Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) is a system for use by any individual who suffers from contracted, painful muscles. Sedentary living habits and the repeated (habitual) use of flexor muscles are often major reasons for lack of complete range of motion.
Flexibility exercises for particular areas are necessary when there is insufficient stimulation of the antigravity muscles of the body and/or limited involvement of the flexor muscles. These areas include the posterior thigh, anterior hip, lower back, calves, neck, and the pectoral area of the chest.
Also, work or exercise that causes overuse of the same muscles repeatedly day after day confines joints within a restricted range of motion and tends to reduce flexibility.
What is the purpose of stretching?
- To increase and maintain complete range of motion of a joint.
- To relieve muscle soreness. Light exercise promotes a better supply of blood and oxygen to the muscles than complete rest and should be pursued unless an injury to muscles or joints precludes further activity.
- To help improve the capacity for activity. Stretched muscles require less energy for completion of movements.
- To assist in decreasing unnecessary neuromuscular tension, promote general body relaxation, and reduce emotional stress.
- To relieve muscle-joint stiffness associated with the aging process.
- To increase musculotendinous extendibility. A muscle can be stretched 1.6 times its resting length before it tears.
- To elongate the fascia, which provides the binding together support system to stabilize muscles, organs, and most body tissue. Elasticity varies between individuals and is a major reason some individuals experience slower progress in attaining flexibility.
- To help prevent joint and muscle strains and tears or the re-injury of these areas.
- To increase tissue temperature through an increased metabolic rate as a major part of the pre-activity warm-up.
- To increase blood flow to the fatigued area, eliminate toxic waste products from cells, reduce soreness, increase muscle relaxation, and improve flexibility as part of the warm-down process.
- To help provide greater potentials for physical and athletic skills.
- To reduce tightness that may contribute to pain, spasm, or cramping.
- To provide an important adjunct toward recovery during the process of rehabilitation
Active Isolated Stretching Exercises have these beneficial effects:
- improve oxygenation and nutrition of myofascial structures promoting growth and repair.
- stimulate the circulation and drainage of lymph, which helps eliminate metabolic wastes.
- improve flexibility and health of muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
- break down the friction and “gluing” among fascial sheaths.
- separate fibrosis and break down adhesions that may result from trauma or inflammation.
- realign collagen fibers.
- reduce muscle spasm.
- reduce the risk of muscle strain and tear.
For more information and/or an appointment for instruction in Active Isolated Stretching Exercises (AISE) for use before the day begins, prior to walking, running or sports activities so as to decrease soreness and improve body performance, contact me.
The textbook for use in instructing AISE is titled “Specific Stretching For Everyone” by Aaron L. Mattes. The material in this book can be used not only by athletes but by musicians, dancers, individuals who work at computers, or persons who engage in any occupation where there is a tendency toward repetitive stress injury. This may include everything from sign language interpretation to working on a conveyor belt. The cost of the book is $19.95, plus $1.44 sales tax and $5.00 shipping and handling.