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Muscle stretching training for more active flexibility

published by Claudio Trento in Sports February 3, 2021
Claudio Trento

What muscle stretching training is and why you should give it a try.

Muscle stretching training is also known in specialist circles as biokinetics and is gaining in popularity. No wonder. Improvements in flexibility can usually be seen after just a few sessions. The holistic flexibility training restores the natural balance of tension in your body. Rid yourself of pain originating in the muscle and fascia system through muscle stretching training.

01. Why do muscle stretching training?

Our lifestyles have changed drastically over the past few centuries. Whereas our predecessors had to hunt and gather to survive, we spend most of our time sitting down. Our body adapts based on what we do with it: If we spend all day sitting in a certain position, the body adapts accordingly. This shortens muscle groups and causes imbalances within the body. At the same time, our fascia become tighter and more adhesive. This means we unfortunately need to counteract restricted flexibility and pain ourselves. That might sound horrifying on one hand. On the other hand, it also means that we're the ones in control. Muscle stretching training helps to counteract this.

Your tool for muscle length training
To the STRETCH BAND

02. Anatomy: What's behind it all?

Before starting muscle stretching training, it's helpful to understand what it entails and what we want to achieve with this special form of flexibility training.

When we move, multiple muscle groups work together as part of a so-called muscle loop. Multiple muscle loops are typically active around a joint. Let’s use the hip joint as an example. On the back you’ll find the hip-stretching muscles, and on the front is where the hip-bending muscles are located. These muscles form a loop. In order to move, the muscle loop must work together. Using our hip example, this would look as follows: when we bend our hips, our hip-bending muscles engage. At the same time, our hip-stretching muscles on the back relax. These muscle loops need to function optimally together if we want to move efficiently and without pain. One-sided activities, such as sitting for hours, negatively affect the interplay of our muscle loops. This results in a whole host of potential problems. Our goal should be to restore the natural balance of tension within the body.

Tensegrity Model

Let’s take a look at the ‘Tensegrity model’. The body is an interconnected unit. The term ‘Tensegrity’ originates from the architectural industry. The word is a combination of the terms 'tension’ and ‘integrity’. In brief, tensions within the body are connected with one another and mutually influence each other. This means that if a certain part of the body is shortened, this changes the overall tension balance. For example, if our front fascial line is tense, our body has to compensate for this, which often results in pain in the back of the body (e.g. back or neck).

Muscle stretching training helps to prevent imbalances and pain associated with this.

03. What is muscle stretching training?

During muscle stretching training, entire muscle loops or muscle and fascial lines - rather than individual muscles - are placed in their end position under tension. This training stimulus triggers lengthening of the muscles. This doesn’t happen with traditional stretching exercises. Certain exercises feel like a stretch, but in fact are static strength training in the final joint position. In addition to the muscles, the fascia which surround the muscles are also primarily targeted during muscle stretching exercises. This results in more suppleness overall.

04. What does muscle stretching training do?

  • Muscle stretching training actively combats typical problems such as back and neck pain.
  • If you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk, you’ll learn compensatory movement patterns through muscle stretching training. This results in fewer issues and improved general wellbeing.
  • Active flexibility quickly produces visible results, i.e. you'll learn how to position your joint under active muscle contraction without using force.
  • Optimum interplay between flexibility and strength

05. Who muscle stretching training is suitable for and what you need to know

For everyone. Top athletes benefit from this training as much as someone who spends 8 hours a day in an office. Proper technique plays a key role here.

What you need to remember:

01
Stay active

Stay active!

Make sure that you're always in control when performing the exercise. Never let gravity or your STRETCH BAND overtake your control of your movement. This is important for helping unlearn ingrained movement patterns. Your body's forces will be brought back into balance. Through controlled technique, you'll also minimise the risk of injury. When exercising, all of your brain’s protective mechanisms are engaged. Your central nervous system won’t let you adopt a position that could damage your body.

02
End joint position

End joint position

We are all unique and have different requirements. That’s why we need to ensure that the stimulus from training impacts the right place. This is always where our body has built up the greatest amount of tension. This area will also have the most restrictions. We must therefore encourage all muscle loops to find your personal maximum position. This turns off the compensatory patterns that we've picked up in everyday life. Our brain then decides for itself where the training stimulus needs to happen - namely the area where we need it most.

Too complicated? Don't worry. We'll explain the training technique in more detail in our exercise videos.

Muscle length training

Exercise routines

In our exercise videos we explain the exercise in detail.

To the exercises

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