Stretches What are the major types

Let’s take a look at the three major types of stretching:

Dynamic Stretching

Also known as active stretching, this type of stretching exercise is now widely replacing static stretches and are being included in warm-up sessions on a daily basis. Dynamic stretches involves movement of the particular joint or muscle with the body part being demanded to move further with every round of the stretching exercise performed. That is, dynamic stretching often involves taking the body through the complete range of motion; starting with a small movement and gradually progressing in speed and range of movement.

For the warm-up session, dynamic stretches are usually performed after a round of CV exercises like cycling, jogging, etc. The session usually consistsof at least 5 types of the stretches; each performed 6-8 times at different speeds – at slow, medium and fast pace. It should be noted that while undertaking the stretches, all movements should be made under full control.

dynamic stretching

Examples of dynamic stretch drills include lunges, high knees and cariocas.

Static Stretching

Static stretches concentrate on a particular body part – a muscle or a joint. In this type of stretch exercise, the body part that is concentrated on is put to a minimal challenge and aims at relaxing it. The stretches are usually done for about 30 to 60 seconds and should probably be pain-free.

There are mainly two kinds of static stretches:

  • Active
  • Passive or partner stretching

Active stretching: in active stretching, the athlete’s joint or the muscle is put into motion and holds it in such a way that it stretches itself.

Passive stretching or partner stretching: Passive stretching is sometimes also known as partner stretching because, just as the name indicates, it requires the help of a partner to perform the stretch exercises. In this type of stretch, the partner moves the joint or body part of the other (the athlete) to the point of tension and holds it there. Communication is essential in this type of stretching as the athlete has to inform the partner when the stretch becomes painful or causes him discomfort so that the partner can take actions to ease off the tension on that joint.

PNF stretching

PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) can have several forms:

  • Rhythmic initiation
  • Hold-relax
  • Contract-relax

It was during the 1960’s that PNF stretching started becoming popular and since then, it has been one of the common treatments preferred by most  physiotherapists and professionals treating sports injuries.

This type of stretching can either be active assisted or completely passive. In active assisted, the athlete performs a part of the stretch. He then is assisted by a partner who provides resistance. In completely passive stretching, the stretching procedure is performed by the therapist on the athlete.