I was recently volunteering at the Ann Arbor Folk Festival, hearing some awesome music; Rosanne Cash, Richie Havens, Raul Malo, you get the idea. I stood at the back of the auditorium Friday and Saturday evening for a total of 10 hours. My back, hips and feet were stiff and sore by Sunday morning. After 15 minutes of stretching Sunday I felt pretty darn good. I do stretch daily (almost) for at least 10 minutes, sometimes 20 or 30. On a rare day, especially when I’m previewing a new stretching DVD, I might stretch for an hour. Remember, regular stretching shortens recovery time from injures.
What is Active Isolated Stretching? Part II
Why is Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) so much better than the “old fashion” method? First I have to tell you about the “stretch reflex”. The “reflex” is triggered by a special cell in the muscle when a muscle contraction happens. It’s a protection process for the muscle to try to keep it from over stretching and to prevent injury. There are 3 things that trigger the “reflex”. 1.) When the muscle is stretched to hard. 2.) When the muscle is stretched to quickly. 3.) When the stretch is held to long. Are your eyes glazed over yet? Almost done, stay with me. When we hold the stretch for 2 seconds or less we don’t trigger the “reflex”, so no micro tearing or soreness occurs. You can stretch farther and safer when holding the stretch for 2 seconds or less and repeating the stretch 10 times!
Easy as pie!