Stretching techniques

There are at least three main stretching techniques:

  1. Static
  2. Dynamic
  3. Contract-Release

Static stretching consists of gradually assuming the stretching position and maintaining this position for 10-60 seconds. If it is held for a sufficient period of time, this form of stretching can aid circulation as well as metabolic functions in the musculature.

Active dynamic stretching consists of stretching through movement. The advantage of this technique is that it targets particular muscle groups through active contractions of their antagonist muscles, thereby helping them build strength (cf. Weineck, 2000). In turn, this strengthening of the antagonists can address muscular imbalances, which cannot be achieved solely by stretching the agonist muscles (cf. Bös/Brehm, 2006).

The contract-release method of stretching consists of tensing the targeted muscle as much as possible just prior to stretching it. Because this causes the muscle to relax, it can then be stretched further. The muscle should only be tensed for as short a period of time as possible (approx. 1 second) and then stretched immediately after the contraction (cf. Weineck, 2000).

Research is still contradictory as to whether stretching can prevent muscle soreness. However, research does support the case that static passive stretching is insufficient for a warm-up prior to a workout involving muscle loading (cf. Bös/Brehm, 2006).

Active dynamic stretching is built into the warm-down phase of a Drums Alive workout, which “rounds out” the session by aiding in the cool down and promoting muscle regeneration, while also leaving participants with a feeling of well-being.

Ill.: Overview of stretching techniques (modified as per Hollmann/Hettinger, 2000)