There are three primary components of any workout plan: strength or resistance training, energy system development (often mistakenly called 'cardio') and flexibility, or more appropriately, mobility training. Doing too much of any one of these components at the expense of the others could mean that your exercise program will not produce the results you want it to; additionally, if you want to how leaving a car in your backyard is relates to a proper, well-designed exercise program, tune in to the episode of All About Fitness.
Exercise should be a balance between strength training to help develop lean muscles, mobility training so they function properly and energy system development to ensure they have the proper fuel for activity. Or this is just an opportunity to stick in a gratuitous Arnold pic.
Strength training helps improve muscle force production. On the podcast I explain why cardio is a misnomer for how we exercise to improve aerobic capacity or anaerobic efficiency and flexibility is not exactly the most correct term to describe what is going on when we stretch. On this Quick Fit Tip I explain some of the proper terminology and why each component should be an important part of a successful workout plan.
Quiz: True or False - this is the best way to stretch your muscles
Muscle imbalances can occur from repeating the same movement too frequently or from lack of regular movement; movement-based mobility exercise programs can help eliminate muscle imbalances and ensure proper joint function. To learn more see my blog on the topic I wrote for the American Council on Exercise.
There are two types of muscle tissue in the body: the contractile element responsible for generating force and the elastic component that distributes it around the body - to learn more about the difference and why we should be paying attention to our fascia read my article on the topic here
Answer: False, moving upright through a variety of different movement patterns, like in a Tai Chi kata, can be the most effective way to stretch and lengthen both types of muscle tissue.