AIS (Gym)

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The Comprehensive Stretching & Strengthening Solutions approach is based on the principles of Active Isolated Stretching and Strengthening; pioneered by Aaron Mattes over 40 years ago. Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) is a dynamic flexibility system derived from extensive research in kinesiology, the study of muscles and movement. AIS takes into account each joint, its movements, and the muscles that create those movements. It is the most in-depth stretching system currently in use in the world.

Active Isolated Strengthening is a system that takes your core and foundation into account. It utilizes precise exercises to achieve local joint stability, stamina, and power. This will give you the dynamic strength you require for optimal function. With greater flexibility and strength your body can maintain balance that reduces stress on joints and allows release from a multitude of physical restrictions and weaknesses that impair health and well-being.

As we age our muscles tend to lose elasticity and recovery from injuries may take longer. Physical trauma, stress, and repetitive movements over the years result in nerve impingement, shortened muscles, and decreased mobility. Stretching increases circulation, reduces pain, improves athletic performance, helps to restore balance, and promotes faster recovery from injury. Strengthening allows the gains made through stretching to be maintained by creating stability in the joint, which allows the muscles to relax.

To learn more about Aaron L. Mattes, the pioneer of Active Isolated Stretching (AIS); go to

How does AIS Work

The effectiveness of AIS is based on the principle of reciprocal inhibition, in which a contracting muscle (agonist) sends a signal to the opposite muscle (antagonist) to relax so that movement can occur. Physiologically a muscle is more easily stretched when there is active muscle contraction. AIS utilizes the principle of reciprocal inhibition by employing specific, active movements for each exercise.

The other key principle in AIS is related to the built-in protective mechanisms of muscles. Sensors located in specialized muscle fibers called muscle spindles, detect changes in muscle length and the speed at which lengthening occurs. The spindle cells monitor for sudden stretches (a quick movement in sports), excessive stretches (pushing the joint further than physically possible), and prolonged stretches. When the spindle cells sense any of these conditions within the muscle, it triggers the stretch reflex, which causes the muscle to contract.

To avoid triggering the stretch reflex, keep your movements active, gentle, slow, and rhythmic. Hold each hold each stretch for no more than 2 seconds. Never push the stretch into pain or hold the stretch longer than 2 seconds. Adhering to these physiological principles. your body will realize quick gains in flexibility without injury.

Benefits of AIS

AIS has other benefits in addition to improved flexibility. Each stretch is repeated several times similar to a work-out. The pumping action of repeated muscular activity and deep breathing promote better circulation, the removal of metabolic waste products, and the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the cells. AIS affects superficial and deep fascial layers by realigning collagen fibers and breaking up adhesions and scar tissue. Since AIS is an active stretching work-out of major muscle groups, it does not require a warm-up phase and can be used to prepare for any exercise program.

  • Improves flexibility
  • Stress relief
  • Reduces muscle spasm
  • Quickens the recovery after an injury
  • Promotes balance in the body
  • Chronic pain relief
  • Better posture
  • Relieves muscle soreness
  • Increases athletic performance
  • Reduces the risk of muscle strain and ligament sprain
  • Improves oxygen and nutrient delivery to cells
  • Stimulates lymph circulation and eliminates cellular waste
Under the skilled guidance of a trained practitioner, AIS is effective in alleviating the symptoms of numerous physical disorders:

  • Arthritis
  • Tendonitis
  • Headaches
  • Muscular Injuries
  • Ligament Injuries
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Neck Pain
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Nerve and Muscular Impingement Syndromes
  • Scoliosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Heel Spurs
  • Poor Circulation
  • Edema
  • Pre- & Post Surgical Conditions
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Bulging and Herniated Disc
This exercise class is geared towards all levels of fitness.