Secret Stretching Technique: Active Isolated Stretching

AIS also known as Active Isolated Stretching. It is a method of stretching that differs from most other types of stretching and strengthening. Listed below are seven defining characteristics of this technique. Most noteworthy, Each of the 7 defining characteristics is supported by established principles of human physiology.

Even though this method is called Active Isolated Stretching. It incorporates both stretching and strengthening in almost every maneuver. The therapists at Back In Motion have extensive training in this Technique.  Most noteworthy, Aaron Mattes is the creator of Active Isolated Stretching 

1. Specificity

AIS movements are precisely targeted to stretch individual muscles as well as  parts of muscles. Rather than larger muscle groups. Also, There is a protocol for every primary muscle in the body. Therefore amounting to more than 170 separate stretches.

2. Active Initiation

AIS movements are supported and assisted by the practitioner,  while each movement is initiated by the client. Resulting in an enhanced stretch. Therefore contracting a muscle on one side of a joint causes the muscle on the opposite side to relax. Relaxation helps the muscle to stretch more efficiently. Most notably having the muscles actively working increases the temperature of the muscles and the fascia. Which enhances flexibility even further.

3. Incremental Assists

While At the end of the client’s range of motion. The therapist provides just enough assistance to push slightly beyond what the person could do on his or her own. As a result, This makes it possible to increase flexibility incrementally. This results in  adding two or three degrees with each repetition. Therefore Getting fast acting pain relief  is easy when following these principles for muscle balancing.  Also Sitting in a chair for prolonged periods will cause the hip and knee muscles to get tight. Resulting in low back pain and other painful areas.

4. Gentle Motion

The movements involved in AIS are quite gentle. Therefore Gradual, gentle motions  help to delay the stretch reflex. Which is A defensive mechanism  designed to prevent muscles from stretching too far or too fast. Because of A movement that’s overly sudden or severe, it will cause the muscle being stretched to  contract. Our gentle yet effective AIS techniques are revolutionary, fast acting and produce results.

5. Brief Duration

The key to avoiding the stretch reflex altogether is to hold a stretch for only a short time. No more than two seconds. Traditionally, exercise specialists have recommended holding stretches for much longer periods of time. 20 and up to 60 seconds or longer. However, research has shown that such prolonged stretching initiates the stretch reflex. Resulting in decreased blood flow within the tissue, and leads to a build up of waste products such as lactic acid, which contribute to muscle fatigue and soreness.

6. Multiple Repetitions

Static stretching relies on the principal known as stress relaxation. So When muscles and connective tissues are held at a constant length, they eventually fatigue, release and lengthen. In addition to muscle fatigue, this type of action is relatively slow. AIS achieves results much more quickly by using 6 to 10 repetitions of shorter stretches. This method results in  increasing flexibility and eliminating painful conditions in as little as one visit.

7. Deep Breathing

Throughout an AIS session, the client coordinates his or her movements with regular, relaxed breathing. Most noteworthy, Deep breathing helps to increase the flow of oxygen to the muscles, and decreasing muscle fatigue. Therefore encouraging the release of muscle tension and fascial restrictions. Without sufficient oxygen, glucose gets converted to lactic acid.  Resulting in  muscle fatigue and soreness. Therefore It is important to avoid holding the breath.

Benefits of our Secret Stretching Technique: Active Isolated Stretching:


  •  Reduces Risk of Injury and increases flexibility



  • Increases Circulation, Balance, and Mobility



  •  Muscle Strength and Endurance is enhanced



  • Eliminates or reduces Joint Pain



  • Relaxes Muscle Tension and Fatigue



  • Reduces Recovery Time from Injury



Purpose of  Active Isolated Stretching

1. Increase and maintain complete range of motion of the joint.

2. Relieve muscle soreness.

3. Help improve our capacity for activity.

4. Assists in decreasing tension and promoting general body relaxation, therefore reducing emotional & physical stress.

5. Relieve muscle and joint stiffness associated with the aging process.

6. Decreased risk for injury or re injury and prevention of  joint sprains and muscle strains.

7. Elongate the fascia. Fascia is the binding muscle support system. Furthermore, Elasticity varies between individuals and is a major reason some individuals experience slower progress in gaining flexibility.

8. Help provide greater potentials of physical and athletic skills.

9. Provides an important aspect toward recovery during the rehabilitation process.

10. Reduction of tightness that may contribute to pain, spasm or cramping.

Call Us Today

Our treatment is performed by licensed Physical Therapists. Therefore AIS service is covered under all health insurances!!! So come the Back In Motion for Active Isolated Stretching. (941)-925-2700

About the Author Tim Burnell, PT

Tim Burnell is the Lead Physical Therapist at Back In Motion Sarasota. He has over two decades of clinical experience. He takes pride in getting to the root of the problem which helps get his clients better...Faster! He is a family man & enjoys spending time with the love of his life, Monique. He has 2 children & a dog named Annie. Tim's son, Andre' is 11 years old and his daughter Joliebelle (nicknamed Pooky) is 7 years old. He enjoys visiting his wife's side of the family in New Orleans and his side of the family in Vermont. Tim grew up in Vermont, went to Physical Therapy School in Alabama, got his first job at Tulane Hospital in New Orleans and moved to Sarasota Florida after Hurricane Katrina in 2006.

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