Isometric stretching is a type of static stretching (meaning it does not use motion) which involves the resistance of muscle groups through tensing of the stretched muscles. Isometric stretching is one of the fastest ways to develop increased static or passive flexibility, and is much more effective than either passive stretching or active stretching alone.Isometric stretching is quite demanding on the muscle tendons and joints, and therefore should not be performed more than once per day for a given group of muscles.
The most common ways to provide the needed resistance for an isometric stretch are to apply resistance manually to one's own limbs, to have a partner apply the resistance, or to use a wall or the floor to provide resistance.
Static Stretching Technique
- Assume the position of a passive stretch for the desired muscle.
- Tense the stretched muscle for 7-15 seconds (resisting against some force that will not move, like the floor or a partner).
- Relax the muscle for at least 20 seconds and repeat.
- Holding onto the ball of your foot to keep it from flexing, while you are using the muscles of your calf to try and straighten your instep so that the toes are pointed.
- Having a partner hold your leg up high while you attempt to force your leg back down to the ground.
- Calf stretch against the wall.