Flexibility has been defined as the range of motion about a joint and its surrounding muscles during a passive movement (1,2). Passive in this context simple means no active muscle involvement is required to hold the stretch. Instead gravity or a partner provides the force for the stretch.
Types of Flexibility and Stretching
1. Dynamic flexibility — the ability to perform dynamic movements within the full range of motion in the joint. Common examples include twisting from side to side or kicking an imaginary ball. Dynamic flexibility is generally more sport-specific than other forms of mobility.
2. Static Active flexibility — this refers to the ability to stretch an antagonist muscle using only the tension in the agonist muscle. An example is holding one leg out in front of you as high as possible. The hamstring (antagonist) is being stretched while the quadriceps and hip flexors (agonists) are holding the leg up.
3. Isometric Stretching - one of most effective methods for improving static passive flexibility is through the use of isometric stretching. An advanced form of flexibility training that must be prescribed with caution, it is useful for developing extreme range of motion associated with martial arts for example.