Ballistic stretching involves active muscular effort similar to dynamic stretching. However, ballistic stretching uses a bouncing or jerking movement to increase the stretch.
Ballistic stretching is effective at increasing range of motion but has been associated with injury, particularly where there has been previous injuries (1). Ballistic stretches often activates the muscle spindles and triggers the stretch-reflex.(2)
An example ballistic stretch is bent over toe touching with a bouncing movement. On each movement, the athlete attempts to touch the ground using gravity and bodyweight to assist in the stretch.
1) Corbin, C.B., L.J. Dowell, R. Lindsey, and H. Tolson. Concepts in physical education. Dubuque, IA: Brown. 1978 2) National Strength & Conditioning Association. Essentials of strength training & conditioning. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 2000
2) Witvrouw, E., Danneels, L., Asselman, P., D'Have, T., Cambier, D. Muscle flexibility as a risk factor for developing muscle injuries in male professional soccer players. A prospective study. Am. J. Sports Med. Jan-Feb;31(1):41-6. 2003
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