Active isolated stretching uses precise movements that are designed to isolate specific areas to be stretched. Once obtained the optimal position, stretching is maintained two seconds, then release and repeat movement 8-10 times in a set. There are two forms that can be practiced in active isolated stretching this: a complex exercise, which we can practice them each home, and assisted a form in which exercises are coordinated by a therapist.
Assisted stretching is a new approach to traditional methods of stretching and was recently brought to public attention. It is a method used by coaches, therapists, doctors and professional athletes. One of the biggest benefits of stretching is to improve athletic efficiency. It substantially improves muscle elasticity.
This method can also prevent injuries, reducing the strain in most sports, it reduces the rigidity of the body segments, carries oxygen to tired muscles and quickly removes toxins, leading to a rapid recovery. Even if you practice stretching for a long time already, you'll be amazed how specifically you can stretch muscles. It is very important that you stretch one muscle at a time.
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Imagine an athlete that heats up for a competition. He will stretch the posterior muscles of the thigh lifting an inferior leg on a bench and lean to the front. This stretching exercise, although it seems that involve only certain muscle groups will actually act on the muscles, until the heel of the hand and lower back to the neck.
The human body has a remarkable ability to compensate and work together when something does not seems to be okay. In no case, you will get isolation, whereas many other muscles, except for the post of the thigh, will shrink into a protective posture. Only assisted stretching is designed to achieve isolation.
Now let’s talk about main things you have to know about assisted stretching. An assisted stretching session lasts about an hour. The therapist/trainer should be well prepared, both from theoretical (body and muscles to know the possibilities of movement at different levels), as well as physically, because assisted stretching is quite demanding activity.
He will make a brief general heating, to prevent any stretching or injury, then he will explain what this kind of therapy is. It is very important that they understand that it is active movement and a permanent collaboration between them is required. Initially, the therapist will identify the muscle or muscle group that need to be stretched.
He will stretch each muscle group one at a time; isolation is a key element of stretching. The patient will be taught to contract muscle group actively opposed to large, to the point that begins to appear dull ache. For example, if the patient wants to stretch your biceps, he shall antagonist contraction, i.e. triceps.
Next, the therapist will make a quick and gentle stretching, but the muscle will not lying more than two seconds. It is released before the muscle responds to stretching. The recommended number of reps is about 8-10. There are specific movements for each body part, so that it worked every joint and every muscle, through the entire range of movement possible at that level.
These active stretching exercises increase the local flow of oxygenated blood and nutrients to tissues before and after activity. Muscles that contract are pumps that send blood. Fuel for muscle contraction comes from the burning of fatty acids and glucose in the presence of oxygen. If oxygen is lacking, the muscle gets energy by converting glucose to lactic acid, a product of metabolism that tired muscles. Therefore it is necessary that during stretching exercise to breathe rhythmically and deeply.
Stretching is a daily necessity. Muscles can be shortened, rigid or tense at work, exercise, posture or stress. Tissues can be revitalized through proper diet, rest and exercise. Assisted stretching restores the full amplitude of motion on your joints, reduces muscle pain and fatigue, and corrects posture.
If the workouts are interrupted, mobility will be lost in time greater extent than the loss of strength and endurance, so it is important to have continuity. If you can not benefit from assisted stretching, opt for the simpler version in which you do exercises at home.
Please note that development of flexibility depending on your individual characteristics. Do not expect spectacular results only after several sessions. Probably you would like to know the main drawbacks of assisted stretching. So, here they are:
· increase and maintain normal joint movement amplitude,
· reduce muscle pain (with an optimal intake of oxygenated blood to the muscles),
· improve exercise capacity (stimulated by stretching muscles require less energy to perform movements),
· general relaxation of the body, reducing emotional stress, decrease muscle tension
· reduce joint stiffness associated with aging musculoskeletal,
· elongation fascia (the muscles that stabilize the system),
· prevent muscle strain and tears (especially in the old scars),
· as a heating method for training,
· the method of recovery (cool-down). Increase blood flow in required areas, reduce pain, increase muscle relaxation and flexibility,
· potential increase athletic performance,
· reduction of stiffness that contributes to pain, spasms, cramps,
· participation in the process of recovery from injuries.
Most studies show that light stretching movements, rhythmic are safer, causing less irritation to the stretched tissue, and require a small amount of energy and recovery is much faster.
Stretching is a great way to maintain your flexibility and to maximize the effect of your training. For a bodybuilder, this is a must, whereas it relaxes your muscles and prepares them for the next workout.