Why stretch with Pilates when I can stretch on my own?

At home or in the gym you are most likely passive stretching since you are using your body weight and/or gravity to pull a muscle into a longer state. Pilates utilizes “active-dynamic” stretching in its exercises. An “active” stretch is when you contract a muscle that is opposite to the muscle that you are trying to stretch, like tightening your quadriceps while you stretch your hamstrings. An “active-dynamic” stretch is when you contract the opposite performing muscle while moving the target muscle throughout its full range of motion without stopping. You’ll become more flexible more quickly with active-dynamic stretching and it will last longer.