance?

Ballistic, especially when there is an injury already present.

Types of PNF stretching

Passive and active types of components:

1. Hold-Relax (

2. Contract - Relax

3. Hold- Relax - Agonist contract

Hold - Relax

Passive prestretch (10secs) helps to avoid autogenic facilitation from hamstrings muscle spindle by introducing subtle length change.

Isometric hold (6 seconds) - initiates relaxation in hamstrings by autogenic inhibition of GTO

Passive stretch (30secs) -

The stretch is a result of autogenic inhibition of the hamstrings and avoidance of autogenic facilitation (aka protective contraction).

Contract - Relax

Passive prestretch (10 secs)

Concentric muscle action through full ROM

Passive stretch (30secs)

The stretch is a result of Autogenic inhibition of the hamstrings via the GTO

Hold - Relax -Agonist Contract

Passive Prestretch (10secs)

Isometric Hold (6secs)

Concentric contraction of quadriceps along with passive stretch (30secs)

Stretch enhanced by autogenic inhibition of hamstrings after the iso hold and then reciprocal inhibition of the hamstrings by activation of the GTO of the quadriceps bc they contract and quiet down the muscle spindle of the hamstrings.

Does stretching before exercise reduce the risk of injury?


What does heating/immobilization to increase muscle compliance do?

It causes tissues to rupture more easily.

Stretching before exercise only helpful when?

It's only helpful when excessive muscle length is needed for that activity.

When are most injuries believed to occur?

During eccentric contraction. But stretching does not effect compliance during eccentric activity. Most injuries occur during normal ROM because of heterogeneity of sarcomere length, so it does not make sense to want an increased ROM.

What level does stretching produce damage at?

The cytoskeleton level

What does stretching do to pain?

Stretching may mask muscle pain

Frequency of stretching



2-3 days/wk (can be 7 days/wk)

15-60secs; greater than or equal to 4reps

Until point of mild discomfort


The ability to move a joint through its complete ROM (joint specific)


the degree of movement occuring at a joint

Benefits of flexibility

1. Increase ADL and FC

2. May lower injury risk

3. May lower back pain bc ppor flexibility and combo of others increases LBP

4. Relaxation

What is an important risk factor in injury prevention?

General fitness is more important than flexibility...stretching beyond sport specific need may cause injury and decrease performance. Does not off set muscle soreness either.