Friday, April 24, 2015

Types of Stretches

When it comes to stretching there are several different types. They are all used for something different but some of them can be used for the same thing. Stretching is an exercise technique people can use to gain flexibility and range of motion in their joints. There are three types that are going to be discussed.

The first type is ballistic stretching. Ballistic stretching is when the body or limb bounces into the stretch position.1 This kind of stretching isn’t used very often. It can be harmful if used improperly. An example is when you do a side lunge and bounce up and down trying to get lower and lower with each bounce.

The second type is dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching is when someone gradually increases their range of motion through movements. This type of stretch is used before activity and is most beneficial.2 Athletes and people getting ready to workout should do some type of dynamic stretch beforehand. An example of dynamic stretching would be leg sings or arm swings done at a slow and controlled rate.

The third type of stretching is static stretching. This is the type of stretching that everyone thinks of when they think of stretching. This type of stretching is when a muscle is put at its end range of motion and held for a period of time.1 There is two types of static stretching, active and passive. Active is when the person stretches themselves. An example would be bending down and touching the toes. Passive is when someone stretches someone else. An example of this would be when an athletic trainer stretches an athlete’s hamstring by picking up their leg and holding it at its end range of motion. This is not good to do before activity because it tears muscle fibers and does not allow the muscle to “warm up.”

These three types of stretches are the most used and the most talked about. Dynamic and static stretching are used almost all of the time in the athletic training room. We have to know about ballistic stretching and how dangerous it can be to our athletes so we don’t hurt them. Stretching is something that is used for good but used in the wrong manner can be hurtful.


1Types of Stretching. (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2015, from

2Types of stretches. (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2015, from

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