The cat stretch is a basic spinal mobilizer is sometimes called the "cat camel," a misnomer.1 This easy and gliding stretch helps mobilize and release tension from the spine and stretch the back. Use this stretch as part of a basic mobility routine. If you have a back injury or pain, consult a doctor and/or physical therapist before using this exercise.
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Active Stretching is a type of stretching that uses the active development of tension in the agonist muscles with no outside assistance. In active stretching one assumes a position and then holds that position using muscle strength alone. This type of stretching is static in nature and does not involve ballistic or dynamic movements. An example is a martial artist holding up a leg in a side or front kick position, relying solely on the tension of the agonists to hold the leg up in as stretched a position as possible.
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I've noticed a lot of folks are searching for the definition of the term "dynamic mobility" and I'm pretty sure they will get fairly confused trying to come up with a definition in these pages so I wanted to clear it up a bit.
Mobility? No problem. Dynamic? Sure. But dynamic mobility? Sounds redundant, right?
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Static Stretching Affects Jumping is a thread started by Coach Jamie Hale regarding a study examing the effects of static, PNF, and ballistic stretching prior to counter-movement jumps.
The thread contains a number of summaries of research into the affects of prolonged stretching on subsequent force production. Also, discussions of it's affects on running economy and distance performance, and sprint performance.
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The stretch reflex, or myotatic reflex is a neural mechanism that responds to changes in muscle length (stretching) by attempting to resist the change in length. The changes in length are detected by proprioceptors called muscle spindles. Changes in muscle tension are detected by another important proprioceptor, the Golgi tendon organ (note: there may be other processes at work).
Continue Reading » Stretch Reflex with Passive/Static Stretching