Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) is an 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, it also improves muscular strength.
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 (Isometric hold) the stretched muscle group for approximately 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 20 to 30 seconds. The muscle group is then allowed 30 seconds to recover and the process is repeated 2 – 4 times.
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