Active and Passive stretching is 2 different types of stretching that both balance each other. It is extremely useful to have both of these in your practice as it helps to keep the body safe. Lets discuss what the difference is…
Active stretching is where you are using the muscles and engaging them to help keep your body in certain positions while you stretch. It uses a lot more strength as it activates your muscles needed for the position you are in and helps to build up muscles around the area you are trying to lengthen which helps to keep the muscles from getting pulled and injured.
Passive stretching is where you use external forces to help lengthen the muscles. For example, you could use a strap to pull yourself deeper into a pose. Someone could help by leaning into you, to help you get deeper into a pose or you could be using your own body and pushing against yourself to help deepen a pose. When you use passive stretching because you are using something else to help deepen it, the muscle that you are trying to lengthen can relax a little bit more which in turn helps with your flexibility.
So why don’t we just do passive stretching? Because constantly lengthen the muscles to gain flexibility can leave them weak so adding the active stretching in helps to strengthen all the surrounding muscles which in turn keeps your body safe and prevents injury. We need a balance of these stretches to have a safe and effective flexibility routine.
Check out the pictures below on the different types of stretches.
If you are looking to work deeper into your flexibility. Join The Mindful Stretch Program where we focus on the 5 movements that will majorly improve your practice and help you to gain flexibility in a safe way.