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Does flexibility in one muscle influence flexibility in another muscle?

Posted by Paul Zaichik on

Does flexibility in one muscle influence flexibility in another muscle?

The answer is obvious but a lot of people new to flexibility ask this question. Also sometimes the articles that we write are misinterpreted. For example, people ask if I have flexible hamstrings that means that my body is already used to stretching, knows what it feels to be stretched, I can get faster flexible shoulders or adductors or hip flexors. And sometimes people say “well, you said in an article that if you have this split it’ll be easier to get that split that means that if you have certain muscles flexible others can be flexible faster”.

The answer is: flexibility is very specific.

You can have flexibility in a specific group of muscles and be very tight in another group; one has nothing to do with the other.
This is the same as strength, just because you can bench press a lot of weight does not mean that automatically you can squat a lot of weight, although you’re strong in one area.
Yes, there are psychological factors, granted that for example if you had dedication to develop a very strong bench press you have a methodology you’ll carry that over. But you will still have to work on another skill independently of what you already have, because strength is specific, so is flexibility.
However there is a carryover if the muscles are used in a similar skill or in a similar strength skill or in a similar flexibility skill. And this is when we write that you can do one split you can get another split faster specifically from this to that or if you have flexible inner hamstrings you can get let’s say an open front split or side split a little bit faster. Less muscles to work on flexibility wise.
The same thing happens strength-wise:
If you have a good bench press you’ll be able to do good incline bench press or decline it will help you with that, it’s not going to give you the same strength but it’ll help.
If you already have a very strong bench press you’ll be stronger on the flies, dumbbell flies or cable flies.
A good squat will allow you to start with a stronger deadlift if you’ve never done the deadlift but you did the squat. You’re not automatically going to be as great on your deadlift as you were on the squat but it’ll give you a start because of similar muscles.
The same applies to flexibility. If similar muscles are used in two skills the more muscles are used the less training you would have to do, the less muscles you will have to focus on and that will put you ahead of somebody whose muscles are tight all around.
And just like strength, if you are able to keep a schedule, you’re able to work on your flexibility, from a mental point of view, from an organizational point of view, that will help to transfer over.
However, you will not start any deeper, for example, in your wrist flexibility just because you have good hamstrings flexibility.

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