PNF which stands for Proprioseptic Neuromuscular Facilitation is a form of stretching that involves a series of isometric (static) contractions with the muscle being stretched in order to improve its range of motion. These contractions will temporarily deactivate the muscle spindle allowing the muscle to be stretched further. The muscle spindle is what senses that the muscle is being overstretched, and signals it to contract in order to prevent injury. If these stretches and contractions are done properly, injury will not occur, and the range of motion of a given muscle group will be increased in a short period of time.
These stretches are usually accomplished with the help of a partner or a trainer. Many studies A study out of England published by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) showed that using PNF stretching only three times per week was effective in increasing knee flexibility without compromising strength. This study supports the “Less is more” approach that we have here at the X Gym.
While flexibility is important, too much stretching can detract from results, especially if done right before strength training. That’s why we tell people at the X Gym to not stretch before their workouts. Stretching will take away the elasticity of the muscles and essentially make them weaker. This weakening of the muscles will lessen the effectiveness of the strength training workout, and also leave the person more prone to injury. I equate it to trying to use a rubber band that has had all the stretchiness taken out.
We therefore advise people to stretch after their workouts and on off days. This will help with recovery and prevent injury. Because of its intense nature, it is my feeling that PNF stretching should be done on separate days from your X Gym workout - preferably after a cardio workout, while the muscles are still warm and pliable.
7 Steps to Blasting Fat Forever -
1 week ago