Mattes Method

“Mattes Method myofascial release technique incorporates AIS which uses active movement and reciprocal inhibition to acheive optimal flexibility. Using 2 second stretch has proven to be key in avoiding refexive contraction of the antagonistic muscle.”

Has anyone used Active Isolated Stretching for 10 reps of 2 seconds? The 2 second stretch even though it is used in total of 20 seconds seems to be too short to reap a benefit from. Comments?

I thought the contraction of the antagonist was a good thing (but I’m probably just confused). Can someone exlain why you want to avoid it?

The antagonist is the opposite one to the one you are stretching right?

2 second stretch is used to avoid the muscle understnding it is being stretched and starts to protectivly contract.

“Stretch of no greater than 2.0 seconds allows the target muscle to optimally lengthen without triggering the protective stretch reflex and subsequent reciprocal antagonistic muscle contraction as the isolated muscle achieves a state of relaxation”

It is also a form of warm-up.

Look at the Whartons who also use AIS

I have found that AIS will exploit the neurological responses and prepare the the tissue for structural stretching (light static or microstretching). You can use the same positions with AIS and use static work post training.

I think that increasing range of motion is not hard if you set goals like weight training. “I want to bench 400 or squat this…” this feeds to the ego of gaining strength and mass to impress ladies and feel good about yourself. What guy wakes up in the morning and says “I need another 5 degrees on my ankle joint.” Having good range of motion doesn’t get you laid like having a muscular body…no women says “wow check out that guys hip mobility”. On the other hand guys love women that can do splits.

Set Goals…


Very valid point on goal setting.
2 questions please…

What are your views on differing flex. techniques for endurance running vs speed?

Have you read/reviewed Mattes Nutrition for recovery book?

Originally posted by Clemson
…no women says “wow check out that guys hip mobility”.

You’re kidding aren’t you? What do you think they look at when they watch men dance. :o

I think “core strength” is what they are look at…not adductor range of motion!

It was once said - “that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach …”

An female Irish journalist recently commented women where aiming about a foot too high!


I have found that AIS will exploit the neurological responses and prepare the the tissue for structural stretching (light static or microstretching). You can use the same positions with AIS and use static work post training.

Clemson- do you use AIS before microstretching?

Also, no23 posted before, what different techniques does everyone use for distance runners vs. sprinters?

I feel that dynamic flexibility is better to use right after power/sprinting workouts, as opposed to static stretching.


I like to start with neural stretches and then get into slow static work when all of the “blocks” are removed from the CNS pulsing from out of control. I woud go from PNF/AIS to microstretching to myofacial release.

How long are your post workout stretching session on speed days? What kind of time delay is there between the workout and the stretching?


This is up to the athlete…

ideal world would be 45minutes an hour and half later.

Some times the therapy is done is spoon fulls…15 minute periods during the day if you don’t do anything but training.

Originally posted by Clemson

…15 minute periods during the day if you don’t do anything but training…

This in my opinion is probably the key element in flexibility training … frequency of stretching.

I think also the concept that stretching in its self is an end or is sufficient should be dispelled.
Stretching is an element of Recovery and Regeneration which is a constituent of sports training and development.

So whats the most often you should do stretching before the marginal benefit of extra stretches is too small for the effort? 3 times a day? 5 times a day?

I’m not sure there is an ‘upper limit’, if you will.

If we ignore pre-post training stretching, because I would consider them seperate.

I would consider short duration light stretching every 3-4 hours, maybe less, not necessarily the same muscle or group, but certainly those injury or problem muscles.
This can be AIS or static, though probably not PNF.

I think this has been covered in a previous post and I sure Clemsons book will cover in far better detail than I can.

Flexibility and stretching are too completely different things, Flexibility stretching is like weight lifting - in the same way as weight lifting can develop strength so too can stretching develop flexibility.
But stretching can also, speed recovery, be used as a warm-up, be a warm-up, possibly maintain elastiscity within the muscle, teach muscular relxation and hence reduce tension etc. etc.

The whole inclusion of stretching in regeneration, and as an element of, however is a massive topic in itself

Perhaps Clemson might add briefly to this without compromising his publication …

The exercise prescriptions are based similar to any fitness set of variables.

Frequency, intensity, type, and time or FITT. Various combos I feel are more effective then isolated methods. For example I do not find MFR effective for the calf, but TMS works well from a general lengthening view. The Stretch GRID has the following elements NO23…

When-What-how-and of course why from a self administered selection.

If MFR is myofacial release, what is TMS?


Is that myofascial release through stretching or therapy? If stretching, how do you release the myofascia through stretching?


I use ais before every practice. I have been for 2 years now. I love it. I bought one of his books. very helpful. I suggest you going out and buying it also. I forgot the name but the cover is blue. I got mine from one of his stores here in fla. All i do is ais and im ready to go. You need to get the book to see all the kinds of stretches.