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Dynamic Stretching Explained

Dynamic Stretching refers to stretching exercises that are performed with movement. In other words a person makes use of a swinging or bouncing motion to extend the range of movement and flexibility. There are three different types of this form of stretching. They are:

Ballistic Stretching

Ballistic stretching is an outdated form of stretching that uses momentum generated by rapid swinging and bouncing movements to force a body part beyond its usual range of movement. The risks associated with this kind of stretching far outweigh any potential gains. Modern dynamic stretching and PNF stretching provide the opportunity for the same kind of flexibility gains without the associated risks. The main disadvantage of ballistic stretching is that if fails to allow the stretched muscle any time to adapt to the stretched position. By doing so it may cause the muscle to tighten up by repeatedly triggering the stretch reflex.

Stretching Dynamically

Unlike ballistic stretching stretching dynamically makes use of controlled, gentle movements to move a body part to the limit of its range of motion. The force of the swing can gradually be increased but should never become extreme or uncontrolled. At no time during this kind of  stretch is a body part forced beyond the normal range of movement. This form of stretching can also simultaneously stretch and strengthen a muscle group at the same time.

Active Isolated Stretching

Active isolated stretching works by contracting the antagonist muscle group which forces the muscle group being stretched to relax. The procedure for performing this kind of stretch is listed below.

  1. Choose the muscle group to be stretched and then get into a position to begin the stretch.
  2. Actively contract the antagonist, or opposing muscle group.
  3. Move into the stretch smoothly and quickly.
  4. Hold for 1 to 2 seconds and then release the stretch.
  5. Repeat five to 10 times.
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