People frequently ask me the best time to integrate active-isolated flexibility into their routine. My initial thought is a Chinese proverb: "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time in now." So, the best time to is now. Conceding the potential impracticality of now, some more guidelines can be provided. Specifically, people often want to know whether to perform the exercises before or after training. The answer to this either-or question depends upon the objective/outcome that one is trying to achieve:
1) Pre-Workout Active-Isolated Flexibility
Pre-workout Active-Isolated Flexibility will better prepare you neurologically for your activity because of the active response from the signaling of the central nervous system. The "reciprocal innervation" of paired muscle activations will provide you with more circulation and blood flow into the isolated area. When active flexibility is performed before an activity you "reset" fibers reducing injury risk and allowing for greater efficiency and range of motion.
2) Post-Workout Active-Isolated Flexibility
Post-workout Active-Isolated Flexibility can help reduce both inflammation and delayed onset muscle soreness and can provide a better metabolic flush or recovery after your activity. Applying active-isolated flexibility exercises after a workout will greatly accelerate your overall healing process through increased circulation.
(Originally written January 2015)