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Is it safe to bounce while I'm stretching in order to increase the stretch?

Bouncing while stretching, also known as ballistic stretching, is not recommended. Ballistic stretching exercises are performed using rapid and jerky bouncing movements that place more force on the muscle being stretched in an attempt to lengthen it. This type of stretching is usually done in a very uncontrolled manner and may cause muscle soreness and injury, from small tears to the muscle. Using uncontrolled, jerky movements while stretching can also cause ligaments to become overstretched which can then lead to loose and unstable joints, furthering the risk for injury.

When stretching always progress slowly into a stretch to a point where you begin to feel discomfort or tightness in your muscle. This point should always be slightly below your pain threshold. Hold this position and try to relax the muscle being stretched as much as possible. If you feel the tightness in the muscle significantly lessen, then you can move a little further into the stretch until you reach the next point of tightness. Stretches should be held for approximately 30 seconds.

No, bouncing while stretching is not safe and should be avoided. Bouncing while you stretch is known as ballistic stretching. This form of stretching can stretch your muscles too far and too fast resulting in a pulled muscle. Oftentimes during ballistic stretching your nervous system will actually send a signal to your muscles to contract to avoid stretching too far and potential injury, defeating the purpose of the stretch. Moving slowly into a stretch is very important in helping the muscle to relax and lengthen during a stretch. Bouncing is a rapid movement causing the muscle to become very excitable and not allowing a for a true increase in muscle length.

No not at all.  Stretching is meant to be done in a slow manner to help loosen up the muscle.  Bouncing while stretching is like stretching out a rubber band really fast.  In the end the rubber band will eventually break just like your muscle.
Dr. Mike Clark, DPT
Fitness





Bouncing while stretching is not safe and should be avoided. Bouncing while you stretch is known as ballistic stretching. This form of stretching can stretch your muscles too far and too fast resulting in significant strain on your muscles.

To dynamically warm up your muscles prior to activity, perform active or dyanamic movements like a squat to a calve raise, lunge, single leg squat, push up, etc

Perform the movements in a controlled manner.  Perform 1 set of 10 repetions

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.