PNF, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, or better known as PNF stretching is a type of stretching technique that can be used to increase your muscle’s range of motion and increase flexibility. PNF stretching can also improve muscular strength, improve athletic performance, and has also been linked to faster range of movements for sports training. This type of stretching includes contractions and stretching that is best done with a partner or fitness instructor.
Fitness coach training includes stretching exercises. Fitness coaches understand the importance of stretching and the benefits that their athletes could gain from them. PNF stretching could increase an athlete’s risk of injury if not performed correctly, so it is best to have an athletic coach or personal trainer assist you if you are interested in adding PNF stretching to your fitness plan. PNF stretching makes the muscles contract past their comfort zone and holds it for a short-timed interval, such as 20 or 30 seconds. The muscle then relaxes and then is contracted deeper past the previous stretch. When this is performed at least twice per week, the muscle elongates and can respond faster, giving athletes a natural edge with speed and agility PNF stretching can be very beneficial for endurance athletes such as runners or cyclists, but any athlete can utilize PNF stretching into their personal fitness regimen.
PNF stretching can also be used in clinical or rehabilitation clinics to aid in recovery and improve mobility for injured athletes. Fitness professional liability insurance sometimes prohibits basic personal trainers from performing PNF stretching with clients at health clubs. It is important to make sure you work with someone who is trained and certified in this type of stretching. It is not recommended that you try this by yourself at home due to the extended range of muscle that could cause strain if not performed correctly.
Flexibility training and PNF stretching can help increase stability of the joints and strengthen the muscles that support the joints. It is one of the deepest stretching techniques you can do and when done correctly, can truly help individuals stretch and strengthen specific muscle groups. Consult a health coach trainer or flexibility specialist if you are thinking about trying PNF stretching. They can help you decide which types of stretches are best for you to help you reach your personal fitness goals safely.
Learn more about ASFA’s Stretching Instructor Certification by clicking the link below. 24/7 online convenience, pay only if you pass!