|Stretching technique provides a different twist on flexibility
People who avoid stretching because of boredom may prefer a new
twist—Active Isolated Stretching (AIS). Jarrod Fritz, a licensed
massage therapist, uses this technique with clients. He said the human
body is a complex system that needs movement to function properly.
Restrictions to normal motion can negatively affect the body and lead
to dysfunction. Stretching is preventative maintenance because it
increases flexibility and decreases stiffness, which reduces injury and
restores normal functioning. It is also used for rehabilitation
“When looking at the benefits of enhanced flexibility, we see things
like improved posture, better tissue nutrition, reduced chance of
injury, and improved performance.”
Aaron Mattes, its creator, will be conducting a clinic May 20 -23 at
the MUSC Wellness Center. The session, which will provide continuing
education credit, will teach participants how to use AIS to get
the optimum length in each muscle.
It uses the following three principles:
the opposite muscle to the one being stretched. Muscles are set up in
opposing pairs. When one side contracts, the other relaxes. An example
would be to contract the quadriceps muscles on the front of the thigh
for a better stretch on the hamstrings on the back of the thigh. This
places the target muscle you are stretching at its most relaxed state
allowing for a better stretch.
stretch is held only about two seconds. This allows the muscle to
lengthen before the stretch reflex, a defensive mechanism, is engaged.
done properly, the active nature and short duration of AIS cuts down on
time and boredom, and the simple moves ensure maximum efficiency. The
ability to control the intensity eliminates pain.
- Breathe through the stretch. This will ensure the presence of oxygen and prevent fatigue and the buildup of lactic acid.
For information on AIS or to set up a session, contact the Center
for Therapeutic Massage at 852-9939. To learn more about AIS and
Mattes, visit http://www.stretchingusa.com.
Friday, April 23, 2010