There are several types of exercises during which stretching (lengthening of muscles) occurs. Depending on the goal and the desired result, one or another method of stretching is chosen. Let’s consider some of them:

Static stretches: These are the most common stretching exercises. Slowly stretching the muscles of the body, a certain pose is taken, in which all the muscles are maximally stretched, and you fix the position of the body for 15-30 seconds. Exercises are repeated 3-4 times. It is not recommended to perform exercises sharply, quickly and vigorously – this can damage the muscle, the lengthening of muscle tissues should occur gradually. The physiological basis of static exercises is the myotatic reflex, in which a contraction of muscle fibers occurs in a forcibly stretched muscle, and it is activated. As a result, metabolic processes are enhanced in the muscles, a high vitality is ensured. It is generally accepted that it is static stretching that forms the basis of stretching (M.A. Godik, A.M. Baramidze, T.G. Kiseleva, 1991).

Dynamic Stretches: Dynamic stretching, unlike static stretching, is performed in motion. The simplest example is lunges with one foot forward (backward). An increase in the amplitude of movements is achieved by increasing the speed or intensity of the exercise. This method is often used as a warm-up before a workout.

Ballistic stretching: The basis of ballistic stretching is jumping, pushing and other sharp power movements that help stretch the muscles. All exercises are performed with maximum amplitude and sharply, due to which jerky traumatic stretching of muscle and connective tissues occurs. During such a load, the joints and muscles experience risky overloads, so this method is not widely used. Basically, this type of stretching is used in martial arts.

Active stretches: In this type of stretch, you stretch your muscle to a certain position and hold it in this position with the help of muscles that counteract the muscle being stretched. You can not only stretch the muscle, but also relax it if the antagonist muscle is powerfully contracted. For example, when stretching the quadriceps, you pull the foot to the buttock and hold it in this position with the strength of the hamstrings. In this case, stretching of the quadriceps is achieved. And if you try to straighten your leg at the knee, overcoming the resistance of your own arm, which opposes extension, then by doing so you strongly strain the hamstrings, and the quadriceps, on the contrary, relaxes.

Passive stretches: Passive stretches are movements performed with the help of a partner. With this type of stretching, the amplitude is greater than with independent work. But the training has one subtlety: if you don’t stretch, then there will be no effect from the exercise, and if you pull it (which happens in most cases), you can get injured. Therefore, this stretch must be performed with extreme caution. If a partner helps you, then you must be absolutely sure of his competence. In stretching, this type of stretching is also widely used, but in most cases by athletes with extensive experience working in pairs.

PNP stretches (proprioceptive neuromuscular support): This is a whole system of exercises that combines passive stretching with isometric muscle contraction (the muscle contracts against external resistance). There are two options for performing PNP:

1. The relax-contract-relax exercise, in which the muscle is gently stretched and then isometrically contracted, then relaxed and stretched again.

2. The exercise “relaxation-contraction-contraction” is built on the reverse order of actions: after relaxing the “main” muscle, contract the opposing muscle, then the “main” muscle is contracted again. For example, when stretching the hamstrings, you first stretch this muscle group only a little, and then bring it to the maximum possible stretch. The exercise is repeated several times, each time achieving the greatest stretching of the muscles.


When working on muscle stretching, it is advisable to form two types of training complexes:

Ø the first selective impact, is formed from exercises, during which the same muscle groups are stretched;

Ø the second type of the training complex is characterized by a mixed effect; it uses exercises, each of which affects a specific muscle group.

Knowledge of the processes occurring in the human body, under load, contributes to the success of stretching.

The methodology for managing physical activity during the performance of any exercises was substantiated by N.I. Volkov and V.M. Zatsiorsky, who proposed the following: for control and planning, five components must be taken into account:

1. The duration of the exercise.

2. The intensity of the exercise (speed, power).

3. Duration of rest intervals between exercises.

4. The nature of the rest.

5. The number of repetitions of exercises.

Depending on what the numerical values of each of these components of the exercise will be, the training effect will be obtained. Therefore, it is necessary to know how the magnitude of the training effect will change if the duration of the exercise is shortened, its intensity is increased (decreased), etc.

The duration of the exercise determines the amount of physiological and biochemical changes that occur during its implementation. When stretching, the duration of the exercise ranges from 5 to 30 seconds. It should be taken into account that on average each exercise is repeated 5-7 times for 15-30s, with a rest of 10-30s, i.e. The total duration of its execution is from two to seven minutes. The total duration of the load when using 5-10 exercises can vary from 15 to 60 minutes, provided that the complex will include both short-term and long-term tasks.

Mechanical work in stretching is small, energy consumption is low, and therefore there is no significant activation of the cardiovascular system. Even with a long session (40-60 minutes of only stretching), the heart rate does not exceed 120-130 beats / min, provided that at rest the heart rate is 60-80 beats / min.

The intensity of the load in various exercises must be regulated mainly due to muscle tension. In different positions that a person takes in exercises, one should strive for maximum amplitude so that the muscles are stretched. In this position, the stretched muscle is already sufficiently activated without any additional tension. If the muscles are still tense, this will only increase the intensity of the exercise. Moreover, the training effect in this case will be very significant.

The duration of the rest interval between repetitions of the exercise largely determines the magnitude and nature of the shifts in the body caused by the load. During the rest period, recovery processes take place. According to various authors, recovery during the rest period is characterized by some features:

1. The speed of recovery processes is not the same: at first, recovery is fast, then it slows down.

2. Different indicators are restored after different times.

3. In the process of recovery, phase changes in working capacity and individual indicators are observed. It should also be noted that the dynamics of recovery processes is largely determined by the level of sports qualification.

The nature of the rest – in the pauses between repetitions, to a certain extent, affects the course of recovery processes.

Filling the rest intervals with some low-intensity work allows you to maintain the functioning of various body systems at a certain level.

The number of repetitions of the exercise determines the total value of the body’s responses and depends on the preparedness of the student and on the goal set for him.

In addition to feeling that your well-being has improved, you need to control the dynamics of mobility in the joints. If it improves, then this indicates sufficient effectiveness of the chosen stretching technique.

Materials used:

v Vies Yu.B. Fitness for everyone. – Minsk: Book House, 2006.-512s.

v Nussio E. Stretching for everyone. Stretching. – St. Petersburg: “Dilya”, 2007.-192p.

v Perederina Ya.G. Stretching. Tutorial.- St. Petersburg: Vector, 2008.-160s.

v Fang Zhiyong. Stretching for health and joints. – M.: “Phoenix”, 2004.-224s.

v Shenk-Fair. Active stretching. – M.: Press / Grand, 2008.-160s.

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