Active vs Passive Stretching – Know the Difference!

Stretching & Flexibility Certification

When is active stretching best?  When is passive stretching best? 

Active Stretching:  In active stretching, there is no external force being provided.  You are actively moving one muscle group to stretch another.  Active stretches can be completed without a stretching partner or stretching accessories.  If you are performing the stretch with no external force, it is an active stretch.

Passive Stretching:  In passive stretching, there is an external force being provided.  You are being stretched instead of actively stretching.  Passive stretching can be accomplished through partner stretches, using stretching accessories and/or just using gravity to assist your stretch.  If the stretch is reliant on an external force, it is a passive stretch.

There is a time and place for both forms of stretching.  Passive static stretches are a great way to improve flexibility and can be used as a cool down.  Active dynamic stretches are most commonly used as a warm up and are ideal to promote blood flow to the exercised muscle groups prior to activity.
To learn more about Active, Passive, Dynamic, Static and PNF stretching, click the link below and learn how to become a Stretching and Flexibility Instructor.
Stretching & Flexibility Certification
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