Static vs Active Stretching
In the last several years, there’s been a GREAT DEBATE taking place in the Fitness World about what is the Superior Form of Flexibility Training…Static Stretching (like in Yoga) where you hold a stretch from anywhere from 20 – 40 seconds, or Active Stretching where you only hold the stretch for 1-2 seconds and do 5 – 10 repetitions. I’ve been in several debates arguing the case for BOTH methods.
In fact, Static Stretching has actually come under attack in some circles, with the argument being that when you Hold a pose for more than a few seconds, the body actually sends out a ‘Warning’ Signal to the nerves in the fascia to ‘Protect’ it from stretching too much. This phenomenon is called a Myotatic Stretch Reflex. The naysayers against Static Stretching say that this actually Slows Down the fast twitch fibers in the nerve which slows down athletic performance.
On the other hand, the case against Active Stretching is that because you’re only holding the Pose for 1-2 seconds (before the Myotatic Stretch Reflex kicks in), you’re not giving the brain and nervous system time enough to Memorize the neuron pattern‘ and balance the muscle chains.
In my opinion, I think that both arguments have merit and I think it’s foolish to diminish the effects that both methods have to offer, and I say this because I’ve seen both methods produce terrific results.
To summarize, and generally speaking, when I have a client that needs to rehab an injury and get back into proper alignment, I’ll nearly always give them a Static Stretching Protocol, and on the other hand, if I’m prepping an athlete who wants more Speed and Power, I’ll usually give them an Active Stretch Program—especially runners.
Think about it, Yoga has been around for around 2,000 years and is more popular now than ever before in history. Anything that lasts that long and is still incredibly effective, can’t be too bad!!
Get Your Flexibility Back
Wherever you stand on the “Great Debate” stretching and flexibility is key to a healthy lifestyle. If you are ready to get your flexibility back or maybe you never had it to start with consider getting on of my programs. One of the best programs that I have put together is the Roger Fredericks’s Reveals the Secrets to Golf Swing Flexibility although this program focuses on Golf related aspects it is excellent for flexibility related issues. If flexibility is really an issue you should consider one of my customized Flexibility Programs.