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Posted on 12-02-2014
Most athletes realize that stretching is valuable for keeping muscles and ligaments loose and preventing injury. It is common to see someone stretching before a practice, game or workout. Normal stretching is good for the body, but active stretching goes further to help the body become more flexible than it already is.
Regular stretches are held for about 10 seconds and only use the pull or weight of your body – think of touching your toes to stretch your hamstrings or doing a “butterfly” to stretch your inner thighs. Active isolated stretching focuses on a specific muscle and improves the flexibility or range of motion with a rope or band.
The rope provides resistance during the exercise that helps pull the muscle just a little further than your body would naturally allow in traditional stretching. Stretches are only held for a couple of seconds before release, allowing your body to reach new levels of flexibility with each stretch. This active part of stretching can improve range of motion by 6-10 degrees.
By using a rope or aid to help isolate the muscle, the rest of your body is able to relax. You can use the simple physics of pulling gently on a rope to stretch your leg muscle, for example, further than you would if you strained to do the same stretch with just your body weight. This therapy technique allows you to have greater control over the degree of stretch, allowing you to stretch further without causing accidental stress.
Whether you suffer from an injury or hope to prevent one, active isolated stretching might be right for you. Your chiropractor will be able to examine your specific needs and will likely assign specific active isolated stretches for you to do in between visits. By keeping your body moving and increasing flexibility through controlled stretching techniques, you can actually improve the effectiveness of your chiropractic treatments. Your chiropractor will likely combine active isolated stretching with other treatment methods to ensure your body is correctly aligned, relaxed and loosened.
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