What Is the Difference between Contract Relax and Hold Relax

Women generally started with a larger ROM in the two movements studied, although the results proved that the gains made by men and women were not significantly different from each other. However, according to the results, the men had larger increases with the CRAC method than with the CR method. The women differed from the men in that they did not have very significant ROM elevation differences between the PNF methods on the two joints. Looking through the Internet, you are led to believe that pnf stretching is all there is to PNF. Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) is an effective way to use reflexes to support muscle relaxation. Stretching according to these principles is only one part of a system used by physiotherapists to support muscle building, stability, neuromuscular control, mobility and coordination. This has been found to be superior to static deformation in some literatures. The Hold Relax PNF stretching technique is used to facilitate muscle relaxation in order to gain freedom of movement. This method uses an isometric contraction instead of an isotonic contraction. To do this, the limb is placed in a painless area and isometric contraction is maintained. The member is then moved to the new zone. The hold-relax method of PNF stretching is facilitated by the tendon organ of Golgi to allow the reflexive relaxation of the muscle.

This can be done individually or with the support of a coach or physiotherapist. The danger of the Hold Relax PNF stretching technique is that with this inhibition of muscle activity, it can predispose an athlete to injury when performed before a sporting event. The research behind stretching has been relatively inconclusive in studying the effects of static stretching (SS), ballistic stretching (BS) and PNF stretching on outcome measures such as injury prevention and athletic performance. The only difference found between the three strain protocols was the ability of PNF to cause a greater number of gains in the subjects` ROM, both active and passive (Funk et al., 2003; Lucas and Kozlov, 1984; Wallin et al., 1985; Etnyre and Lee, 1988; Feland et al., 2001). There are almost no physiological mechanisms leading to an increase in ROM proposed in the literature. The four theoretical mechanisms discussed in the literature are discussed in more detail in this review. These four mechanisms are: autogenous inhibition, reciprocal inhibition, stress relaxation, and gate control theory (all of which offer potential opportunities for PNF to increase ROM) (Sharman et al., 2006; Rowlands et al., 2003). PNF has been compared to traditional stretching methods (SS and BS) with respect to ROM, athletic performance and power output (Funk et al., 2003; Lucas and Kozlov, 1984; Etnyre and Lee, 1988; Feland et al., 2001). However, its effect on muscle function is less clear because it decreases muscle function when performed before exercise, but increases it when performed after exercise (Bradley et al., 2007; Marek et al., 2005; Mikolajec et al., 2012; Nelson et al., 1986). This effect on muscle function is discussed in this review article. Other factors that may affect the desired effects of PNF include the age and gender of the person on whom PNF is performed, the duration of the contraction, the specific muscles stretched, the technique used (CR or CRAC) and the percentage of maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC).

Few studies have examined these other factors (Etnyre and Lee, 1988; Feland et al., 2001; Feland and Marin, 2004; Rowlands et al., 2003). These studies are briefly discussed in this article, but more research into why these factors affect PNF outcomes is needed to provide more useful information about the use of PNF as a rehabilitation technique in a clinical setting. Feland and Marin (2004) studied 72 subjects to determine whether submaximal contractions during the CR method of PNF on the thighs would provide flexibility gains comparable to MVIC. 60 of the subjects were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups, which included 20% MVIC, 60% MVIC and 100% MVIC, while the remaining 12 were placed in the control group. Each subject in the first three groups performed three six-second sections of the CR method, all in their respective intensity, with 10-second breaks between each contraction for five days. The results showed that 20% and 60% MVIC contractions are just as effective as 100% MVIC during PNF`s CR method, as they all increased flexibility. Contract relax stretching uses one of the simplest reflexes in the human body to give you a deeper stretch. In contract-relax stretches, you would contract the quadriceps muscle before stretching the thigh muscle.

In this case, the quadriceps would contract, which would force the muscle spindle to send a signal to the body. Hold-Relax is the most common type of PNF stretching. Your muscle is held in a passive stretch for about 20 seconds. Then the same muscle is contracted in a stationary and non-displaced position. This contraction is maintained for 10 to 15 seconds before relaxing your muscle for 3 seconds. Repeat the passive stretch for 20 seconds. The contraction allows the muscle to be stretched further than before. Hold-relax with agonist contraction is the most effective PNF stretching technique due to the relief provided by reciprocal and autogenic inhibition. Besides, what is an example of a PNF track? PNF stretch agonist muscle – one muscle that contracts while the other relaxes). An example would be the biceps and triceps in the arm and thighs and quadriceps in the leg. You should perform this form of stretching only with the help of a qualified fitness specialist. Stress relief is what occurs when the musculo-tendon unit (MTM), which affects the connected muscles and tendons, is under constant stress (Sharman et al., 2006).

Muscles and tendons have viscoelastic properties in which they have properties of viscous and elastic materials. A viscoelastic material resists both linear shear and deformation when stress is applied, and returns to its original shape once the stress is removed from the MTU. As already mentioned, a phenomenon called “stress relaxation” occurs during a constant tension of the MTU. This reduces the force generated by the viscous material when it resists the stretching stimulus caused by stretching in the MTU. As the viscous material loses its ability to withstand deformation over time, MTU slowly increases in length, a property MTU calls creep (Sharman et al., 2006). There is a limit to the distance at which a muscle can “crawl” because the longer an MTU becomes, the higher the passive torque (resistance of the MTU to stretching) and the stiffness of the muscle (Sharman et al., 2006). Although, when stretching is maintained, stress relaxation occurs and there is a decrease in passive torque and muscle stiffness that lasts for a short time (Sharman et al., 2006). It is a protective mechanism to prevent muscle tearing and maintain a healthy relationship between the contractile units of muscle sarcoma. When the CR method is used in PNF stretching, the contraction of the TM increases the traction load of the MTU and promotes the “creep” of the muscle fibers in an elongated orientation.

This is similar to the CRAC method, except that the contraction of the antagonist muscle exerts more tensile force on the TM. Autogenic inhibition is what occurs in a contracted or stretched muscle in the form of a decrease in excitability due to inhibitory signals sent by GTOs from the same muscle (Sharman et al., 2006). This tension causes the activation of the Ib-afferent fibers in the GTO. The afferent fibers send signals to the spinal cord, where the stimulus causes the activation of inhibitory interneurons in the spinal cord. These interneurons put an inhibitory stimulus on the alpha-motor neuron, thereby reducing nerve excitability and reducing muscle efferent motor training (Sharman et al., 2006). It is theorized that this reflex occurs when the body tries to distribute the workload evenly through the motor unit inside the muscle, thereby supporting the body`s asynchronous recruitment to prevent certain motor units from getting tired. This chain reaction causes TM to loosen, which is one of the motor theories behind the increased stretching of muscle fibers during the CR and CRAC methods of PNF stretching. Try PMC Labs and let us know what you think. Find out more. The first part of this stretch is similar to hold-relax, in which the stretched muscle is contracted isometrically for 3-6 seconds, and then the antagonist muscle contracts immediately for 3-6 seconds. .