The Power and Simplicity of ‘Passive Range of Motion’ Exercises

Have you ever wondered why yoga is such an effective way of helping you remain limber and flexible? One key is yoga’s use of “passive range of motion” during an exercise.

Watch Dr. Biedebach demonstrate an easy “passive range of motion” exercise to enhance next flexibility. 

There are a number of different ways to initiate passive range of motion, all through the use of an external force. That outside force can be gravity, a prop, a partner — or the force of your own muscles not directly involved in moving a particular joint.

For example, a yoga pose to passively stretch the legs’ quadriceps appears to be quite straightforward. You simply kneel on the floor with your feet about 18 inches apart. Then you sit between your feet, and not on them. If you can’t actually sit on the floor you can place a firm pillow between your feet to sit on. The principle involves passively stretching your quadriceps without actually activating any muscles to do so. This is the essence of using a passive range of motion.

If you’re interested in why this is beneficial, current research suggests that a passive stretch educates the nervous system to tolerate a deeper range of motion without — and this is the important part — without triggering any muscle or connective tissue to contract, which they are prone to do in order to protect the joint.

If you’d like to see an example of how simple an exercise can be that involves passive range of motion, watch the video above. In it, Dr. Biedebach demonstrates a quick and easy exercise for you to enhance the flexibility of your neck.

If you’d like to learn more about passive range of motion exercises that will help with your overall flexibility, give us a call — it’s a wonderful step toward maintaining and enhancing your overall health.