You know what annoys me? People who make exaggerated claims about stretching and flexibility.
Things like…. Dynamic stretching is the revolutionary new warm up method, which comes from Mark Kovacs book titled Dynamic Stretching.
I’ve been using dynamic stretching as part of my warm up routines for 25 years, so I don’t see how it could be new or revolutionary.
Or the claim from the Wharton’s Stretch Book that; Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) doesn’t trigger the stretch reflex because the stretch is only held for 2 seconds. (Wharton, J & P. 1996 The Whartons’ Stretch Book Page xxiii)
This defies basic muscle physiology: The stretch reflex in the calf muscle for example is triggered within 3 hundredths of a second, so any claim that AIS can somehow bypass or outsmart the stretch reflex is nothing more than wishful thinking.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not against any of these types of stretching, or the authors and books I mention above. In fact, I’ve found Active Isolated Stretching to be great for athletes and sports people. And dynamic stretching is imperative for sports that require a lot of quick, sharp movements.
The point is… There’s no one best type of stretching. Every different type of stretching has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. And they don’t need to be sold on hype or exaggeration.
This is why I cover every type of stretching in the Ultimate Guide to Stretching. It’s important not to rely on just one type of stretching all the time. You need to know which type of stretching is best for the goal you’re trying to achieve and the individual you’re working with.
When you can match the right type of stretching to the individual and their goals, you’ll always get a better outcome.
Until next time, stay healthy, keep stretching and God bless.
The Stretch Coach
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