To test the hypothesis that increases in muscle strength and flexibility are developed by specific training programs, 43 healthy young adults were tested before and after 4 different interventions conducted twice a week for 12 weeks: (a) resistance training only (n = 13); (b) flexibility training only (n = 11); (c) resistance and flexibility training (n = 9); and (d) no intervention (n = 10). There was no change in either strength or flexibility in the control group (p > 0.05). Resistance training improved muscle strength either alone (114%; effect size = 0.53; p < 0.001) or in combination with flexibility training (116%; effect size = 0.66; p = 0.032), but did not change flexibility (p = 0.610). Flexibility increased with specific training alone (133%; p < 0.001) or in combination with resistance training (118%; p < 0.001). In conclusion, in young, healthy subjects, resistance training alone did not increase flexibility, but resistance training did not interfere with the increase in joint range of motion during flexibility training. These results support the concept that specific training should be employed in order to increase either muscle strength or flexibility.
(C) 2005 National Strength and Conditioning Association