Unless you’re an experienced athlete or are working with a physical therapist, you may not realize that there’s actually more than one form of stretching. The techniques you’re probably the most familiar with are passive and static stretching. But dynamic stretching and active stretching are other important forms you should know.
What is Active Stretching?
Active stretching is the practice of holding a position using only the muscles in the group that pose is designed to target. For instance, if a pose is supposed to stretch your abs, you’ll only use muscles in that area to hold that pose.
Rather than focusing just on greater overall flexibility, active stretching is designed to help athletes warm up their muscles and joints before physical activity, as well as improve overall performance.
If you aren’t using it yet, keep reading to learn 6 benefits of active stretching.
1. Less Tightness
We’ve all felt it…that muscle tightness after a good workout. It’s a good sign that you pushed yourself, but it’s something that shouldn’t be ignored.
Releasing this tightness is necessary if you want to improve your performance.
Active stretching works to release tightness to allow you to continue improving with each workout.
2. Better Circulation
The gentle stimulation of active stretching helps to increase blood flow to your muscles. It also helps encourage the firing of mechanoreceptors in your muscles.
More circulation means more oxygen to your muscles, which not only helps them perform better, but also improves your body’s overall health. Yes, muscle health can help to improve your overall health.
3. Personalized Stretching
Normal passive stretching routines are meant to be a general plan that anyone can follow. While these moves may increase flexibility, they won’t address your own specific pain points.
Active stretching is a personalized approach. You’ll be targeting the muscles that you need for your chosen sport or those that are causing you pain. It’s a good idea to work with a professional (Stretchologist) to assist you in targeting the right muscles.
4. Pain Relief
Improving circulation in your muscles and reducing tension can have one major benefit that you’ll notice right away.
Regular active stretching routines can lead to pain relief. This is especially true in athletes that have experienced an injury and are using active stretching as a part of their recovery.
When dealing with muscle pain, tools such as the Vibracussor aid by creating waves of compression, which releases fascial and deep muscle adhesions.
5. Better Flexibility
Your static stretching routine of toe-touches and lunges may only be targeting a small portion of your body’s muscles and they probably aren’t improving your range of motion enough.
But with active stretches, you use opposing muscle groups and their energy to stretch. This requires active stretching of the joint through its current range of motion and improves overall flexibility.
6. Improve Performance
All types of stretching share one common goal; improved performance.
With active stretching, you’ll be improving muscle performance in the areas that you need it most. This in turn will translate to improved performance in your chosen sport.
Getting Started with Active Stretching
Active stretching can help reduce pain, increase circulation, improve performance, improve flexibility and strengthen muscles. If you want to start reaping these benefits right away, active stretch sessions can help.
Active stretching can be tricky and even dangerous to do on your own if you aren’t experienced. So, get some help and let our stretchologists stretch you.
Check out our membership options to see how regular sessions of active stretching can help you become a better, healthier athlete, no matter your sport.