Types of Stretching

In this lesson you will learn about the different types of stretching. As you know, there are plenty of exercises: Double leg stretches, triceps and chest stretches etc. You can apply any of these stretches statically, dynamically, isometrically or in combination (PNF). The different types of stretching are:

  • Static Stretches - Stretches where no motion is involved.
    • Static Passive - No motion and no action is involved.
    • Static Active - No motion, but a action is involved.
      For example when somebody pushes you down.
  • Dynamic Stretches - When motion is involved.
    • Dynamic Ballistic - When you work with the elasticity of the muscle.
  • Isometric Stretches - When a muscle is stretched and contracted at the same time.
  • PNF Stretches - Combination of static, isometric and sometimes dynamic stretches.
Find more information on the main pages of the different types of stretching (blue links above). Learn more about stretching and find exercises at stretching main.


  • Let's take the example of a standing double-leg stretch. You stand upright, your legs are closed and your knees are fully extended. To stretch your hamstrings, bend forward down. Here is how this stretch can be applied statically, dynamically and isometrically:
    • Static Passive Double-Leg Stretch:
      Bend forward down until your hamstrings are stretched and then support your hands on your legs. If you pulled yourself down or let the weight of your upper body stretch you, you would do a static active stretch.
    • Static Active Double-Leg Stretch:
      Grab your calves or heels and pull yourself down or ask a training partner to push you down or relax your back and simply let the weight of your upper body do the rest.
    • Dynamic Double-Leg Stretch:
      Move your upper body up and down slowly.
    • Dynamic Ballistic Double-Leg Stretch:
      Bounce your upper body up and down. Work with the elasticity of the muscle (higher risk of injury).
    • Isometric Double-Leg Stretch:
      Pull yourself down with your hands and try to lift your upper body at the same time. You remain motionless, but your leg muscles are contracted and your hamstrings are stretched isometrically.
    • PNF Double-Leg Stretch:
      Start with a static stretch, then stretch isometrically and then switch to a static active or a dynamic stretch. Don't pause in-between.


  • Always warm-up before you stretch.
  • Do one stretching-only workout per week.
  • Growing children under 13 years of age should avoid intensive stretching methods like PNF.