Tuesday September 1, 2015

How To Stretch
posted by barreTech Nicole F.

Stretching TECH.niques
BarreTech Stretch Class
Part of what makes Barre such an effective, total body workout is the combination of isometric strength training, weight training, and stretching. Let's look at three different stretching techniques that we incorporate into BARRE TECH. classes that get you there faster.
Active: An active stretch is one where you assume a posture and then hold it with no assistance other than using the strength of your agonist (active) muscles. For example, elevating your leg and then holding it without any assistance other than your thigh muscles themselves. One side works the leg up and the other side gets a stretch.  
Passive: A passive stretch is when you assume a position and anchor it with some other part of your body or with the assistance of a partner or even an apparatus (like a towel or band at the end of class). The splits is an example of a passive stretch where the floor is the "apparatus" that you use to maintain your extended position.
Relaxed , or passive, stretching is an effective technique when cooling down after your workout and can reduce post-workout fatigue and soreness.
PNF (or Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation):
PNF stretching is currently the fastest and most effective way known to increase flexibility. It occurs when a muscle group is stretched, then contracts against resistance (like a barre or band) while in the lengthening position and then passively stretched again.  The result is an increased range of motion. 
Try it with a partner: Lay flat on the ground, raise one leg into the air and have your partner stand and face the raised leg. Ask your partner to stretch your leg toward your waist band and hold the stretch for 10 seconds; then press your leg into the partners' hands for about 10 seconds; then release the hold and with the help of your partner, stretch the leg deeper before switching sides.
Interested in learning more about these stretching techniques and others? Give BARRE TECH.'s Stretch OUT class on Monday nights in Del Ray with Amy C.
-BARRE TECH. Instructor, Nicole Fratianne
{Tuesday and Thursday nights and Saturday mornings at Alexandria}