A while back I had the opportunity to participate in an Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) workshop focused on neck and shoulders. This stretching routine was developed by kinesiologist Aaron Mattes and is used by massage therapists, physical therapists and trainers to assist clients with range of motion and flexibility. But the best news is that many AIS techniques can be done on your own with some very basic instruction – what a godsend for musicians!
This is not static stretching, where you hold a single stretch for a long period of time. AIS stretches involve very short multiple repetitions that are designed to specifically target individual muscle fibers. There is evidence that AIS helps prevent injuries, reduce pain and improve degenerative conditions. That may be true – but from my continued personal experience, AIS stretches simply make you feel amazing and I’m thrilled to have one more tool in my toolbox – for myself and for others.