The Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) method of muscle lengthening and fascial release is a type of Athletic Stretching Technique that provides effective, dynamic, facilitated stretching of major muscle groups, but more importantly, AIS provides functional and physiological restoration of superficial and deep fascial planes.
Over the past few decades many experts have advocated that stretching should last up to 60 seconds. For years, this prolonged static stretching technique was the gold standard. However, prolonged static stretching actually decreases the blood flow within the tissue creating localized ischemia and lactic acid buildup. This can potentially cause irritation or injury of local muscular, tendinous, lymphatic, as well as neural tissues, similar to the effects and consequences of trauma and overuse syndromes.
AIS Technique is an effective treatment for deep and superficial fascial release, restoring proper fascial planes for optimal physiologic function.
Performing an Active Isolated Stretch of no longer than 2.0 seconds allows the target muscles to optimally lengthen without triggering the protective stretch reflex and subsequent reciprocal antagonistic muscle contraction as the isolated muscle achieves a state of relaxation. These stretches provide maximum benefit and can be accomplished without opposing tension or resulting trauma.
Myofascial release technique, which incorporates AIS, uses active movement and reciprocal inhibition to achieve optimal flexibility. Using a 2.0 second stretch has proven to be the key in avoiding reflexive contraction of the antagonistic muscle. Without activating muscle group contraction, restoration of full range of motion and flexibility can be successfully achieved.