Whew, busy morning at the clinic!
It’s an awfully wet and dark day around here and I am already longing for that gorgeous weather we had over the weekend. I spent the whole weekend outside, under blue sky days and starry nights.
And apparently flying pigs…but that’s another story…
The musical highlights of The Festy Experience were Brett Dennen, Lake Street Dive, and The Two Man Gentleman Band. Good times, check ’em out.
Personal highlights included good quality time with friends, camping in October, and leading a post bike race PNF stretch session.
You’re never too young (or too old) to stretch!
I first learned about PNF in my Kinesiology for Dancers class in college then later became a big fan when Tate started using it on me in my chiropractic treatments.
It’s helpful to have a partner, trainer, or health care provider to assist you with this type of stretching because it makes some positions easier but there are a few ways to do PNF on your own.
PNF utilizes muscle contractions to fatigue the fast twitch fibers and allow you to get deeper into a stretch and increase the length of the muscles. In the above quadriceps stretch we stretched, then kicked our foot back into our hand (activating the quad) for 15 seconds, and then stretched again. We repeated this sequence about 3 times for each leg.
To stretch the hamstrings you can put your foot on a bench/step, stretch forward for 20-30 seconds then press your heel into the bench/step to activate the hamstrings. Hold contraction for 15 seconds then repeat stretch. Continue for 2-3 cycles.
Note: The contraction only takes about 20% of your max strength, just enough to activate the muscle.
Stretch and Enjoy!
Sarah@The Flying ONION
Sometimes stretching just feels so good. 😀
And spending the entire weekend outdoors sounds like the most perfect kind of a weekend. 😀
Nadine Fawell (@yogawithnadine)
I am a PNF stretching fan myself: I weave a few into my yoga classes. Does that make me an impure yogi?
I don’t believe in impure yoga, I’ve been trying to write a post on this exact topic but haven’t gotten up the nerve yet.
I want to take your yoga class!
PNF stretching actually reduced my flexibility the following days. My muscle becomes sore and tight after doing a session of pnf stretching.
Just wondering if I’m using the wrong technique. Am I contracting my muscle too much? Am I over-stretching my muscle?
I will try 20% strength next time. But I also need to know how much should I stretch?
Was your stretching session after a workout? It sounds to me like you overdid it either in your workout or in the stretching. Overdoing it isn’t always bad but does result in soreness and necessary recovery time. Always make sure that your muscles are warm before you stretch and don’t push past the first layer of mild discomfort. If you are sore the following day, do some light exercise to warm the muscles then lightly stretch them, you should feel less sore and stiff afterwards. Consistency is key, over time you will become more flexible.