Suppleness in Physical Education
The definition of flexibility, suppleness and mobility is the range of
movement possible round a joint and this depends on the amount of
stretch allowed by the ligaments, joints, tendons and muscles.
Flexibility is an important component of physical fitness for all
athletes as increasing your flexibility aids performance and helps to
avoid unnecessary injury. It is impossible to have the same degree of
flexibility around all joints as the joint structure itself limits
flexibility, for example a lot of movement is possible at the shoulder
joint because it is a ball and socket joint, but movement at the hinge
joint of the knee is more limited.
Increasing body temperature helps to improve flexibility, which is a
good reason why an athlete should always warm up. Our range of
movement deteriorates as we get older, due to shortening of the
connective tissue and general joint degeneration caused by wear and
Why should a netballer do mobility exercises?
The objective of mobility training is to improve the range of stretch
of the antagonistic muscles. Mobility plays an important part in the
preparation of netballers by developing a range of movement to allow
technical development and assisting in the prevention of injury.
All athletes require a basic level of general all round mobility to
allow them to benefit from other forms of training. In addition,
netball players will need to develop specific mobility for those joint
actions involved in the techniques of their game.
Netballers do not have the option to dribble the ball; therefore
netball is very much a passing game. Throwing is one of the most used
skills in the game. No matter where you play, whether you are in the
mid-court as centre, or on the goal line as goal defence, you have to
pass the ball. Flexibility/suppleness in the shoulder joint is
required when throwing. The head of the humerus fits into a very
shallow cavity on the scapula called the glenoid fossa. This ball and
socket joint allows free movement, or certainly as much movement as
the shape of the articulating surfaces permits. The greater the range
of movement at the shoulder joint, the greater range in which muscles
can apply force and therefore the ball can be thrown to a further
distance. Netballers need to have a great range of flexibility in the
shoulder joint, to allow them to pass the ball powerfully and
therefore minimise the chances of interception by the opposition.
Flexibility is essential in all the joints that are used when you pass
the ball. The shoulder joint, elbow joint, radio-ulna joint and the
wrist joint all require flexibility as they are all involved in the
passing process, for example the wrist joint provides power in the
pass by propelling the ball forwards.
Flexibility is an important...