7 Effective Different Types of Stretching

You will get to see different types of flexibility1 here, and you will read about different types of stretching for the flexible body. In general, seven types of stretching would offer you a fit and flexible body with astounding health benefits.

Different Types of Stretching

1. Ballistic Stretching

In this type of stretching, You will use the momentum of your body to force your body beyond its normal range.

In Ballistic stretching, your body’s speed is much faster and farther. You could call it stretching or bouncing which will not be useful for your body.

Ballistic Stretching

As Ballistic stretching is faster, your body doesn’t get time to relax and understand or adjust the stretching position. Also, due to its fast speed and without setting time concept, Ballistic stretching might lead to injury in some cases. So, take precautions and exercise them with care.

2. Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretches involve the parts of your body that are in motion or moving parts. You would have to enhance or increase the speed of your movement.2

Never get confused between dynamicWarm-Up and Ballistic stretches. Both of these are completely different types of stretching. You need to bounce or force your body beyond its capacity or range of motion in Ballistic stretching3. But in Dynamic stretching4, no utilization of bounce is required.

Dynamic Stretching Warm Up Routine

Dynamic stretching emphasizes more on gentle stretches that include your legs and arms and would be an amazing warm-up or aerobic workout. Another great part about these stretches is the relaxing gap you get in between your sets.

But never forget the limits of your range of motion while doing Dynamic stretching. You should stop and take a break if you feel tired or fatigued after one set. The extension could vary from 8 to 12 sets according to your capacity.

It will be very effective in improving muscles with an increased range of motion. Once you reach your highest range of motion, you should stop to relax the muscles. Concentrate on your target muscle and range of movement to get the benefits of Dynamic activity.5

3. Active Stretching

When it comes to different types of stretching, one of the most talked-about stretches is Active stretching.

Upper Body Active Stretch Workout - Arms, Shoulder, Chest, and Back Stretching Exercises

Also known as Active Static stretching, you need to hold the position in this type of stretching. In simple words, active stretching is taking your place and holding that position without any external help but using your agonist’s muscles.

For example, bring your hands a little high and then hold your position for moments without anything but with your hand muscles. The tension created by the agonist will help in relaxing the muscle groups involved in stretching.

Lower Body Active Stretching Routine - Low Impact Workout to Tone and Stretch

Holding the position in active stretching would be a little difficult as you should not make it more than 15 seconds, and it’s always preferable to keep this position for a maximum of 10-15 seconds and then relax.

4. Passive Stretching

One of the most popular in different types of stretching, Passive stretching should be tagged as relaxed or Static Passive stretching. It is quite different from Active Stretching but somehow similar as well.

In Passive stretching, you would have to choose your position and then hold it for a while with external help. Here, it would help if you used the assistance of your partner or your other parts of the body. You could also take the help of other props if required.

For example, you want to lift your right leg, and then you would support that leg with the help of your hands. This position-hold stretching is known as Passive stretching and improves flexibility for sure.

Passive stretching has no risk of injuries with every relaxed kind of stretching. It would help if you tried these Passive stretching exercises after your heavy or light workout as a cooling down.

5. Static Stretching

There is a lot of confusion between passive and Static stretching. Many people take both of them similarly working for flexibility. But it’s not true; both of these stretchings come to sunder the seven different types of stretching with other operating structures.

25 Static Stretches

In Passive stretching, the person doing the stretch is pretty much relaxed and then does it with external help, as you read above.

But in Static stretching, the person needs to stretch their body parts to the farthest limit and then strictly hold the position for a while. Static stretching is an astounding cooling-down stretch exercise for faster recovery of tired muscles.

It will improve your range of movement and increase your flexibility of muscles, and stretching is always outstanding for reducing the amount of tension produced on your strengths. Hence, you should expect the same relaxation in Static stretching6 results.

6. Isometric Stretching

Whenever it comes to trying different types of stretching for faster flexibility, Isometric stretching is most helpful a it also reduces pain. It will also help in producing or increasing the strength of your tensed muscle.

In this type of stretching, you need to put resistance by any means. You could take help from your partner, or any other props, or use your body parts to put the resistance on your limbs.

Knee & Hip Isometric Exercises - Ask Doctor Jo

This stretching is not advisable for children with growing bones (adolescents) as their bones are already flexible enough. The Isometric contraction could produce stretch that could damage their connective tissues or tendons. So, in short, it is recommended for people with not-so-flexible bones.

There are some limits to doing Isometric stretches, and you should always practice them once every hour. Due to the high flexibility produced by Isometric contractions repeating this stretch would have some risks.

7. PNF Stretching

If you follow the recent trend and most talked about stretching, then the PNF technique holds a really good impression. The PNF technique is another fast way to achieve Active-Passive stretching in a short period.

You should not call it stretching as it is more a technique or method that combines both Passive and Isometric stretching to achieve the highest static flexibility.

What is PNF Stretching?

PNF is also used to rehabilitate the victims of strokes. You could practice PNF stretching both with the help or without the help of your partner.

In this type of exercise, you need to passive stretch again after you produce Isometric contraction through resistance that will ultimately increase your range of motion and is more effective with the help of a partner.

While performing, PNF stretching relax your muscles for 15-20 seconds before you do it again.

Some techniques of PNF stretching will help you make it more effective, which are:

7.1. The Hold Relax Technique

Hold Relax Techniques work well for flexibility. Here, you start with passive stretch, and then once your muscles get to stretch, they start contractions that last between 7-15 seconds.

After the contractions, your muscles get relaxed for 2-3 seconds; go for an initial passive stretch and try to hold the final stretch (a passive stretch for a maximum of 20 seconds before stepping into another PNF technique).

7.2. The Hold Relax Contract Technique

Here you will practice the contraction (Isometric) for both against and antagonist. In this technique, the first part of the technique remains similar to the first technique.

Once you reach the stretched muscle’s contraction for 7-15 seconds, while the muscles get relaxed, the antagonists start a contraction (Isometric) that again lasts from 7-15 seconds. Then relax your muscles for up to 20 seconds before performing it again.

The Hold Relax Swing is a great connection between Dynamic or Ballistic stretches with Isometric or Static stretches. This technique contains a lot of risks, so professionals like trained athletes or dancers. The steps of this technique are completely similar to the Hold Relax Technique.

A great connection between dynamic or ballistic stretches with Isometric or Static stretches. This technique contains a lot of risks, so professionals like trained athletes or dancers. The steps of this technique are completely similar to the hold-relax technique.

Just in this technique at the end, you need to incorporate Ballistic or Dynamic stretching and substitute the final passive stretch with any of these two.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How is stretching helpful?

Stretching helps in lengthening your muscles and flexibility for various parts of your body.

2. What happens if you stretch every day?

Stretching every day will increase your range of motion, reduce muscle pain, and help in maintaining good posture.

Different Types of Stretching, Takeaways

Performing different types of stretching will help your body gain a good amount of flexibility. You could choose any of these different types of stretching to improve your overall health.

Try out these different types of stretching for better physical, mental, and emotional health conditions.

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  1. Chryssolouris, G. “Flexibility and its measurement.” CIRP annals 45.2 (1996): 581-587. ↩︎
  2. Meyer, David E., J. E. Smith, and Charles E. Wright. “Models for the speed and accuracy of aimed movements.” Psychological review 89.5 (1982): 449. ↩︎
  3. Mahieu, Nele Nathalie, et al. “Effect of static and ballistic stretching on the muscle–tendon tissue properties.” Detection And Approach Of Intrinsic Risk Factors For Achilles Tendinopathy 75 (2007). ↩︎
  4. Behm, David G., and Anis Chaouachi. “A review of the acute effects of static and dynamic stretching on performance.” European journal of applied physiology 111 (2011): 2633-2651. ↩︎
  5. Lombriser, Clemens, et al. “Benefits of dynamically reconfigurable activity recognition in distributed sensing environments.” Activity Recognition in Pervasive Intelligent Environments. Paris: Atlantis Press, 2011. 265-290. ↩︎
  6. Behm, David G., et al. “Effect of acute static stretching on force, balance, reaction time, and movement time.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 36.8 (2004): 1397-1402. ↩︎

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