DISTRICT Seminar Series #1: Modern Methods of Flexibility Training with Yiannis Christoulas

Human Performance Specialist, Yiannis Christoulas, MSc, of Greece visits the DISTRICT to teach the science of flexibility.

"You should stretch." We've all been told this, and yet there are still people with tight hamstrings and athletes who pull muscles when they go beyond their current range of motion. The words mobility and flexibility are carelessly tossed around interchangeably and we are fed a reactive approach from many in the fitness industry that says "If it's tight, stretch it." Unfortunately, there's more to the range of motion of a muscle than just reaching for your toes or holding a specific position. We brought Yiannis in to dive into the details and bring our clients and coaches a neuroscience approach to improving functional range of motion.

Yiannis Christoulas is a modern sports scientist and coach from Greece, who has focused his studies on improving human performance and health, with a specialty in flexibility training. He has amassed over 50,000 subscribers on his youtube channel where he teaches the neuroscience approach to flexibility while providing solutions to many common questions in the fitness industry. His seminar focuses on science and theory before diving in to a hands on component where everyone in attendance left improved. In case you missed the event, check out below:

SEMINAR RECAP:

Part I: Yiannis defines flexibility as "the range of motion (ROM) around a joint or group of joints (that) reflects the ability of the muscle-tendon unit to elongate." He discusses that the range of motion we feel is not truly the maximum length of that muscle but actually the nervous system guarding our end range to prevent injury where it feels "unsafe." To further illustrate this, he points out that if you were under general anesthesia/sedation, you would have greater range of motion than when you are awake and alert. This shows that there are other systems in play here beside just the physical length or tension of a muscle. Instead, we are working with complex systems of neurology and reflexes that must be specifically targeted in our training to improve flexibility.