The tone or tension of a muscle is the continuous and passive partial contraction of the muscles, or the muscle’s resistance to passive stretch during resting state. It helps to maintain posture and declines during REM sleep. If a sudden pull or stretch occurs, the body responds by automatically increasing the muscle’s tension, a reflex which helps guard against danger as well as helping maintain balance. Such near-continuous innervation can be thought of as a “default” or “steady state” condition for muscles. Both the extensor and flexor muscles are involved in the maintenance of a constant tone while at rest. In skeletal muscles, this helps maintain a normal posture. Resting muscle tone varies along a bell-shaped curve. Low tone is experienced as “floppy, mushy, dead weight” and high tone is experienced as “light, tight, and strong”. Muscles with high tone are not necessarily strong and muscles with low tone are not necessarily weak. In general, low tone does increase flexibility and decrease strength and high tone does decrease flexibility and increase strength, but with many exceptions. A person with low tone will most likely not be able to engage in “explosive” movement such as needed in a sprinter or high jumper. These athletes usually have high tone that is within normal limits. A person with high tone will usually not be flexible in activities such as dance and yoga.