Everyone from Olympic swimmer Dara Torres to former NBA star Allan Houston is hailing resistance stretching as the latest fitness craze.
The practice is exactly what its name implies: While stretching, you apply resistance to muscles, causing them to flex. (For instance, to stretch your left bicep, you'd contract your left arm and apply force with your right hand as you stretched the bicep to an elongated position.)
Resistance stretching helps increase speed, strength, and acceleration, and it may also protect against injury and bone loss and boost the immune system.
The two major schools of resistance stretching, Studio 16-RFST (meridianstretching.com) and Innovative Body Solutions (innovativebodysolutions.com), have certified trainers popping up across the country.
Can't find a studio near you? Visit the sites for online tutorials or live stretch sessions via Skype.