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Types of Stretching Exercises | ABC-of-Fitness

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The Different Types of Stretching are: ballistic stretching, dynamic stretching, active stretching, passive stretching, static stretching, isometric stretching, and PNF stretching. Although there are various types of stretching, the Two Basic Types of Stretches are the Ballistic Stretch and the Static Stretch. These two stretches are essential in your Warm-up and Cool-down Fitness Routine:

Ballistic Stretching



The ballistic stretch, also known as Active Stretch, uses motion and momentum to extend the muscle. Ballistic stretching involves some form of rapid motions into the specific stretch position. Light ballistic stretches are an essential part of the warm-up before your workout. The Ballistic Stretches you incorporate into your warm-up program should be appropriate to the movements you would be doing in your Fitness Workout or sport. What follows are some examples of ballistic stretches:

  • Joint Rotations
    1. Stand and place your arms by your side
    2. Flex, extend, and rotate each of the following joints:
      • Fingers
      • Wrist
      • Elbows
      • Shoulders
      • Neck
      • Trunk and shoulder blades
      • Hips
      • Knees
      • Ankles
      • Feet and toes

  • Arm Swings
    • Overhead arm swing
      1. Stand (with legs slightly bent and feet hip-width apart)
      2. Maintain a straight back
      3. Swing both of your arms continuously to an overhead position and then forward, down, and backwards, for 8 to 10 repetitions
    • Side arm swing
      1. Stand (with legs slightly bent and feet hip-width apart)
      2. Maintain a straight back
      3. Swing both of your arms out to your sides and then cross them in front of your chest, for 8 to 10 repetitions

  • Leg Swings
    1. Stand sideways, an arm's length away from a wall
    2. Put your weight on your left leg and place the palm of your right hand against the wall for balance.
    3. Swing your right leg forward and backward for 10 to 12 repetitions
    4. Repeat with the other side

  • Standing Lunge Lunges
    • Standing lunge
      1. Place your left foot forward while your right foot is behind your body about one stride-length apart
      2. Flexing the right foot, slowly sink down. This will set off your left knee to bend
      3. Put your weight on the heel of your front foot to work the buttock muscle most effectively
      4. Return to starting position and work with the other leg

    • Diagonal lunge
      1. Move your left leg out at a 45 angle then sink down
      2. This will set off your right knee to bend
      3. Put your weight on the heel of your front foot
      4. Return to starting position and work with the other leg


Static Stretching


In static (or passive) stretch, the muscle is extended as far as it can comfortably go and is held in that position. This is probably the Safest Type of Stretching. Static stretching involves gradually easing into the stretch position. You may hold each stretch from 10 to 30 seconds.

Static stretches are more appropriate for your cool-down exercises. Still, you can do a light static stretch during your warm-up. After your cool-down, while your muscles are still warm, you can stretch more aggressively.


It would be relaxing to get into a really Good Stretching Session to release all of that accumulated tension our bodies take each day. For a great full, upper, or lower body Stretching Sequences go to Fitness Exercises: Stretching Sequences.

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Article Comments
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@Tron
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