In our previous posts we discussed how patients and athletes can utilize strength training to both improve strength as well as their flexibility. Recent research continues to show strength training a muscle through its' full range of motion is more effective than static stretching for flexibility gains. This research has refuted a commonly held belief that strength training causes stiffness or impairs flexibility especially among athletes.
A recent article in the Journal of Human Kinetics examined the effects of upper and lower body strength training on the flexibility of professional judo athletes (Saralva et al. 2014). The athletes' flexibility was assessed both before and after they underwent a whole body strength training regimen 3 days a week for 12 weeks. The authors reported increased flexibility across all joints at the completion of the strength training program.