Weight Loss at Home Easy

What is PNF? Get Flexible Fast With This Stretching Technique

friends Kathy Madeo back with another video this one all about an effective stretching technique called PNF this technique will help to increase your flexibility your passive and active range of movement and we can use it in a variety of different yoga poses so in this video I am going to explain exactly what PNF is how it works and how you can do this stretching technique and then we'll go through two yoga poses to give a demonstration of how to do it and I highly recommend you practice with me because you should be able to see results fast while you're doing the stretching technique let's get started [Music] so what is PNF well it's an acronym and it stands for proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation it's basically a stretching technique that was developed around the 1950s that has been shown to be very effective at increasing your flexibility and your passive and active range of movements how does PNF work well there's a nerve receptor located right where your tendon and muscle meet and this nerve receptor it's kind of like this tree-like sensory organ and it's encapsulated in this kind of connective tissue and what happens is when your muscles are put under tension during a stretch you the sensory organ sends signals to your spinal cord and then your spinal cords and signals back to the muscle to tell it whether or not to tighten or relax PNF stretching technique leverages this process by basically kind of tricking the GTO or the Golgi tendon organ to sending the message back to that Target muscle to relax so how do we use PNF well first we need to understand just a few key Concepts about the way muscles work so the first thing I want to introduce to you if you haven't heard of this is that muscles usually work in pairs so we have one muscle called The Agonist and it's opposing muscle called the antagonist and so for instance if we take the bicep muscle the bicep muscle is The Agonist so when I contract it it's opposite muscle in this case the tricep will stretch so another example is the quadricep if the quadricep engages it's going to stretch or lengthen its opposing muscle which is the hamstrings so most of our muscles work like this and now this is what's called an autonomic response meaning you don't have to do anything it just happens if I curl my forearm to my bicep my bicep contracts my tricep lengthens this is called reciprocal inhibition now what does this have to do with PNF and stretching now while this process does happen automatically we can also kind of Leverage this process to help lengthen and stretch the muscles more you might have certain muscles that aren't quite like activated or turned on or maybe they're a little bit weak and so if you can learn how to engage them more mindfully then you could think logically well that opposite muscle is going to stretch and lengthen more for instance when I do some yoga poses I notice my quads get really sleepy and my knee is a little bent and I'm not getting nearly as deep of a stretch from my hamstrings that I could be getting but when I wake up to them and I kind of tap them and I turn those muscles on then my knee will straighten out the knee joint will straighten out and I'll start to get a better stretch of my hamstrings another key concept we want to understand is the way that muscles contract so there are three different ways that muscles contract I'm going to go over two of them today so we have the way that we're most familiar with muscles Contracting which is a concentric contraction basically our bones kind of work as levers and when our bones move the muscles contract so like a bicep curl that I mentioned earlier your bicep contracts when your forearms move towards the by sap it shortens the muscle shortens we also have another type of contraction called an isometric contraction so I can put my muscle under tension and it will still shorten and contract but no bones move and this is where PNF comes in we can basically add tension to the Target muscle that we want to stretch in order to send that signal by way of the Golgi tendon organ to the spinal cord to send the single the signal back to say hey we need to relax you seem really stressed out let's relax this muscle and so that's what we do in the PNF stretching technique so there are a variety of different ways that you can do the PNF technique all of them effective I'm going to teach you two of the three most common ways to do it and this is what we'll do we'll take a pose a yoga pose and we'll hold that pose for about 20 seconds and then we're going to create some tension in the Target muscle we're going to create an isometric contraction add about 30 to 50 percent of our effort and we'll just hold that for about five seconds or so and then we're going to go back into the stretch passively meaning we're not going to put any effort we're not going to engage we're just going to hold the pose for 20 seconds and then we'll come out we'll take a 20 second break and we'll do that two more times on the third time we'll add an additional PNF stretching technique where we're going to also Engage The Agonist muscle which is why I told you about reciprocal inhibition so again it's kind of leveraging that automatic response here in this stretching technique so I've chosen two very accessible yoga poses so that no matter where you are in your practice or your flexibility Journey you can do these with me and we're just looking for any increase just any and and you know it's relative to your body so you might see a big increase and you might see a very small increase but any increase means it's working those of you who want to try this in a more challenging posture I made another video for you where we'll do this technique in splits so that again you can look for any increase in your flexibility with this technique I'll meet you on your mat so the first pose we'll do is run or stretch and we're going to Target the hamstring here when you get into this position if you're you can't straighten your leg I would highly recommend using a prop underneath your hands so we'll get started with the right leg forward we can start right here so you want your back knee underneath your hip and the right leg straight out in front of you hands can be on blocks or the floor as long as you can get that right leg straight so what we are going to do is just be here in the stretch so I want you to just fold to your edge meaning as you fold the moment you feel this knee want to kind of Bend or your hips want to pull out that means you've gone too far so just go to your edge here and now we're going to do our isometric contraction so flex your right foot keep your legs straight and imagine you're dragging your right heel back towards your hip and it might actually move a little bit because of that action and then it will kind of stop and you should feel some tension in the back of the hamstring we're holding this for about four more seconds three keep dragging the heel back tw

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button