Sometimes you just need to BE stretched
GYROTONIC® training is a great way to increase your mobility and flexibility. But sometimes what works best for you is to have someone else do the work and you simply GET stretched. Manual Stretching sessions might be just the ticket.
What happens in a Manual Stretching session?
Depending on your needs I'll perform a series of stretches to decrease the tension in your muscles, increase the extensibility of the muscles (the ability to lengthen) and increase the range of motion of the associated joints.
The best way to help a muscle release its tension is to make it activate first. There are three primary types of these stretches:
- PIR (post isometric relaxation): you'll isometrically contact (contracting the muscle without moving the associated joint) the muscle we're going to stretch and when you stop contracting, the muscle will naturally relax. Then I'll manually move the associated joint to a new, greater range of motion and hold that stretch for 25-30 seconds.
- CRAC (contract, relax, antagonist contract): We'll start the same as a PIR contraction but after you relax the contraction we'll have you use the opposing muscle (antagonist) to move the associated joint to a greater range of motion. For example if we're stretching the biceps, once we have you relax the isometric contraction you'll use your triceps to extend the elbow, taking the biceps into greater length.
- EC (eccentric contraction): Again we'll start with an isometric contraction. But with this style, after you've held the isometric contraction for a few seconds I'll have you resist me changing the joint, while still contracting. Its like you're "letting me win". And again I'll hold that new range of motion for 25-30 seconds.
On which muscles can this type of stretching work?
Pretty much all of them! I originally learned these techniques when I attended the Institute for Orthorpedic Massage, now known as the Hendrickson Method. We learned these Muscle Energy Technique stretches for the whole body, even the jaw.
No matter where you're feeling muscular pain or tightness, there's a way to stretch it.
Assisted/manual stretching is great for improving posture, increasing athletic performance and reducing the risk of injury.
Can manual stretching help YOU feel, move and perform better?
Give me a call and let's find out.