The pliable athlete

© Daniel K. Cooper

Building strength, speed and endurance are key to many sports. However muscle pliability is what you want for better movement.

Confusing terms

Don’t confuse flexibility with pliability. There is a lot more to being pliable than being flexible. Being flexible is the ability to touch your toes. Pliability describes muscles that are supple and resilient. This allows the muscles to absorb and disperse forces – both in sport and daily life – and operate efficiently. Pliable muscles can move through a full range of motion, carry weight and react quickly.

Why pliability is important

When muscles retain their optimal function and range of motion, you build resilience to injury and perform at your best. If a muscle is not pliable, it is more prone to exhaustion and injury. What makes an athlete less agile, less powerful and less explosive? What makes an athlete slow over time or suffer injury? The answer is lack of pliability.

The concept of pliability has increased in recent years as a result of Tom Brady’s insistence that it is the key to his longevity in football. Brady’s training sessions are centred on improving muscle pliability. In fact, he claims that he spends roughly one half of each training session on pliability exercises.

Increase your pliability

Resistance band exercises wake up the muscles and the nervous system. Self-massage and foam rolling before your activity boosts range of motion and pliability. Target those muscles to be used, allowing 60 to 90 seconds per muscle. A post-workout session helps prevent soreness and boosts recovery.

Just ten minutes per day will get you started toward being more pliable, with better quality of movement. If you want to continue to engage in sports as you age, then before you work, before you play, before you train, use Tom Brady’s secret weapon: stay pliable.


More from this author by clicking on his photo below.

Robert Roy


Robert Roy86 Posts

Kinésiologue reconnu et un expert chevronné, Robert Roy utilise l’exercice à des fins de prévention, de réhabilitation et de développement athlétique. Il cumule plus de 20 ans d’expérience avec des athlètes de tous les niveaux. Il a bâti le Quartier Général RobFit afin d’offrir un environnement d’entraînement hors pair dans la région. / Well-known kinesiologist and seasoned professional Robert Roy uses exercise for its preventive and rehabilitative virtues as well as for athletic development. He has more than 20 years of experience with athletes of all levels, and more recently built the Quartier Général RobFit in order to provide an outstanding training environment in this area.


Leave a Comment


Welcome! Login in to your account

Remember me Lost your password?

Lost Password