#HealthBytes: What is active stretching? Benefits, how to do it
Active stretching is one of the many types of stretching that athletes and health-conscious individuals rely on. This kind of stretching uses the opposing muscles to create a resistant pull and feeling a stretch. They are often done post a workout session. Here, we explain in detail the mechanism of active stretching and the ways in which you can benefit from it.
Muscles are used rather than props to make a stretch
Active stretching involves the active contracting of one muscle as a way to stretch an opposing muscle. This means, rather than using any external prop to make a stretch, the stretch is being created with other muscles. A classic example of an active stretch is holding yoga poses that require the opposing muscles to be strong while stretching one muscle.
Here's how you can do an active stretch
Active stretching involves engaging a set of muscles while relaxing the opposite muscles and holding this pose for a few seconds. To begin with, choose a target muscle to stretch. Now, flex the muscles on the opposite side and hold this position for a few seconds until you feel a stretch in the target muscle. Repeat on the opposite side if stretching the limbs.
Pain relief, better flexibility are some of its benefits
Active stretching leads to more oxygen being supplied to the muscles, which helps them perform better and improves the body's overall health. Better circulation leads to pain relief and reduced tension of the muscles. This is found to be true in the case of athletes who have experienced an injury. Active stretching also improves the overall flexibility of the body.
Few things to keep in mind before getting started
The main advantage of active stretching is the fact that it does not require stretch bands or other bands and can practically be practiced anywhere. However, it can be tricky for those who have no experience in stretching, at all. Hence, it is always important to consult a stretchologist or your gym trainer, for a personalized plan before getting started on this.