Types of stretching – There are several types of stretching that can be exercised along with your endurance or strength training (recommendably after the workout) or in separate sessions. The following list represents a selection of stretching methods that the author considers relevant for this fitness guide. All types of stretching can be performed intense to the maximum of your mobility, or easy what would represent a light but noticeable stretching. A deep and calm breathing supports the stretching as well as the active relaxation of the muscle that is being stretched. All kinds of stretching below can be performed in 1 to 3 sets every 1 to 2 days.
Types of stretching: Passive-Static-Stretching
Most commonly we practice the passive-static type of stretching. Here, the tension is passively caused by the gravity, a partner, or other muscles. We get in stretching position towards our limit of motion. After a short while (approximately 20 seconds) the tension eases and we can increase the stretching for another 20 seconds.
Types of stretching: Dynamic-Stretching
The dynamic type of stretching is characterized by small impulses at high stretching tension. Each impulse extends your limit of motion to another maximum. It is important to perform smooth and controlled impulses without rapid movements towards your final stretching position. Each set can be exercised for approximately 30 seconds.
Types of stretching: Contract-Relax-Stretching
The contract-relax type of stretching is determined by a short and intense isometric contraction of the muscle right before it is stretched. The muscle interprets the release from contraction as all-clear signal what makes a stretching right after much easier. We get in stretching position until we feel a tension in the respective muscle. Now tense your muscle isometrically against an insurmountable resistance. Exhale and release the tension and enter an intense stretching position immediately for up to 20 seconds.
Types of stretching: Antagonist-Contract-Stretching
The antagonist-contract type of stretching uses the active isometric or dynamic contraction of the antagonist for the stretching tension. It is a side effect of the strength training and depends on the strength of the trained muscle. That is why this kind of stretching is less intense than the mentioned types above. To stretch a muscle its antagonist must be held in the area of highest muscle contraction.
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