What is Active Isolated Stretching (AIS)?
· Elite Athletes
· Weekend Warriors
· Senior Citizens
· High School and College Athletes
· Sedentary Individuals
· Parkinson’s Patients
· Spinal/Head Injuries
AIS will help prevent any injury caused by tight tissue that limits joint range of motion. Click on the common applications below to learn more:
1. Carpel Tunnel
2. Lower Back Problems
3. Baseball Stretching
4. Football Stretching
5. Golf Stretching
6. Stretching for Runners and Walkers
8. Sprained Ankle, Foot or Arch Problems
9. Stretching for Calves & Hamstrings
Is there any way to prevent Carpal Tunnel? Can Carpal Tunnel be relieved without surgery?
Prevention of carpal tunnel involves specific stretching for the neck, anterior shoulder/chest muscles and the radioulnar, wrist and hand muscles. AIS has been used by thousands of secretaries, computer personnel and people who engage in repetitive movements. During the past 32 years thousands have been relieved from Carpal Tunnel symptoms without surgery by employing specific AIS stretching and strengthening programs.
Low Back Problems
Most low back problems stem from a couple of different areas. One area that attributes to low back problems are weak abdominal muscles. Many people with low back problems have very under-developed abdominal muscles and lower back muscles. It is important to work to build up the abdominal muscles using abdominal crunches or half situps (also known as pelvic tilts). The strengthening book, “Active Isolated Strengthening” goes into great detail working with the low back and abdominal muscles. Also tight hamstrings attribute to many problems associated with the low back.
Stretching is a very important part of golf to not only prevent injuries but also to improve the power exerted in golf. Golf is a power sport, which means the greater the amount of strength or power you can exert with the golf club to the ball, the greater the velocity the ball will travel (or the farther you can hit the ball). Power equals the amount of strength you can exert over a great range of motion divided by time. What this means is if you can take the strength you already have and use it through a greater range of motion, this will allow you to achieve a greater power potential. Most golfers who are known as “long ball hitters,” are able to achieve greater motion on their back swing and range of motion in the hips on the torso region to achieve greater power on the active swing motion. So flexibility is an integral part of golf. Increasing your flexibility will help prevent injury on the deceleration phase of the swing as well. If the muscles are more flexible, when the shoulders, arms and torso have to decelerate the swing, there will be decreased chance of injury.
Importance of Stretching for Runners and Walkers
Running and walking are very strenuous activities on the body. The exercise effects almost every aspect of the muscular skeletal system from the feet to the neck. Using Active Isolated Stretching you will actually warm the muscles, joints and fascia of the body preparing it for running or walking. Proper preparation for your activity will not only help to decrease the chance for injury, but also to slow the process of fatigue. The more flexible the body is, the more efficient it can be. If the body is properly warmed up, the body’s cardiovascular system is able to better oxygenate the muscles decreasing the rate of fatigue or lactic acid build-up. Stretching will also help to remove or decrease fatigue after running or walking by pumping the lactic acid from the muscles thus removing the toxic material from the muscles that cause them to be sore.
Can anything be done for Scoliosis?
Scoliosis has frequently been treated successfully with specific AIS exercises to stretch muscles of the trunk, neck, hips and pelvis. Stretching alone will not change the curvature and stabilize the structure. Specific isolated strength exercises for the back, hip, neck and abdominal regions are an important part of the treatment plan. The use of seat belts for stabilization has been a great assistance.
If I sprained my ankle or have foot/arch problems what do I do?
Ice frequently, use a pressure wrap and begin gentle AIS stretching and mild, specific strengthening exercises for each fundamental movement of the ankle (dorsal flexion, plantar flexion), sub-talar joints (inversion, eversion) and specific foot exercises. As range increases and strength improves, the Mattes Ankle Exerciser is a versatile piece of equipment displayed and described in this Web site to restore strength and help prevent ankle sprains, shin splints, foot problems, etc. Use of the Mattes Ankle Exerciser and other specific foot exercises, using a towel, stocking and resistive weights are employed successfully for foot problems and arch development.
How do I stretch my calves?
Traditionally the calves are stretched from the standing position by leaning against a supportive wall, fence, etc. The main problem is the gastrocnemius (calf) muscle, which is stabilizing the knee and ankle joints. When leaning forward the calf muscle is performing a lengthening contraction to stabilize both joints and is not a relaxed muscle. The best stretching position for a relaxed calf is performed in a sitting position. Place a rope or strap around the ball of the foot. Keep the knee straight. Lift the foot and ankle backwards and assist with a rope. For greater specificity turn the foot inward 20 degrees and lift the ankle back to stretch the outer belly of the calf. Next turn the foot outward 20 degrees and pull the ankle back to stretch the inner belly of the calf. As the calf becomes more flexible, lean the upper body forward 15 to 20 degrees to provide greater stretch potential.
The hamstrings are best stretched when incorporating the quadriceps. Use of a rope or strap is helpful. The distal end (insertion) of the hamstrings should be stretched before the proximal (origin) end. The “Bent Knee Hamstring Stretch” is used to stretch the distal attachment. To be more specific, the lower leg is first rotated inward to stretch the distal inner hamstrings. Rotate the lower leg outward for the distal outer hamstrings. Incorporate the “Straight Leg Hamstring Stretch” for the muscle belly and proximal attachments. The knee must remain extended. Use rope or a strap to assist. After the initial straight leg stretch, perform movements with the full leg rotated inward for oblique fibers of the inner hamstrings. Rotate the leg outward and move it toward the opposite side shoulder to isolate the oblique fibers of biceps femoris (outer hamstring).
WILL AIS HELP RESOLVE MY INJURY?
To the extent that an injury is caused by poor flexibility, AIS will accelerate recovery and resolve the problem.
CAN I DO AIS BY MYSELF?
This is an aspect of AIS that sets it apart from other stretching techniques. Seventy percent of the AIS routine one can be done by an individual in a maintenance capacity. To receive the full benefits of AIS and attain the maximum range of motion it is essential to work with an experienced practitioner. However, it is possible to maintain flexibility on your own by practicing AIS on a daily basis.
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