The Dangers of Ballistic Stretching

Stretching and Flexibility Instruction Certification

Ballistic Stretching:  Why You Shouldn't Do it

      Ballistic stretching refers to an uncoordinated stretch that utilizes momentum and bouncing motions to improve muscle elasticity.  Throughout the years, the theory of ideal forms of stretching has changed.  Prior to our current level of biomechanical and physiological understanding of muscle structure, many fitness enthusiasts advocated ballistic stretching.  We have all heard the stories of the martial arts student (from back in the day...) who was told to jump and land in the splits to improve his/her flexibility.  Or, that he/she would be pushed down into the splits...  Many fitness classes recommended swing kicks to improve hamstring flexibility.  'Just keep your leg straight and kick as high as you can until you can kick higher.  So what if a muscles tears, it happens to everyone - that's how you get flexible...'

     Of course, this is inappropriate and even vaguely amusing to remember now.  But, think about how many injuries have been caused by supposed 'traditional' stretching methods.  'Keep your legs straight, reach for your toes and bounce your way down until you are there...'  The thought makes us cringe.  Alternatively, traditional static stretching with measured pauses is a great means to flexibility that is safe for all ages.  Dynamic stretching is ideal for stretching prior to athletic activity and PNF stretching is a great way to improve flexibility utilizing isometric contractions!  As you can see, there are many avenues for stretching that do not include ballistic movement.  

     Whether you are wanting to learn about active or passive stretching - ASFA® has the solution.  Maybe your interest lies in PNF, Dynamic or Static stretching. Maybe your are interested in learning about the differences in results between unilateral and bilateral stretching.  Whatever your interest, ASFA® makes learning about safety and helping prevent injury by improving flexibility easy and convenient.  Test today and learn about correct methodology, safety and misconceptions about stretching and flexibility with ASFA's Stretching and Flexibility Instruction Certification!

Stretching and Flexibility Instruction


next post → ← previous post

Stay in Touch


ASFA® is endorsed by leaders in the fitness industry. Please check out our endorsements and partners page for more information!

Latest Fitness Posts

  • ASFA® Certifications: Legitimize Your Resume

    Do clients ever ask you who the best personal trainer is in your gym?  Or, are you legit?  These are common questions for clients to ask.  And for good reason!  Everyone wants to know that their personal trainer and/or fitness... read more

  • ASFA® Certified: Qualified and Credible!

    Qualification and credibility have always been linked.  The more qualified a trainer or fitness professional is, the more credible he/she is.  This brings up the obvious question:  Why are so many personal trainers just qualified with a basic level certification? ... read more