Part 1: General Overview of Basic Differences
Below is a basic over view of the two concepts.
In the two articles coming up, both the Supporting Exercises and Modalities will be explained more in depth.
Modalities are not stand-alone techniques. Instead, these are catalysts or facilitators of ZST (Zaichik Stretching Technique).
A simple ZST is a combination of "Target" and "Leverage", utilizing the kinesiological line of pull of a specific muscle. The leverage moves back and forth, while the target moves deeper and deeper into the stretch.
In the search for the fastest, safest and most effective stretching techniques, modalities were introduced. Modalities allow the ZST to function even better. “Better” means that the muscles are less resistant to the stretch. Which means less pain and fewer chances of injury.
Modalities come in two general forms
- Extra action
Pre-Contraction can be applied to the target, to the leverage, to the agonist or an antagonist of either. If the muscle that is about to be stretched is targeted, the goal is to fatigue in order to decrease the resistance to stretch. If the antagonist is targeted, then the goal is to inhibit through reciprocal inhibition.
- Adding the modalities have allowed ZST to stretch even the most stubborn and tight muscles.
The extra action is used where a muscle has more than two actions that are easily accessible. Frequently two leverages are used and followed by a single target. Using an extra leverage as opposed to pre-contraction is employed under certain conditions. Most common being:
- Time is a factor. Because each contraction takes 10-12 seconds and with many pre-contractions, it accumulates. While a third action takes less than 2 seconds.
- When a contraction is not the best option. For example, there is nothing stable available that moving part can be contracted against.
- The muscle is very tense, especially at full stretch and it inhibits the quality contraction.
Supporting exercises carry the following functions:
- To retain flexibility between each workout.
Utilizing the flexibility you gained in a workout, allows the body become comfortable in the new ranges and accept them as safe and standard.
- To protect from injury.
This especially applies to the Extended Length Conditioning technique, as muscles are weak in deep ranges. If not sufficiently strengthened, an injury can result.
- To make your flexibility functional, useful and to carry it over into target skills.
What good is flexibility if it can't be used. Correctly chosen Supporting Exercises train the body to use flexibility as required for a skill in question.
- To allow each consecutive round of stretching to realize it’s full effectiveness.
The deeper the stretch, the more the resistance. Moving or contracting in new ranges, allows the body to become comfortable enough to go deeper with each new stretch. Thus supporting exercises are spliced in between ZST.
In the second article, you will see how Modalities and the Extra Action are applied to the ZST called ~Integrity~, which targets short adductors.
In the third article, a hand and wrist technique is used to demonstrate the application of supporting exercises.
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