Active or Static Stretching: Which is Better?By
Flexibility is a core component of the Personal Training exercise programs that I prescribe for my clients and is composed of stretching exercises appropriate for the individual client’s needs. I assess each client’s needs (including their flexibility) and then I work with them on the exercises I think will help them achieve their fitness goals.
During the assessment phase I ask my clients to show me the stretching exercises that they currently practice. The majority of them are using “static” stretching exercises where they keep the targeted muscle in a passive mode and hold a pose for an extended period of time.
I recommend that my clients practice active or dynamic stretching. In this case, the muscle that is opposite to the targeted muscle is activated. This sends a message to the brain to relax the target muscle.
Research has shown that this type of stretch is more effective than the static stretch when it comes to getting the maximum power out of the muscle. This is particularly true for the first 15 to 20 minutes before you start your exercise workout.
In this video, I demonstrate the two types of stretching exercises and discuss the effects in more detail.