Types Of Stretches You Can Conduct With Stretch A Flex

The following stretching principles can be executed with a Stretch A Flex to greatly improve your flexibility:

Isometric (P.N.F.) Stretching

Isometric Stretching, or contracting a muscle to induce a greater stretch is commonly known today as P.N.F Stretching or Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation.

The theory is that when a muscle is fully stretched and then forced to contract, a further stretch occurs within the muscle. It also works on the theory that a muscle will relax more fully after a strong contraction, allowing it to then be stretched further to a new increased length.

This method of using isometric tension and then relaxation is scientifically proven to give the fastest gains in flexibility.

For PNF stretches to work effectively requires 3 elements:

  • Leverage is important in increasing flexibility because it allows you to take your body to positions further than it is capable of on its own, and then hold you there.
  • Resistance is crucial in stretching. Muscles relax most fully after contraction, and thus by providing resistance to movement the muscles are encouraged to contract throughout, after which they can fully relax . This unlocking of tension facilitates complete relaxation in the muscle which is so necessary for a complete stretch.
  • Support is given by holding the individual in a stretched position so complete relaxation can occur. This support ensures the correct position is held for the best stretch possible, without tension or fatigue.

Some advocates of PNF stretching engage the use of a partner to assist with their stretching – but this often leads to disappointment. The partner does not feel what you feel. By the time the partner reacts to your signal to stop or release it may be too late. Severe injury can result – plus the partner cannot be always available to follow you to every workout or stretching session.

Stretch A Flex is like a portable stretching partner. It can help you get into a stretched position and hold you there to provide leverage for isometric contractions, varying the intensity you desire for maximum effect. You can contract the targeted muscles group you wish to stretch for a few seconds, using Stretch A Flex to provide leverage and resistance, then relax those muscles and move into a position of greater stretch.

This process is then repeated several times until you reach a position of maximum stretch. Your maximum position of stretch will of course increase over time.

In the accompanying Stretch A Flex Booklet you receive with your purchase you will find two methods of P.N.F stretching outlined:

P.N.F. Method 1 – Contract muscle for 6 – 10 seconds, then relax the muscle and stretch further. Hold the new position for 30 seconds or so and then repeat contraction. Keep repeating until you reach your maximum stretch.

P.N.F. Method 2 – Contract muscle for 2 – 3 seconds then relax muscle and move into a more stretched position. Repeat up to 10 times or so. Try to elongate the muscle in small increments. Repeat the whole sequence 2 or 3 times with a rest in between.

You can experiment to see which method works best for you, or alternate between both methods.

Isometric Stretching is very intense and tiring for your muscles so should be only undertaken two or three times a week. This allows your muscles to recover in between. Or, if you are feeling particularly tired on a given day, you can skip Isometric Stretching and perform a less reigorous form of stretching instead.

Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretching aims to gradually increase ranges of motion helping to decrease the chance of injury in the activity to follow. When done properly they are usually safe and effective. However, dynamic stretches have inherent dangers for any athlete, let alone the weekend warrior, because muscles can be easily strained through uncontrolled movement.

Stretch A Flex allows for a safe, more controlled and more effective dynamic stretching method.

There are countless people everyday, including top athletes, who injure themselves warming up or in pre-exercise stretching. Even simple jogging has proven to be the undoing of many a great athlete.

Sports trainers and coaches recommend dynamic stretching as the pre-exercise sports stretch which use sport specific movements to prepare the body for movement. Dynamic stretching usually consists of controlled leg and arm swings that take you to the limits of your range of motion. This is opposed to Ballistic stretches which involve bounces or “jerky” movements to force a part of the body to extend its range of motion. Ballistic stretching is no longer recommended due to the high incidence of injury and inferior effectiveness.

Stretch A Flex improves the effectiveness of dynamic stretching by leading the limb through an increasing range of motion in a controlled manner. Using Stretch A Flex for dynamic stretching promotes an extended range of flexibility – beyond any previous range. By applying leverage to these dynamic movements, you stretch in a controlled and safe manner.

This is just one of the many “Dynamic” stretches you can perform with Stretch A Flex, both lying and standing. This example is near the final sequence for a“dynamic” hamstring stretch. It simultaneously provides support and resistance to the exercised limb inhibiting any wild movements, which are the main culprits in injury. Because Stretch A Flex provides only the amount of resistance that you exert, you have instant feedback to the effort your muscles are expending and the stretch you are preforming. This allows you to sense any tension or any unforeseen weakness that may exist in a muscle before you expose it to more vigorous activity.

Stretch A Flex also promotes a warm up tired or tight muscles as you gradually increase your stretch. This warming sensation is felt readily when using Stretch A Flex and facilitates are more effective as well as safe stretch.

The Stretchaflex DVD contains a whole range of “dynamic” stretches for kicking in the martial arts. The Stretch A Flex provides controlled resistance for complete muscle involvement; it not only stretches your kicking muscles, but educates you how to perform your kicks correctly.

Complete sequences are in the Stretch A Flex DVD which is included in every order.

Customer Testimonial

“In 25 years of martial arts training and 17 years working in the fitness industry it would be fair to say that Stretch A Flex is by far the best training aid I have ever used.”
Dwayne Wooliams -International Judo coach, Champion Mixed Martial Artist, and Gym owner.

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Isn’t it about time you got serious about flexibility?

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