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2012 Wally Waddle by Bob Kopac

Coach's Corner - Active Isolated Stretching

2010 Vassar Halloween Run by Bob Kopac

Pictures and concepts from Jim and Phil Wharton, The Warton Stretch Book

Flexibility training will allow you to 'flow' with a more comfortable and lengthened stride. And a lengthened stride will get you to the finish line faster, even if you change nothing else in your training program

(Jim and Phil Warton, The Warton Stretch Book, page 155)

To minimize injuries, do all stretches each day.

Principles

Active Isolated Method

  1. Prepare to stretch one isolated muscle at a time.

  2. Actively contract the muscle that is OPPOSITE the isolated muscle. The isolated muscle will then relax in preparation for its stretch.

  3. Stretch it gently and quickly - hold the stretch for no more than 2 seconds.

  4. Release the stretch before the muscle reacts to being stretched (by going into its protective contraction).

  5. Do it again.

  6. Go out and win. (The Wharton Stretch Book, page xiv)

Exhale on the work phase; inhale on the return phase.

Increase blood flow by repeating each stretch 8-10 times. Repetitive muscle contractions deliver greater amounts of blood and oxygen to the specific muscle being stretched more rapidly than static stretching.

The ranges on the clock in the images below help you judge your degree of flexibility. These will improve as you continue with the exercises.

  • Red: too tight

  • Yellow: normal

  • Green: elite athlete

  • Blue: hypermobile

A
B
C
Picture
Description

x

o

x

Single Leg Pelvic Tilt
Single Leg Pelvic Tilt

On back, lift one knee to chest with quads. Assist with hands behind knee.

Stretches lower back and buttocks.

o

x

o

Double Leg Pelvic Tilt
Double Leg Leg Pelvic Tilt

On back, lift both knees to chest with quads. Assist with hand behind knee.

Stretches lower back and buttocks.

x

o

o

Bent Leg Hamstring begin
Bent leg hamstring - end position
Hamstring Bent-Leg

On back, place rope on foot. Extend leg by contracting quads. Lock knee and have foot face ceiling. Use rope for gentle assistance at end of stretch. Pulling your leg into position can irritate the back of your knee.

Stretches large muscles in the back of the thighs, just behind the knee (hamstring distal attachments).

o

x

x

Hamstring straight leg - beginning position
Hamstring straight leg ending position
Hamstring Straight Leg

On back, place rope on foot and hold ends with one hand. Lift leg with quads, aiming foot toward ceiling. Climb the rope, hand over hand, as leg lifts.

Stretches the large muscles in the back of the thighs.

x

o

o

Hip Adductors
Hip Adductor

On back, point foot towards midline of body. Wrap rope around inside of ankle. Use outer thigh to extend leg away from body.

Stretches muscles on inside of the thigh.

x

o

x

Hip Abductors - beginning position
Hip abductors - ending position
Outer Thigh Hip Abductor

On back, point feet opposite direction stretching. Wrap rope around outside of ankle. Use muscles of inner thigh to stretch leg across body while lifting the leg.

Stretches muscles on the outside of the thighs and hips.

o

x

o

Quads
Quad

On side, bottom knee to chest, grasp ankle with lower hand. Use glute and hamstring to bring thigh away from midline.

Stretches muscles in the front of the thighs.

o

o

x

Gluteals
Gluteals - modified reverse trunk rotation

On back, extend legs straight. Rotate non-exercising leg toward midline by pointing toes outward. Lift bent knee with abdominals and upper hip towards opposite shoulder, keeping pelvis flat on surface.

Stretches lower back rotators, lateral hips, piriformis and buttocks.

x

o

x

Trunk rotators
Trunk Rotators

On back, point foot not stretching toward midline of body. Wrap rope around outside of ankle. Lift locked leg and foot pointed away from midline of body with quads towards opposite shoulder. It is important to maintain the outward rotation of the exercising leg throughout the movement.

Stretches lower back, midback muscles and biceps femoris

o

x

o

Piriformis
Piriformis

On back, point foot not stretching toward midline of body. Place rope on foot. Lift locked leg with quad, upper thigh, inner thigh, abdominals and reach across body as far as possible.

Stretches muscles that lie underneath the big muscles in the buttocks, low back rotators and external hip rotators.

o

o

x

Medial Hip Rotators
Medial Hip Rotators

On flat surface, extend legs straight ahead. Take foot of exercising leg and place on top of thigh of opposite leg. Lower knees as close to surface as you can get. Using non-exercising leg a fulcrum, gently press knee down with hand on same side.

Stretches the small muscles on top of the buttocks, the muscles that span from the hip sockets to the top of the pelvis, muscles on inside of thighs, muscles in groin, and deep muscles inside pelvis.

o

x

o

Low Back Trunk
Low Back - bent leg trunk flexion

Sit with bent knees. Tuck chin, using abdominal muscles to reach toward floor.

Stretches muscles that run from the pelvis to the base of the skull and the back muscles below the belt line.

x

o

o

Low back twist
Low Back Twist - thoracic lumbar rotation

 Sit with bent knees. Tuck chin while using oblique abdominals. Place hands behind head. Twist and reach shoulder toward opposite thigh.

Stretches the muscles that run from the pelvis to the base of the skull along the spine, the muscles throughout your back and sides that stabilize your movement and help you to balance and change direction.

o

x

o

Side Reach Trunk
Side Reach - trunk flexion

Standing. Reach down to one side with arms at side using outside of back and obliques. Keep hips level.

Stretches muscles in back along spine and muscles in the sides of your trunk.

x

o

o

Achilles
Achilles

Seated. Move heal of exercising leg to glute. Place hands on ball of foot. Use shin to lift foot off floor. Assist with hands at end of movement.

Stretches the cord that attaches your heel to your lower leg.

o

x

o

Soleus
Soleus

Seated, one knee bent 90 degrees. Place hands on ball of foot. Use shin to lift foot off floor.

Stretches the deep muscles in the back of the lower legs.

o

o

x

Gastrocnemius
Gastroc - gastroncnemius

Seated. Leg straight with locked knee. Place rope on ball of foot. Use shin to move toes toward you.  Lean forward for greater stretch.

Stretches the calf muscles.