What is active isolated stretching?
Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) is a technique that helps clients stretch more effectively by eliminating the stretch reflex. As opposed to regular stretching where clients hold the stretch for 30 seconds, they would hold the stretch for two seconds with more repetitions. By doing this clients expand their range of motion. In active isolated stretching the goal is to activate the opposing muscle to therefore create a release in the isolated, targeted muscle. For example, contracting the quad will cause the hamstring to relax.
What is passive isolated stretching?
Passive isolated stretching is when the client remains in a relaxed state as the isolated muscle is being stretched.
What is the difference between active and passive stretching?
In active stretching the client will be participating in the stretch by contracting the opposite muscle. In passive stretching the client will remain relaxed as the therapist stretches the muscles.
Stretching can help with all of the following
- reduce muscle tension
- increase range of motion in the joints
- enhance muscle coordination
- increase circulation of blood to various areas of the body
- prevent injuries
- improve posture
Why should I pay for stretching when I can do it on my own?
It can be hard in our daily life to take the time needed to attend to our body and stretch for the proper amounts of time. A therapist can pinpoint the areas and muscles that need to be stretched by how one holds their body. For example if someone sits at a desk all day and tends to slouch forward their upper backs tend to be tight due to over stretched muscles as their chest tend to be tight due to chronically contracted muscles. Therefore the opposite needs to be done. The posterior muscles need to be contracted as the anterior muscles need to be lengthened. A therapist can help you realize the imbalances and help achieve more flexibility and ease of movement. As therapists we can work with the client and use breathing techniques to increase range of motion and assist in holding the stretch for the proper amount of time needed to gain the benefits.