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Charlie Reid

Static stretching vs "Mobility" training

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Charlie Reid

I had a question to pose to the group regarding the utility of static stretching. There seems to be a trend in various fitness communities that vilify passive static stretching and instead favor more active mobility methods (isometric stretching/PNF, eccentrics, end range loading in various positions, etc). For the record, I'm not against static stretching and, based on history and lineage in the sport of gymnastics, the tradition of lots of static stretching is ubiquitous. Im just curious as to the rationale of so much passive static stretching in gymnastics circles. Why not just do all active flexibility work? Why the need for passive stretching? 

 

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Mikey Cunanan
49 minutes ago, Charlie Reid said:

I had a question to pose to the group regarding the utility of static stretching. There seems to be a trend in various fitness communities that vilify passive static stretching and instead favor more active mobility methods (isometric stretching/PNF, eccentrics, end range loading in various positions, etc). For the record, I'm not against static stretching and, based on history and lineage in the sport of gymnastics, the tradition of lots of static stretching is ubiquitous. Im just curious as to the rationale of so much passive static stretching in gymnastics circles. Why not just do all active flexibility work? Why the need for passive stretching? 

 

Static stretching is essential for strength developments because it improves your stretch tolerance to the targeted muscle groups. On the opossite end of the spectrum, active mobility aims to strengthen the opposing muscle at end range.

It's best to think of it this way. You can't strengthen a range of motion that your body won't allow you to move into.

For example, if your goal is to strengthen your handstand, then you will first need to improve your shoulder flexibility with passive stretching. Then you can proceed with the active mobility exercises from the handstand courses.

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Charlie Reid

This fits my bias, as well, thanks Mikey :) but for the purpose of discussion, could you not also increase tolerance by doing isometrics at end range instead of just doing passive? Any studies looking at this? I understand that passive will always be greater than active but what if active work improved stretch tolerance, as well? 

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