Weight Lifting, Weight Training, Bench Press & Bodybuilding
September 17, 2014

What Is PNF Stretching?
By Brad Walker

What Is PNF Stretching?

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) is a more advanced form of flexibility training that involves both the stretching and contraction of the muscle group being targeted. PNF stretching was originally developed as a form of rehabilitation, and to that effect it is very effective. It is also excellent for targeting specific muscle groups, and as well as increasing flexibility, (and range of movement) it also improves muscular strength.

Warning!

Certain precautions need to be taken when performing PNF stretches as they can put added stress on the targeted muscle group, which can increase the risk of soft tissue injury. To help reduce this risk, it is important to include a conditioning phase before a maximum, or intense effort is used.

Also, before undertaking any form of stretching it is vitally important that a thorough warm up be completed. Warming up prior to stretching does a number of beneficial things, but primarily its purpose is to prepare the body and mind for more strenuous activity. One of the ways it achieves this is by helping to increase the body's core temperature while also increasing the body's muscle temperature. This is essential to ensure the maximum benefit is gained from your stretching. Click here for a detailed explanation of how, why and when to perform your warm up.

What Is PNF Stretching?

How to perform a PNF stretch

The process of performing a PNF stretch involves the following. The muscle group to be stretched is positioned so that the muscles are stretched and under tension. The individual then contracts the stretched muscle group for 5 - 6 seconds while a partner, or immovable object, applies sufficient resistance to inhibit movement. Please note; the effort of contraction should be relevant to the level of conditioning.

The contracted muscle group is then relaxed and a controlled stretch is applied for about 30 seconds. The muscle group is then allowed 30 seconds to recover and the process is repeated 2 - 4 times. Refer to the diagrams below for a visual example.

PNF Stretching

The athlete and partner assume the position for the stretch, and then the partner extends the body limb until the muscle is stretched and tension is felt.

PNF Stretching

The athlete then contracts the stretched muscle for 5 - 6 seconds and the partner must inhibit all movement. (The force of the contraction should be relevant to the condition of the muscle. For example, if the muscle has been injured, do not apply a maximum contraction).

PNF Stretching

The muscle group is relaxed, then immediately and cautiously pushed past its normal range of movement for about 30 seconds. Allow 30 seconds recovery before repeating the procedure 2 - 4 times.

Information differs slightly about timing recommendations for PNF stretching depending on who you are talking to. Although there are conflicting responses to the question of how long should I contract the muscle group for and how long should I rest for between each stretch, I believe (through a study of research literature and personal experience) that the above timing recommendations provide the maximum benefits from PNF stretching.

Stretching is one of the most under-utilized techniques for improving athletic performance, preventing sports injury and properly rehabilitating sprain and strain injury. Don't make the mistake of thinking that something as simple as stretching won't be effective.


Brad Walker's Featured Stretching Products

InstaStretchInstantStretch v3.0

Create as many Professional Stretching Routines as you want, Quickly and Easily - Guaranteed!

Create them for yourself, create them for your clients; and all you have to do is click a few buttons, choose a few options and presto; instant stretching routines, ready to print out or save them for later.

 

Stretching Institute

 

 

 

More Articles by Brad Walker
More Stretching Articles

 

 






200 Best Muscle Building Recipes  increase testosterone by 170%

  musclebuildingclub  bestcreatine




Natural Bodybuilding | Growth Factor-1 | Discount Bodybuilding Supplements | Gain Weight Fast | Big Arms | How To Get Ripped
Weight Lifting Programs | Weight Lifting Equipment | Weight Training Articles | Weight Lifting Workouts | Workout Routines
Bench Press Routine | Bench Press Workout | Increase Bench Press | Bench Press Records | Bench Press Chart
Lean Body Mass | How To Run Faster | Bodybuilding Tips | Athlete Celebrity Interviews | Muscle Growth Stories
Muscular System | Healthy Bodybuilding Recipes | Muscle Man | Female Bodybuilders | Weight Lifting Exercises
Powerlifting | Dumbbell Exercise | Muscle Bodybuilding T Shirts | Vince Gironda | Vince Delmonte | Jennifer Nicole Lee
Weight Lifting Accessory | Football Strength Workout | Weight Lifting Belts | Mike Geary
Bench Press | Fitness Links | How To Gain Weight Fast | Strength Blog | Build Muscle Fast | Workout Reviews | Workout Videos
Weight Lifting & Weight Training Tips For Building Muscle Strength
 
Fitness Models | Strongman | Muscle Building Nutrition | Muscle Growth | Muscle Building Experts

Supplements: Testosterone Booster | Super Fat Burner | Beta Alanine | Creatine Caps | Nitric Oxide NO2 | Muscle Building Supplements | Post Workout Supplement

Articles: Bench Press Tips | Supplement Reviews | Muscular Strength | Bodybuilding Nutrition | Fitness Health | Muscle Building
Fat Loss Tips