WHAT IS PNF STRETCHING?
PNF is Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation. This entails natural nervous system responses to get a better stretch .
Although passive stretching is not the be all in terms of mobility it can be a valuable component .
Here we will look at one method of PNF stretching called Autogenic Inhibition
Here is the process by which it occurs:
❇️The targeted muscle, for example the hamstring as in the photo below is taken into a stretch. This stretch reflex initially limits further extension of the hamstrings
❇️Now one can perform an isometric contraction of the hamstrings against resistance such as a band
❇️This puts a stretch on the golgi tendon organs (receptors designed to detect stretch in the tendons)
❇️The stretch and subsequent stimulation of the golgi tendon organ sends a signal to the spinal cord which in turn sends a signal to the muscle in order to inhibit the stretch reflex
❇️ So now the golgi tendon organ has essentially requested that the muscle relax in order to take tension ⚖️off the golgi tendon organ
How to perform this stretch:
❇️put the targeted muscle 💪 on stretch and hold 10-15 seconds
❇️contract the muscle being stretched against resistance and hold for 5-10 seconds
❇️try to stretch the muscle further and repeat
This is great for flexibility. These type of static stretches are generally ideal after activity or on their own as prior to activity can have a decreased power output potential