STATIC STRETCHING

STATIC STRETCHING

In static stretching, each muscle is gradually stretched, and the stretch is held for 10-30 seconds. A slow stretch prompts less reaction from proprioceptors, and the muscles can safely stretch farther than usual. Static stretching is the type most often recommended by fitness experts because it is safe and effective.

The key to this technique is to stretch the muscles and joints to the point where a pull is felt, but not to the point of pain. (One note of caution: Excess static stretching can decrease joint stability and increase the risk of injury. This may be a particular concern for women, whose joints are less stable and more flexible than men.) The sample stretching program presented later in this chapter features static stretching exercises.

BALLISTIC STRETCHING In ballistic stretching, the muscles are stretched suddenly in a forceful bouncing movement. For example, touching the toes repeatedly in rapid

Static stretching A technique in which a muscle TERMS is slowly and gently stretched and then held in the stretched position.

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Ballistic stretching A technique in which muscles are stretched by the force generated as a body part is repeatedly bounced, swung, or jerked.

Dynamic stretching A technique in which muscles are stretched by moving joints slowly and fluidly through their range of motion in a controlled manner; also called functional stretching.

Passive stretching A technique in which muscles are stretched by force applied by an outside source.

Active stretching A technique in which muscles are stretched by the contraction of the opposing muscles.

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