Lets talk about difference between Active and Passive Range of Motion (ROM). Range of motion refers to how far a joint moves during an exercise. Active and passive define the energy behind the movement.
Active ROM helps build muscle strength. This means you are improving the strength of the muscles and joints at the same time. Passive ROM only keeps joints flexible. Therefore, the muscles don't get stronger. Passive exercise provide movement to maintain and/or gain joint flexibility.
Look at the video above 🔝🔝🔝 First off, the very beginning movement is super active. My arms push my weight back into the wall to lengthen my neck ontop a block. My feet push my weight forward to press the chest to the floor and elongate the spine upwards. Every muscles is working.
Next, I press one foot into the wall to center my stance to bring the other leg up and over head adding a split into the exercise. After actively bringing the leg overhead I passively relax that top leg allowing it to hang. Everything else is engaged except the muscles from the right glutes to the toes. Here is where I see my passive ROM for this leg.
Once passive ROM is tested, I begin to re-engage the glutes, lower back, hip adductor and rotator muscles to actively reach past my PROM (passive ROM). Here you see the leg extending forward and down for the block to create even more of a curvature in the spine using AROM (active ROM). Now the muscles don't all fire at once like a flame. Imagine them individually lighting up like a spaceship in outer space. After losing all power, individual parts begin to flicker back on until everything is up and running again.
This is also how new neuromuscular connections develop; pushing your muscles to fire and strengthen in new areas you could never activate before.
As an adult who seeks longevity in my flexibility progress, I learned that training my active ROM actually improved my passive ROM over time. This helped me build control in my flexibility, rather than becoming a noodle and increasing my chances of injury.
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