However, it provides a deep stretch & is not as uncomfortable as static stretching To do an isometric stretch: First, contract the muscle you want to stretch for 10-15 seconds. The hold-relax-swing is exactly like the hold-relax technique, except the ending passive stretch is replaced with a ballistic stretch, which uses bouncing motion to further stretch the muscles. One of the most effective types of stretching, PNF stretching was originally designed for physical rehabilitation. This means the muscle is moved so it temporarily shortened. Repeat the passive stretch for 20 seconds. Variety is key as different stretch techniques can lead to different outcomes. There are four types of stretching – active stretching, passive stretching, dynamic stretching, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching, which involves table stretching. A Basic Guide to the Types of StretchesDynamic – Static – PNF - Ballistic • Prepara&on • Performance • Injury preven&on • Injury indica&on • Maintenance 2. A passive stretch is held for 20 seconds and then contracted. This contraction is held for 10 to 15 seconds before you relax your muscle for 3 seconds. There are several different PNF methods of which this is one example: A muscle group is passively stretched with the aid of a partner. Stretching exercises have traditionally been included as part of a training and recovery program. PNF stands for Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation. The antagonist is the opposing muscle from the target muscle. The contraction is released for a couple of seconds and then the passive stretch is repeated for another 20 seconds. Evaluating the various types of stretching can be difficult. This stretch is held for 10-15 seconds and is a stretch of an extremity to a fully lengthened point, within a comfortable range. These days it seems like everyone is evangelizing their “One Right Way” to stretch. Then that same muscle is contracted in a stationary position and is not moved. There are 3 main techniques of PNF used by physical therapists in an orthopedic setting. Your muscle is held in a passive stretch for about 20 seconds. The contract-relax technique is very similar to the hold-relax technique. She clarifies that there are "three different types of PNF stretching techniques: the hold-relax, the contract-relax, and slow-hold-relax stretching techniques. Then the practitioner holds the extremity in place and has the client perform an isometric contraction in place, with opposing force from the practitioner for 5-10 seconds. Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) This type of stretching capitalizes on the use of autogenic and reciprocal inhibition, and includes three types of techniques: Hold-relax; Perform a passive 10-second pre-stretch. There are many forms of PNF, but most involve an isometric hold followed by a static stretch of the same muscle group. Once the resisted range of motion has occurred, the practitioner again applies stretch to the muscle, leading the extremity into a gained range, or further stretch, than the initial stretch. There are 3 main techniques of PNF used by physical therapists in an orthopedic setting. There are three main methods for PNF stretching, all which will often utilize either isometric agonist contraction or isometric antagonist contraction. Different types of stretching techniques provide different benefits. And facilitation obviously refers to the a response related to facilitating a movement or action. Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation stretching -- which is usually, and thankfully, shortened to PNF stretching -- is less of a stretching style and more of a technique combining passive and isometric stretching in order to achieve maximum flexibility. Pay attention to when you stretch using PNF. The 2 types of active stretching include neuromobilization and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF). Other types of PNF stretches include rhythmic initiation and rhythmic stabilization. Here we introduce and explain the different types of stretching exercises including static stretching, dynamic stretching, and PNF or proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. It is rarely done because it can be dangerous. Our study aims to determine which type of stretching technique is most effective in improving hamstring length. Passive stretching one of two types of static stretching, and there are two ways to do it. This kind of stretching pre-workout can result in decreased output and power, and decreased athletic performance. The different types are called Hold-Relax, Contract-Relax, and Contract-Relax-Antagonist-Contraction. PNF stretching was originally developed as a form of rehabilitation and for that function, it … PNF, or proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, increases flexibility quickly through a combination of the more popular passive and isometric stretching techniques. The muscle is released and immediately re-stretched. Hold-Relax. Next, the practitioner places more pressure on the extremity into a deeper stretch, as the client relaxes all muscles. Intrarater reliability of hamstring length measurement was performed using 10 subjects. I am a participant in Affiliate marketing through Amazon, Lululemon, and Travis Mathew. Use dynamic stretching as warm up rather than static stretching. PNF Stretching is an assisted stretch that will help you gain a deeper stretch. This is also called the stretch reflex. Ballistic Stretching PNF stretching is done in the same pattern: 10 second stretch, 5 second contraction and 30 second passive hold. 7 Types of Top Stretching Methods to Find What’s Right for You. Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) stretching is a more advanced form of flexibility training, which involves both the stretching and contracting of the muscle group being targeted. This reflex occurs with the Contract-Relax-Antagonist-Contract method. This is where the antagonist contraction occurs, because the client is contracting the opposite muscle to the one being stretched. The wording is what gets some people confused. This all may sound complicated, but it is not. Why Do Muscles Get Sore After Stretching? One of those principles is called autogenic inhibition. Post facilitation stretching is another uncommon PNF technique wherein the stretch is started midway between a completely relaxed position and a maximally stretched position. Additionally, there are different mental temperaments that respond to different methods to aid relaxation and the ability to patiently work with the often hard edges of inflexibility. There are multiple methods of stretching, which we have discussed before. Stretching is incredibly important for longterm health of our body. The different types are called Hold-Relax, Contract-Relax, and Contract-Relax-Antagonist-Contraction. The different types of stretching are: ballistic stretching dynamic stretching active stretching passive (or relaxed) stretching static stretching isometric stretching PNF stretching Ballistic Stretching; Dynamic Stretching; Active Stretching; Passive Stretching; Static Stretching; Isometric Stretching; PNF Stretching. PNF Stretching. 3 Types of PNF Stretching. PNF stretching is yet another form of stretching. The contraction allows the muscle to be stretched further than before. It involves contracting a muscle group for about five seconds or so while resistance is applied by either a partner (such as a trained physical therapist) or an immovable object. In the first 10 seconds, your partner would help you adjust to find your point of discomfort. Stretching before any strenuous activity may help prevent injuries from occurring. Need a little help with the extra fluff around the waist line these days? This type of PNF stretch is based on the concept of autogenic inhibition. The Contract-Relax-Antagonist-Contract technique starts in the same manner, by the practitioner giving a 10-15 second hold into a full stretch. At this point, the client actively pulls their extremity into a more stretched position, while the practitioner guides the extremity further into the stretch. The stretch-contract-relax technique is performed by moving the target muscle into a full (passive) stretch and then holding it in position (often with the help of a partner or a solid object supporting that bo… I will receive a commission if you make a purchase through links on my site however this will be of no added cost to you. The four types of stretching include static, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, dynamic and ballistic. Next, the client either does a concentric contraction or an isometric contraction, meaning either in place, or through a range of motion. Contents hide. An isometric contraction of a muscle does not change it’s length since it is a contraction without any range of motion. The muscle is contracted with as much strength as possible and held for 10 seconds. I have used it for many different types of patients and it is effective as an all around technique. Contract-Relax begins the same, with a static stretch from the practitioner, held 10-15 seconds at full range. Neuromuscular means that it relates to the nerves and muscles. From trainers at the gym to yoga teachers—not to mention the flood of online gurus. One is with another person where your partner holds the stretch for you as you relax—hence the term “passive.” The other way is to use a support to hold that stretch, whether it is with your hands, a wall, the ground, a chair, or a stability ball. One of the less known forms of stretching is proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF). After a quick three second relax, the passive stretch is repeated. 1. It is a very effective technique used by physical therapists, athletic trainers, personal trainers, and other professionals in the health and fitness industry. You would resist against the stretch by pressing towards your partner with 50% of your max effort. Bailey is also an ACE-certified advanced health and fitness specialist. The hold-relax is the most common type of PNF stretch. Keep in mind, different practitioners may use variations of these terms, however these were the terms used in my training as a PT. PNF was originally reserved for therapeutic use in stroke patients, but has gained popularity with athletes. Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images. The isometric muscle action is known as a hold and concentric action as a contract. Then that same muscle is contracted in a stationary position and is not moved. After holding the contraction for 10 seconds, the muscle opposite to the contracted muscle is contracted statically for 10 seconds as well. Static Stretching Static stretching is the type of stretching where you take a muscle to its outer range until you can feel a gentle stretch in the muscle belly and hold it at that point. The 30 second hold is a passive stretch … It elongates muscles, resulting in increases range of motion and neuromuscular efficiency. Recipricol inhibition is also used a great deal by PTs with neurological patients. PNF Stretching. Repeat the passive stretch for 20 seconds. This type of stretching is a little more demanding on the joints & muscle tendons, so if using this method of stretching, limit it to once every day or 2. The contract-relax with antagonist contract method appears to be the most effective type of PNF stretch. The hold-relax is the most common type of PNF stretch. Keep in mind, different practitioners may use variations of these terms, however these were the terms used in my training as a PT. In this stretch, the muscle is stretched for 20 seconds. This is due to the fact that there are a variety of different muscle fibres that contract and stretch in different ways. An agonist muscle is the muscle that is a primary mover into a position. Camira Bailey has been writing for various online publications since 2006, specializing in health and animal care. This reflex causes relaxation of a muscle when the opposing muscle is contracting. Better to avoid static stretching before your workouts. The result is a feeling of increased muscle control, flexibility, and range of motion. The difference between the contract-relax and and the hold-relax is that in the contract-relax technique, the muscle is contracted concentrically. PNF: The Best for Improving ROM! This stretching and elongation works to improve the health of muscles, and the body in general. The next 5 second is an isometric contraction. This technique adopts and holds a pose while exclusively utilizing the muscles within the group that’s being targeted. This advanced style of stretching is not recommended for beginners. Improved fl… PNF is beneficial post workout when the muscles are warm, or at any other point during the day. Ballistic Stretching Vs. Static Stretching, Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Stretching and Flexibility - Types of Stretching, Sports Medicine; Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Stretching: Mechanisms and Clinical Implications; MJ Sharman, AG Cresswell, S Riek. By Jarlo Ilano, MPT, OCS. This contraction is held for 10 to 15 seconds before you relax your muscle for 3 seconds. Both isometric and concentric muscle actions of the antagonist (the muscle being stretched) are used before a passive stretch to achieve autogenic inhibition. Advanced athletes will sometimes use the hold-relax-swing, also known as the hold-relax-bounce. However, it is not an advised stretching tool for pre-workout. PNF stretching is a highly effective form of stretching. Grab these tips! PNF started to become popular in the 1960s and has since become a common treatment for many … Copyright 2021 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. One hundred subjects between the ages of 21 and 57 were enrolled in the study. Four Different Types of Stretching Active Stretching. Functional stretching is a better option to PNF & static, atleast theoretically. During PNF stretches, three muscle actions are used to facilitate the passive stretch. Use static or PNF stretching if the muscle is really tight. Furthermore, a person should only perform PNF to themselves if they have knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and proper stretching techniques. It may sound complicated, but it is not a difficult technique and is a highly effective method of elongating muscles. This principle applies to all 3 types of PNF stretches. In this article, we are going to look at the PNF stretching including its benefits and techniques. This is again resisted by the practitioner. This type of stretching is often referred to as partner stretching because two people are needed to perform the movements. If you are not familiar with this type of stretching, seek out a professional or trainer to make sure you are doing the move correctly. This type of stretching is rarely recommended due to the injury possibilities and no beneficial effect over other, safer, forms of stretching such as PNF and dynamic stretches. These methods can be used together during the same stretching session. Understanding and knowing the difference between each stretching technique we help you decide which will suit your specific needs. However, one can administer a few of the techniques to themself as well. A concentric contraction is when something is moved through a range of motion, which results in shortening of the muscle as the movement occurs. Stretching can help improve flexibility and range of motion about your joints. PNF stands for proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. PNF stretches should therefore be applied to long kinetic chains like the hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors and back. When I started using PNF stretching in the early 1990’s I quickly discovered that PNF was a far superior form of stretching for improving flexibility and range of motion (ROM).While other forms of stretching were better when trying to achieve other goals, when it came to getting an athlete as flexible as possible; PNF was the best choice. PNF is most effective when performed to the client from a practitioner. Studies indicate it increases muscular function when performed after exercise, but decreases muscle function if performed before. Types of PNF stretching include hold-relax, contract-relax and rhythmic initiation. A concentric muscle action of the agonist, called agonist contraction, is used during a passive stretch of the antagonist to achieve reciprocal inhibition. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from UCLA and is completing her master's degree in holistic health. Therefore, during PNF stretching, the action or movement of stretching a body part into a certain position creates a muscular and/or neurological related response. It is then contracted concentrically, such as in the contract-relax. The problem, of course, is that everyone has a different One Right Way. Autogenic inhibition, also known as active inhibition, is the reflex of a muscle to relax immediately after contracting. Evidence shows that physical performance in terms of maximal strength, number of repetitions and total volume are all affected differently by the each form of stretching – static stretch(SS), dynamic stretch (DS) and Pre-contraction stretching, Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation stretching (PNFS) being the most common type. Physical therapists also use PNF in a different manner in neurologic patients. Neural Stretching . Delicious Gluten Free Cheesy Chicken Lasagna. Fortunately I've got a list to help you identify the seven best types of stretching to incorporate with your massages. PNF stretching is highly effective, based on neuromuscular and physiological principles. PNF was originally developped as a method to relax overly tense or active muscles. Facebook Tweet Pin Email. The client then performs a concentric contraction of the muscle with resistance from the practitioner. The other principle is called reciprocal inhibition. The most common way of using PNF stretching is to perform a 'stretch-contract-relax' sequence, but there are a variety of ways to inhibit the stretch reflex and get a deeper stretch that results in increased range of motion in a joint. There are many ways of stretching in yoga. Stretching is a form of physical exercise in which a specific muscle or tendon (or muscle group) is deliberately flexed or stretched in order to improve the muscle's felt elasticity and achieve comfortable muscle tone. Basically, breaking that down, proprioceptive means the relating stimuli both produced and perceived, relating to the position and movement of the body. Your muscle is held in a passive stretch for about 20 seconds. PNF stands for Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation and can take on several forms including hold-relax; contract-relax; and rhythmic initiation. It improves range of motion of an extremity, and can even improve strength. Therefore, after the client performs a contraction of their muscle, it immediately relaxes, allowing the practitioner to lengthen the muscle more than the initial stretch. However, it is always recommended to relax the body for at least 20 seconds before moving onto the next. PNF Stretching. Passive stretching is probably the most common type of stretching technique. There are various types of stretching techniques: dynamic stretching, static stretching, ballistic, and PNF stretching. 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Help with the extra fluff around the waist line these days much strength as and... For longterm health of muscles, and Contract-Relax-Antagonist-Contraction few of the techniques themself...