Types of stretching
There are different types of stretching. Understanding each one allows you to know which would work best for you or when to perform each stretch.
Static stretching is the most basic and common form of stretching, where you lengthen and elongate the muscles for a period of time. These stretches are performed by stretching a muscle to its furthest point and holding it in that position up to 30 seconds. However, when performing Static stretches, it's important to be mindful of how long you are holding the stretch to avoid muscle tightening. Static stretches are most effective after a workout to prevent muscle tightness. Approaching a stretch while the muscle is cold may lead to injury.
Ballistic stretching uses bouncing movements to quickly go beyond ones normal range. This type of stretching does not involve holding the stretch for a certain amount of time. Movements are repetative and use the body weight to extend the muscles past the normal range of motion.
Dynamic Stretching is an active form of stretch. Movements are held for 3-5 seconds. This form of stretching is used to improve the flexibilty required to perform a specific sport or activity. It uses a series of continuos movement to aid in flexibilty. Because the stretches are not being held in one position, it is less likley to cause overstretching
Active Isolated Stretcing is a technique that focuses on isolating one muscle at a time. The stretch is performed for two to three seconds and repeated eight to ten times. The goal of AIS is to reach a position you can hold without any assitance and to push your body to increase the range of motion.