What Is the Difference between Relax and Contract

Contract/relaxation stretching methods seem to help make the fastest changes in the length of a muscle. So if you have a chronically narrow area, this may be the stretching method that would provide the most beneficial changes. The athlete and therapist gradually relax. 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. 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. Resistance to isotonic (dynamic) contraction of restricted (shortened) muscles, followed by relaxation and movement in increased range of motion.

Contract relax stretching uses one of the simplest reflexes in the human body to give you a deeper stretch. Remember: reflexes are subconscious, so your mind doesn`t need to work to achieve this, it`s just a natural event. The physiological phenomenon behind contract-relax-stretching is mutual inhibition. Your body knows that when a muscle contracts (shortens) on one side of the joint, the other side of the joint must relax (lengthen) for this movement to take place. This is called reciprocal inhibition. Thus, we can see that the “hold-relax” technique refers to an isometric muscle contraction (STATIC), and the athlete or therapist does not attempt movement while performing the technique. The contraction is built gradually. In summary, most of us would benefit from both a combination of static stretching and contraction/relaxation techniques after exercise and a sport-specific dynamic warm-up before doing sports or training. I hope this helps you clarify when you should use the different types of stretching to maximize your fitness goals and keep you moving!!! Let me know if you have any questions. Cheers, Ed Deboo, PT There are 3 main types of muscle stretching that are most commonly used in exercise programs: 1.

Static stretching: the most common type, defined as the simple act of holding a certain position that creates a feeling of stretching without movement or muscle contraction. Usually held between 15-30 seconds. Example: A static stretch of the thigh tendon would involve something like placing the outstretched leg on a chair in front of you and leaning forward until you feel a stretch in your thigh muscle and then holding it there for 15 to 30 seconds. 2. Dynamic Stretching: This means moving the joint slowly and in a controlled manner through its entire range of motion, but not maintaining the stretched position. For example, a dynamic thigh stretch would mean slowly kicking your leg in front of you while standing until you feel resistance in your thigh tendon, and then repeating this movement several times without holding the upper position for more than 1-2 seconds. 3. Contract Relaxation Stretching or PNF Stretching: There are many variations of this type of stretching, but it involves a maximum or submaximum contraction of the muscle that you stretch for about 5 to 10 seconds, followed by passive stretching for 20 to 25 seconds. Repeat the relaxation steps of the contract for a total of 3-4 cycles. Example: If you had to stretch the tendons of your thigh while sitting, you would place your leg (with a right knee) on a chair in front of you and lean forward until you felt a stretch. Then you would “contract” the muscle that is stretched, in this case the thigh tendon, by pressing on the chair for about 5-10 seconds.

The contraction is isometric, which means that there is no actual joint movement. The force used is moderate and is maintained for 5 seconds, followed by a period of “relaxation”, which then allows you to absorb the gap in the thigh tendon by leaning forward until a strong stretch is felt again. Repeat this for a total of 3 to 4 cycles. 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. This signal reaches the spinal cord and sends two signals back 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. There are three PNF methods: the contract-relax method (CR), the antagonist-contract (AC) method and a combination of both – contract-relax-antagonist-contract (CRAC). CR involves contracting, holding, relaxing and stretching the target muscle. Contract-relax stretching differs from static stretching in some ways, but neurologically in a fundamental way. Static stretching is based on the GTO, not on the muscle spindle as a signal messenger. The OWG. Triggered by tension, has the opposite reaction of the muscle spindle.

GTO inhibits the contraction of agonist muscles and allows the antagonist muscle to contract more strongly. In the example above, this means that if we contracted the quads, the quads would be turned off and the thighs would light up and contract. This is called autogenic inhibition and not the reciprocal inhibition used in contractual relaxation stretches. This GTO reaction begins after about 7-10 seconds, when muscle tension in the stretched muscle has increased. Advanced athletes sometimes use Hold-Relax-Swing, also known as Hold-Relax-Bounce. The hold-relax swing is similar to the hold-relax technique, except that the final passive stretch is replaced by a ballistic stretch that uses a rebound movement to further stretch the muscles. This is rarely done because it can be dangerous. Post-facilitation stretching is another unusual PNF technique in which stretching is started halfway between a completely relaxed position and a maximum stretched position.

The muscle is contracted with as much force as possible and held for 10 seconds. The muscle is relaxed and immediately stretched again. Other types of PNF stretching include rhythmic initiation and rhythmic stabilization. There is a lot of research that shows the great short-term benefits of contract relaxation itineraries. A research study that showed that 7 days of contractual release stretching up to the neck resulted in a sharp increase in range of motion, but the effects diminished rapidly when the stretching was stopped. While it is undeniable that contractual relaxation stretches are effective, it may not be as clear whether they are much more effective than static stretches. One study compared static stretching to contracted-relax stretching with variable and controlled angles. The results show that there was no difference between the two methods at controlled angles.

But when it was allowed to press to the painful point in the range of motion, this contractual relaxation stretch had larger joint angles. Even at larger joint angles (also known as larger ranges of motion), EMG responses (or muscle activity) did not differ between the two methods. Contractual relaxation stretching is a form of PNF stretching. PNF stands for proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. What does that mean? This means that it uses natural reflexes to promote the stretching response. In contract-relax stretches, you must first contract the opposite muscle isometrically. Then, after contraction, try to stretch the intended target further. For example, if you try to stretch the biceps: you would contract the triceps (compared to the biceps) isometrically for 10 seconds. Then you would relax the triceps and try to stretch the biceps more by stretching the arm.

This type of stretching can be performed on any muscle with an antagonist (or a muscle performing its opposite movement). The Contract Relax technique is very similar to the Hold Relax technique. Passive stretching is maintained for 20 seconds and then contracted. The difference between contract relax and hold relax is that in the contract relax technique the muscle is contracted concentrically. This means that the muscle is moved in such a way that it temporarily shortens. The contraction is released for a few seconds, and then the passive stretch is repeated for another 20 seconds. The contract-relax method with antagonistic contract seems to be the most effective type of PNF stretching. In this stretch, the muscle is stretched for 20 seconds. It is then contracted concentrically, as in contract relax. Once the contraction has been maintained for 10 seconds, the muscle opposite the contracted muscle is also statically contracted for 10 seconds. After a short relaxation of three seconds, passive stretching is repeated.

PNF refers to one of the many postisometric relaxation stretching techniques in which a muscle group is passively stretched, then contracts isometrically against resistance in the stretched position, and then passively stretches again due to the resulting increase in range of motion. When the quadriceps muscle contracts and we suddenly enter a deeper stretch of the thigh, the thigh muscle is more relaxed than before and can allow more movement! On the other hand, the PNF “Contract-Relax” technique is DYNAMIC and allows movement for the therapist. .