Klokov posted a video on youtube a while ago showing his flexibility during warmup. He's obviously much more flexible than is necessary to reach a snatch position. Does this degree of flexibility have any translation to strength and power? If so, what are the physiological justifications for this? Is there more "room" for muscle fibers, or something like that?

  • 1
    Even if you lose some flexibility, you're still flexible enough to do your thing?
    – VPeric
    Dec 17 '13 at 15:37

Having the minimum flexibility necessary to do something is suboptimal in a number of ways.

  • One's flexibility varies naturally day-to-day, so one might not be able to do something on a given day, or might be able to do it only by compromising posture.
  • Strength nearer the end range of motion is reduced, at the same time that injury risk is increased.
  • Accidental exposure to unwanted extreme positions is a reality of most sports. In weightlifting, missed lifts can go awry. In those cases, additional flexibility prevents injury.
  • So if strength near end range of motion is reduced, would that mean increasing one's end range of motion would increase strength? Or do you just mean that end range of motion has the least mechanical advantage?
    – Daniel
    Dec 17 '13 at 20:16
  • 1
    @Doc This is near the end range of motion for my knowledge :) but I think the answer is that you can't exert force past the end range of motion (of course), and that there's some neural or mechanical inhibition as one nears that point. The strength might be there, but if it's fighting immobility then it can't demonstrate itself. Then in addition to that I'd expect that a range of motion that hasn't been trained (because it's past or at the end range of motion) is going to be weaker than ranges of motion that have been regularly practiced. Dec 17 '13 at 21:12
  • @Daniel There's also the countering fact that while one's ability to exert force is limited at the end ranges of motion; one is able to bounce off of the end of some ranges of motion due to elastic effects on a variety of soft tissue. So being barely flexible enough to squat below parallel is advantageous for powerlifting, for example. Nov 22 '15 at 8:47

Well, for example with Olympic lifts, specifically the Overhead Squat, being flexible is going to give you better form, better muscle contraction, better hand-grip positioning, where the bar travels, how far back or forward it goes.

Being flexible in the areas of your body that are ball and socket (i.e shoulder, hips) is important in any strength training protocol.

Muscle flexibility in chest and shoulders allows for greater range of motion, which correlates to more movement, which means more time under tension, which means more strength, and explosive potential.

I'm not a scientist or biologist or physical therapist so I'm unsure of any real science. But this is my not-so-common sense answer.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.