In short, no. Flexibility can be very important in preventing certain injuries. It can also ensure that certain muscles activate through their proper plane of motion, avoiding compensation and overuse of other muscles. The hamstrings, for example, come to mind. If your hamstrings aren’t flexible enough, other muscles that activate to help extend the legs and back have to work harder, and become prone to injury.

Problems arise when you become TOO flexible. The goal is to make the muscles flexible without altering the ligaments. When a gymnast is able to put their forearms flat on the ground during flexion, for example, they are stretching their spinal ligaments as well. Ligaments do not respond like muscle, and do not rebound once stretched. Essentially, once they are stretched, they remain that way. And when ligaments lose their tension, structures lose stability. The body will find other ways to stabilize areas that now feel unstable. In many cases, the way the body does this is by enlarging boney structures. Another word for this would be arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is the unfortunate consequence of being too flexible, or hyper mobile, in a region. If ligaments are no longer acting as a stabilizing structure, the body creates more stability in the form of bone. This stabilizes the region, but in a painful, range limiting way.

Often, people with less flexibility are less prone to big injuries to knees, hips, and the back. So while moderate flexibility improves muscular function, excessive flexibility is not ideal for injury prevention. Flexibility, without strength is also not helpful. A multifaceted approach, including strengthening with moderate stretching, is best to improve muscular function and coordination.