What is Active Static Stretching, yoga?
- Active static stretching is a type of stretching that involves holding a position without external assistance or force, relying only on the strength of the muscles to maintain the stretch. This type of stretching is typically performed after a workout or during a yoga practice to improve flexibility and prevent injury.
- During active static stretching, the muscle is lengthened and held in a stretched position for a set amount of time, usually 20-30 seconds. The muscle is contracted isometrically during the hold, which allows the muscle fibers to relax and elongate.
- In yoga, many asanas involve active static stretching, such as uttanasana (standing forward fold), where the hamstrings and lower back are stretched and held for several breaths. Another example is adho mukha svanasana (downward facing dog), which stretches the hamstrings, calves, and shoulders.
Benefits of active static stretching include:
- Improved flexibility: Active static stretching increases the range of motion of joints and improves flexibility by increasing the length of muscle fibers.
- Reduced risk of injury: By increasing flexibility, active static stretching reduces the risk of injury during physical activity.
- Improved posture: Tight muscles can cause poor posture, and active static stretching can help correct these imbalances and improve posture.
Contraindications for active static stretching include:
- Injuries: Active static stretching should not be performed on injured muscles, as this can further damage the muscle fibers.
- Joint instability: People with joint instability should avoid active static stretching, as it can further damage the joint.
- Joint replacements: People with joint replacements should avoid active static stretching around the replaced joint, as it can cause damage to the implant.
Overall, active static stretching is a safe and effective way to improve flexibility and prevent injury, and it can be easily incorporated into a regular yoga practice.