Passive and Active Stretching

Stretching is an integral part of a good exercise routine.  It’s also an integral part of an effective Remedial Massage/   Despite knowing how important it is to stretch, many of us get tempted to skip it when we work out.

We may find it boring and repetitive or we may simply not have an extra 15 minutes a day to dedicate to more physical exercise.

Unfortunately, no matter what your reason is for skipping your stretches, it will eventually catch up with you. You may notice your physical endurance begin to reduce or excruciating pain in your muscles if you do not stretch regularly.

When this happens, you may need some help getting your stretches and that is where we come in.

Types of Stretching; Passive vs Active Stretching

Passive stretching is when you hold a stretch with the help of an outside force like a partner, an arm, a strap, or a weighted bag.

Active stretching, on the other hand, is a type of stretching where you use one muscle group to stretch another. Active stretching is usually much harder than passive. If you practice yoga, you are familiar with active stretching. Many of the yoga poses are active stretches for example the forward fold and seated forward bend.

Which is better?

At Rub Massage, we believe in individualised care. For this reason, we determine the best approach for someone after hearing their concerns.

What works for one person may not work for another. An injured person, for example, may not be able to perform an active stretch. In this case, a passive stretch is better.

Active stretching for example may work better for a veteran yogi than a new mother.

What are some benefits of stretching?

Stretching has both short and long-term benefits. Whether you just want to get fitter or you are badly injured, there is a stretch for you. Some of the benefits you may see after stretching include:

  • Increased flexibility
  • An increase in muscle length
  • Faster recovery
  • Better range of motion
  • Pain relief
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