There are many forms of exercise that focus on yoga, pilates, meditation, zen, and so on. However, a formal system of stretching for individuals or groups who partake of various indoor and outdoor sports is streamlined in the mode of Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF). PNF is a term used for muscle stretching to improvise on athletic performance, that requires a trainer or a partner to be a part of your flexibility regime. It involves a series of muscle contractions and relaxations with an increase in relaxation enforcements. The flexibility actions are either passive or active. The movements entail alternating between basic, comfortable stretching called static stretching and the higher variations of static stretching called isometric stretching. Isometric stretching is a form of concentrated contractions. Now, let’s take a look at the benefits of PNF.
The range of techniques in PNF originated in clinical rehabilitation. It involves a series of functional stretching, alternating between rudimentary forms of stretching and isometric contractions. PNF is very effective in many gyms that are part of the mainstream. Isometric stretching means that without the comfort afforded by this technique, the muscle tension is developed. Since this method involves profound flexibility, many athletes who can’t have a range of motion (ROM) focus on this stretching technique. The stretching fraternity conducts these emotional series with the support of a trainer or assistant. For example, if you want to tone up your hamstrings with the aid of a trainer, lie on your back straight and lift your leg high facing the ceiling. Then allow your trainer to extend that stretch statically moving towards the face for 10 seconds. Gear your hamstring muscles along with moving the leg towards the trainer’s or the assister’s hand, pushing it for 5 to 10 seconds whereas at the same time the trainer applies pressure. Finally, relax your leg or hamstring muscles slowly bringing the leg to your trainer’s pulling beyond the normal range for 20 to 30 seconds. Now relax for around 30 seconds. Follow this whole routine about 2 to 3 times. When athletes get injured, PNF is a catalyst.
PNF techniques and types involve static, dynamic, active and passive series of stretching routines. Static PNF is defined as the exercise for 10 to 30 seconds in a challenging position rather than assuming a comfortable posture in motion.
Dynamic PNF takes form in the action of many therapists, trainers and coaches for repeat motions about 10 to 12 times. This is a highly peculiar form of ballistic stretching out of the customized regular stretching. Ballistic stretching signifies a partner is required. Though PNF can be performed with the help of an inanimate object, this form of ballistic stretching is based on following the repetitive oscillations in stretching. Though ballistic stretching is rhythmic, it cannot be done without a professional. The risks can be contained to a great extent; however, it overpowers the benefits. It is strenuous, without settling for comfort and ease in constructive flexibility. Active PNF takes its name from stretching a muscle in the opposite effect of contraction to the muscle that is being stretched. Heat is created, making the muscle malleable. Passive PNF is called static-passive stretch where the intrinsic force is not as much as the external momentum. A trainer applies the force, and the force-receiver is conversely pressuring against the external energy contributor.
PNF is like physiotherapy essential in simple parlance. It is mostly assisted stretching techniques for elasticity in fitness. After explaining the complex manoeuvres, you need stringent discipline in mobility. We hope to serve you with roof-reaching patience.