Active: Active stretching is achieved by relaxing the target muscle and relying on contraction of the opposing muscle to initiate the stretch. This stretch can be challenging because of the muscular force required to generate the stretch.

Passive: Passive stretching uses outside assistance to help achieve a stretch, the target muscle is relaxed, and the external force helps hold the stretched position. If the external force causes a greater stretch than the flexibility of the muscle, there is an increased chance for injury.

Ballistic: Momentum is used to attempt to force a joint beyond its normal range of motion. This is achieved by repetitively bouncing in the stretched position. This stretching technique can often lead to injury if the athlete is untrained or has a low level of flexibility because the force applied to the stretched muscles is greater than the muscles’ extensibility. The stretched muscle is also not allowed to adjust and relax in the stretched position.

Static: A form of stretching in which the muscle is placed into a maximally stretched position and then held there for a certain amount of time. This technique can be done actively and passively and is a safe and effective technique to improve flexibility.

PNF: “Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation” is a stretching technique that involves a combination of alternating contractions and stretches. This stretch is often considered the best at long term increased R.O.M. There are three different PNF stretching techniques that can be used. All three techniques should be preceded and followed by a 30 second passive stretch. 30-10-30 Techniques:

Hold and resist force applied by partner, causing a 10 second isometric contraction in the target muscle group.

Apply resistance, counteracting force of concentric contraction of target muscle group, slowly allowing it to go through its ROM for 10 seconds

Concentrically contract the opposing muscle group of the target muscle group that is being stretched for 10 seconds

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