Static stretching, the kind a fitness instructor leads at the end of a class, involves stretching a body part to its farthest position and then holding it for 30 seconds or more. It does not involve bouncing or rapid movements, just a mild pulling sensation. You feel the stretch through the entire length and center of the muscle and not in the joints.
Dynamic stretching involves controlled swinging of the arms and legs that gently takes them to the limits of their range of motion. Here, parts of the body are moved with gradually increasing speed, reach or both.
In isometric stretching, as a muscle is stretched into position, you resist the stretch. For example, have a partner hold your leg up high while you attempt to force back your leg in the opposite direction. Isometric stretching is the safest and most effective method for increasing the joints’ range of motion, and it strengthens tendons and ligaments while retaining their flexibility.
Myofascial release is a safe and very effective technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the connective tissue or trigger point to eliminate pain and restore motion.