How does PNF Stretching Work?

You know about static stretches and you may even know about dynamic stretches, which I talked about a lot here on the channel.

You know about static stretches and you may even know about dynamic stretches, which I talked about a lot here on the channel. So, if you haven't seen those, subscribe to the channel, stay tuned with me here. But you may not be familiar with the third kind of stretching, PNF style stretching. So, I'm Jesse Funk and on today's episode of Runner's High, we're going to talk about what PNF stretching is and how it actually works with your muscles.

As you're jumping in here with me, let's get a few definitions out of the way. So static stretches, you probably know are those similar stretches every does, that everybody knows, most likely from your childhood in gym class, reach down and touch your toes, that kind of thing where there's not any kind of movement going on. I often talk about dynamic stretches here for warmup sequences for running. And those are very, very effective and easy to do by yourself.

Now, PNF stretching takes some of the elements of the first one, that static stretch and then combines them with some of the efficacy of dynamic stretching in that we’re contracting our muscles. So, PNF is this kind of combination of static stretching, and then also contraction of your muscles.

If you want to see a demo of PNF stretches, I'm not going to be doing that in this video, but subscribe to the channel, stay tuned, I will do that in a future video if you let me know that you want to see it. So, subscribe to the channel, leave me a comment, let me know if you want to see those demos of those PNF stretches here in the future.

So, how is PNF more effective than static stretching? Well, we actually have to kind of go back a little bit and think about what happens during static stretching. So, it has been used for a long time because it's kind of this basic building block and it does have some efficacy.

So, when we do that static stretch, we kind of stretch, those muscle fibers are pulled apart, elongated. And then when we relax, then those muscle fibers actually retain some of their ability to stretch farther than they could previously.

PNF stretching takes this principle that we can elongate the muscle and then it has this kind of immediate effect where it can stay a little bit longer and applies a contraction to that phase.

The hope or the method here is that when you alternate between this kind of stretching and then contracting, that you solidify that linked in state in your muscle as a kind of learned behavior, so to speak. It solidifies, it stays in your muscle longer than if you're just going to do the static stretch by itself.

So, when you see methods for penis stretching, it's often something like stretch, contract, stretch, and then there's a push against part-- or you often need a partner or you need a towel or something like that. There's this kind of back and forth play between stretching and contracting and the method helps us solidify, as I've said before, that stretch in our muscles to stay elongated over time.

That's why PNF is often heralded as the number one way to increase range of motion in athletes which, when our range of motion is increased, then often it follows our ability to be injured goes down, and our ability to produce higher power goes up.

So, that's the basics of how a PNF stretch works. As I said before, subscribe to the channel if you want to see demos of PNF stretches in the future. I'll see you next time on the next episode of Runner’s High.

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