what is isostatic stretching.


Isostatic stretching is an advanced form of training for flexibility. However, it must be performed with caution. This type of stretching is used to develop an extreme range of motion that is association with martial arts and some forms of dancing. Isostatic stretching is also called isometric stretching; for those looking for an intense stretch to improve athletic abilities, this may be the stretch for you.

When a muscle stretches, some muscle fibers elongate and others remain at rest. The more intense a stretch, the more fibers stretch to their full capacity. Isostatic stretching occurs when a muscle is already engaged in a stretched position and additional muscle fibers, which otherwise would have remained at rest, are also stretched. Those muscle fibers that are resting will be pulled from either end of the muscle group being contracted. Fibers that are in the stretched position before the isostatic contraction are prevented from contracting and therefore can stretch further than they otherwise would be able to.

You don’t use motion with isostatic stretching. Rather, your muscles contract while resistance is applied in order to prevent movement and further the stretch. The resistance can come from a training partner, a machine or even an external object, such as a wall. To use isostatic stretching for hamstrings, lie on your back and raise your right leg straight up. Have a training partner provide resistance to your extended leg as you contract the hamstring by pushing the leg back toward the floor. Continue this contraction for six to 10 seconds. Repeat on the left leg. To stretch the chest, use a column or a fixed bar at your local gym. Stand with your back to the bar or column and flex your right arm so that the elbow is at 90 degrees. Place your right elbow behind the bar or column. Turn your torso to the left. Flex your chest and press your right arm further against the bar or chair. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds.

For isostatic sretching to be beneficial, allow at least 48 hours between isostatic stretching workouts. During workouts, perform one isostatic exercise per muscle group. Perform two to five sets with only one rep per set; hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds and no more than 15 seconds.


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