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Old School Stretching
Over the past years experts told us that stretching should last up to 60 seconds or more. Prolonged stretching was the gold standard. This type of stretching decreases blood flow within the tissues creating lactic acid buildup. This can cause irritation or injury similar to the effects of overuse syndrome.
New School Stretching
Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) provides maximum benefits without causing trauma to muscles. Active Isolated Stretching was pioneered by Aaron Mattes a registered Kinesiologist and Massage Therapist. Mr. Mattes is using the principles of Sherrington Law of reciprocal innervation. “Sherrington’s law explains how a muscle will relax when its opposing muscle is activated.” *Wikipedia. Here’s an example, when you make a bicep muscle the opposing muscle (triceps) relaxes. Using this principle and others, Mattes uses a systematic approach to stretching the muscles.
Benefits of Active Isolated Stretch
1. Increases range of motion
2. Increases neuromuscular re-education
3. Helps to recover from injury
4. Helps to relieve muscle soreness
5. Helps to increase athletic performance
6. Helps to maintain proper range of motion at the joint
7. Promotes balance in the body
8. Decreases risk of muscle strain or tear
9. Promotes balance in the body
10. Helps to reduce stress
How Active Isolated Stretch Works
1. Identify, isolate and activate the muscle being stretched
2. Stretch to the point of light irritation
3. Stretch gently for 1.5 to 2 seconds
4. Establish the flow of regular breathing and exhale on gentle exertion
5. Take muscle through the full range of motion of the exercise
6. Do numerous repetitions 6-10 moving incrementally more with each movement
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