Thread: Active Isolated Stretching
3/06/2007 12:16pm, #1
Active Isolated Stretching
So I was training for a marathon and after a particularly grueling 22 mile run (is there really any other kind of 22 mile run?), I could barely walk for the pain. I went to a doctor, and he really didn't give me much help, because there wasn't anything torn or surgury worthy. Next I went to see a sports massage therapist, who showed me a new way to stretch called active isolated stretching. here is a link. i will summaraize as well...
Basically, you contract the opposing muscle (think bicep/tricep), and only hold the stretch for 1-2 seconds, never going into the "pain zone". do 10 reps per muscle group, and experiment with different angles as well.
I healed very quickly using the techniques, as well as the RICE method and now I am running pain free for the first time, well, ever. I imagine that this will translate well into MA once I join a BJJ school, which I hear is hell on the non-flexible body.
note: I read the stickied stretching post, and didn't see mention of this type of stretching so I thought I would add a new thread, so people would be more apt to look at it and hopefully learn something.
Last edited by Poo-Jitsu; 3/06/2007 12:18pm at .
3/06/2007 4:01pm, #2
3/06/2007 4:11pm, #3
it is close, but i think only holding the stretch for 1-2 seconds is key here - the body has a natural response to tighten the muscle that is being stretched after too long as a defense mechanism, not to mention the blood getting cut off to the region when a stretch is held too long. but they are quite similar and probably both better than standard passive stretching.
3/06/2007 8:53pm, #4
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All I know about stretching:
Stretching should be just like working out, and specific to your sport. For example: if you are a Judo player, you would do well to work out with a sandbag. Almost all MA or MMA should use utilize a sandbag and unstable objects, and all should give it a try.
Cardio is the same. You shouldn't solely do long runs for cardio, instead utilizing your time with skill work and intervals, seeing that a fight or a game isn't fought at 60-80% perceived effort for 2 hours. Train how you fight. Runs can be included once a week or so, but not so much for the cardio benefit, but rather for the mental aspect, clearing your mind and conditioning it for the prolonged pain of a bout gone on too long.
Stretching, also, is the same. I like Pavel Tsatsouline's opinion in a way, but it's not the whole picture. Pavel says that it's a mental response that causes us to be inflexible, as in, if you were hypnotised, you could do the splits. On a subconcious level, you have given yourself a set range of motion, and everytime you fail, it's because you thought you couldn't do it. Your muscles tighten up, causing you to stay where your at, instead of go further. Fear. This theory is true in a way, and can help you at all points in life, by having a "can do" attitude. Much like running, there IS a mental picture. But it's not the whole picture. Why do your muscles grow in response to a strength training workout? Because they have been stressed in a NEW RANGE OF STRENGTH. The same should be said from a single stretching session.
Your muscles have "muscle memory" implying that when you use them to accomplish new feats of strength, skill, or whatnot they "remember" the skill. This is your incredible body's response to new stress. It must build itself in a way to adapt to the new stress. That's why it is so important to train specificity to a fight or your sport in question(remember the Judo players and sandbags earlier? Good, you can read). In his book "Core Performance" Mike Verstegen took a inflexible client and increased his flexibility 4 fold during a 10 minute stretching session. He accomplished this with one method:
He had the client utilize the body's natural reaction to tension and had the subject use his muscles in the new range of motion, therefore, his muscles "remembered" the new range of motion(new flexibility) better. He called this AIS stretching, Active Isolated Stretching, a cross between static and dynamic stretching. It goes like this: You contract(tense up, flex) the muscle, pooling blood therein for a second, then you contract the opposing muscle, forcing the muscle to relax, then go to your maximum range of motion with said muscle(maintaining contraction of opposing muscle) then pull/push it to a new range of motion, a couple inches, and hold there, for 3 seconds, relax, then repeat 1-3 times.
The reason for the short hold is the same reason people don't hold isometrics for a great length of time, or almost the same. The muscle still needs to retain memory of past range of motion.
The best ways to gain flexibility are through dynamic flexibility during a warmup(to warm the muscles for movement and develop flexibility through a range of motion), these AIS stretches during a cooldown(to leave the muscles remembering a new ROM and strength in said ROM), and through sheer use.
Olympic lifters, on average, have vertical leaps higher than average pro basketball players, less BF% on average than pro power lifters and strongmen, can lift more weight than average pro bodybuilders, and ARE MORE FLEXIBLE THAN YOGA ARTISTS. Why is this?
Look at the O lifts. There are only 2, but they lift the most weight through the largest range of motion and end up in the most stretched position. Something to think about for all of us. The kind of stretching exercises(sheer use) I speak of? Any form of Squats done ass to grass. Snatch or Clean and Jerk, done with correct form, Pull/Chinups from dead hang, Row from dead hang, flyes, deep dips(unweighted, for safety), dumbell excercises(one and 2 dumbell), farmer's walk, stiff legged deadlift, full situp(Rocky 4 style, hanging frm something w/legs anchored), reverse hyperextension, hang clean, deadlift, shrugs, neck harness, etc. Be creative. It's your flexibility. Remember: Whoever is a master of tension is also a master of relaxation.
3/07/2007 9:44am, #5Originally Posted by Flash Jackson
Please cease your posting of bizarre scientologists bullshittery.You can't make people smarter. You can expose them to information, but your responsibility stops there.
3/07/2007 10:57am, #6
FJ - Where did you copy all of that from? I have heard the whole mental aspect of stretching thing before... In my Wing Chun classes. Please excuse me for being skeptical.
3/07/2007 1:10pm, #7
Flash, you forgot to mention rosstraining. Here, let me do it for you: http://www.rosstraining.com/
Yes Craphonso, the problem with your stretching is that you run too much and you don't do Olympic powerlifting.:wave:
3/07/2007 1:48pm, #8Originally Posted by PirateJonYou can't make people smarter. You can expose them to information, but your responsibility stops there.
3/08/2007 2:40pm, #9Originally Posted by meataxe
my wife says my problem is that i drink too much.
3/09/2007 10:41am, #10Originally Posted by Craphonso