PT on the Net Research

Active Isolated Technique


Question:

What is active isolated technique?

Answer:

Active isolated is a release/stretching technique developed by Aaron Mattes. It is based on the principle of reciprocal inhibition, meaning that when a muscle contracts, the opposing muscle is inhibited from contracting (lift your leg up with hip flexors to get the hamstrings to relax and lengthen). The protocol calls for the client to move the limb into a position to stretch the targeted muscle and fascia. You as the trainer would then assist slightly to increase the range of motion, holding the position for about two seconds, then the client would bring the limb back to the starting position. The short hold is done to theoretically avoid the reflexive responses of the proprioceptors, potentially tightening the muscle tissue. Active isolated can be done in sets, where you can do eight to 12 repetitions for each muscle group. All of this motion increases the blood flow and oxygen to the joints and muscles, making it a great choice to increase mobility and flexibility.