Passive stretching, sometimes referred to as relaxed stretching, is a technique in which you are relaxed and make no contribution to the range of motion. Instead, an external force is created by an outside agent, either manually or mechanically.
Holding a position with a part of the body or some other apparatus, such as the floor or a stability ball. The aim is to relax into the stretch position and use the external force to enhance the stretch.
Kneeling on the floor and placing your hands on a stability ball stretched out in front is a passive stretch. Within this movement we are using the ball for assistance and creation of the external force.
The frog and splits are both passive stretches where we are using the floor and our body as external forces on the hips.
As with all stretches, it’s important that we listen to our bodies and work to tension within the stretch, easing into stretching to aid our workouts and flexibility.
Calm relaxed stretching can aid in relief from muscle spasm and after injury, however we should ensure we are ready for stretching injured (recovering) muscles prior to starting a stretching routine. If in doubt, always check with a professional.
Relaxed stretching is also a great cooldown after a workout that can reduce the effect of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).
If you have any questions about stretching, be sure to ask a Member of Team SF – firstname.lastname@example.org