Types of Stretches
What are the types of stretches?There are four types of stretches.
Static stretch- It involves a slow, gradual, controlled stretch to the point of mild discomfort and hold it for 15-30 secs. One obvious benefit in this is that the chance of injury is minimal. This type of stretching is ideal to stretch the connective tissue/non-contractile elements since it makes use of the viscoelastic properties to cause elongation of the tissue.
Dynamic (ballistic) stretch- this describes a type of stretch whereby a muscle is taken through a full, slow and large amplitude movement. The opposing muscles are used to produce the force in this type of stretching. This type of stretching is done under control and is not jerky in nature. Dynamic flexibility uses sport specific movements to increase an athlete's readiness for competition. In contrast to static stretching, dynamic stretching is best done during your warm up as it prepares your body for the strenuous workout that lies ahead.
Ballistic stretching - is similar to dynamic stretching because it uses movement. However, the movements are quick, jerky and bouncing which triggers the stretch reflex, thereby contracting the muscle, not relaxing it. This type of stretching can be dangerous and in my opinion the risks outweigh the benefits. It involves rapid, repetitive bouncing stretch. This technique incorporates a high force, short-duration stretch.
PNF (Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation.) - PNF uses the concept that muscle relaxation is fundamental to elongation of muscle tissue. In theory, it is performed in a way that uses the proprioceptive abilities of the GTO and muscle spindle to relax or inhibit the muscle in order to gain a more effective stretch. It does so using autogenic inhibition and reciprocal inhibition. PNF stretching exists in a number of different forms, but the only ones discussed here will be the contract relax (CR), hold-relax (HR) and contract relax and antagonist contraction (CRAC) methods. This stretching methods involves an initial isometric contraction against maximum resistance at the end of the limbs range of motion for approximately six seconds,followed by relaxation and slow ,passive stretch at the point of limitation.