Flexibility and Tension

When done right PNF stretching appears to be one of the best.

As far as I see it is used pre and post workout, and any other time during the day. My main reason for using PNF is that It reduces tension, and increases flexibility.

I used microstretching to reduce tension during the day, but wasn’t feeling much of a difference. I’m going to replace my microstretching with PNF and see how things go. I did do microstretching as an alternate to massaging since i don’t have that options, and now im replacing microstretching with PNF for the same reasons.

BTW im doing 4 sets of 20 seconds on “tight” mucles, mostly the hamstrings and groinal area. Also Im not only doing PNF, I still do Dynamic and static in my workouts.

Are there other things I need to take into account? Other problems? Successes? Am I doing this for the right reasons? comments welcomed.

PNF is not to be used “anytime of the day” it is far too stressful to the system. It should be used post workout and no more than 4 times per week (3 is better) and only on two bodyparts.

Also a sufficient level of strength is required in the muscles your stretching before starting PNF, (although PNF will increase your strength itself.)

Once a good level of strength and endurance in your core has been built deep squats and deadlifts are what you should stick to.

Once you have enough strength you will be able to develop your flexibility to it’s potential in about a month.


I used PNF as part of a warm-up routine, but I also use it throughout the training week to address ROM issues and general tightness. I disagree with the sweeping statements that it can only be used under such-and-such circumstances. PNF can be done at varying levels of tension and deceleration to achieve a variety of goals.

If you are going “all-out” in your PNF sessions, I suggest that you modify the tension, duration and other variables to achieve a safe use of PNF.

If your goal is inreased flexibility and your conducting strength,speed or endurance workouts in the week then you should do it POST workout ONLY !!

ABSOLUTELY DO NOT DO IT AS A WARM UP, you will be fatigued and weaker in your workout.


Look through the threads on stretching and PNF - search for posts by Charlie. He used it with Ben, Marion, Tim and all the other athletes up there in the best in the world. He didn’t do it because it was all he knew he did it because it was what was required.

Its not the tool that is the problem its the way it is handled.

Another quote from AJ, from a lecture in the 1970s.

"Regardless of the tools that you use. Use them properly. Now, holding a scalpel does not make you a surgeon. I would rather have a surgeon operate on me with a butchers knife than a butcher operate on me with a scalpel.”

Just as you can use massage to relax the athlete (and hence the studies showing it reduces performance before physical activity) you can also use it to “wake up” the nervous system (if you use it differently). But often the people that do the experiments don’t know about the different methods. And if they don’t know they won’t put it in the study and the people reading it won’t know either. And then you get the situation where I am being told I will loose my job if I allow my athletes to get a massage before a track meet! Understanding is more than just facts… it is about the pattern which connects. See my article in the new Ezine for more information on this idea.


ABSOLUTELY DO NOT DO IT AS A WARM UP, you will be fatigued and weaker in your workout - Seanjos

I stand by this statement, static stretching has no place in a warm up for a hundred reasons that I thought were obvious.

Movement patterns that mimic the sport combined with some tensions in their positions are good and form part of a proper warm up. It is for this reason that its only gymnasts who use PNF before performing.

Think about the affect static stretching has on the body, is this what your warm up is trying to achieve ?


Static stetching has definately got it’s place in the warm up providing you combine it with dynamic movement patterns - When I warm players up before rugby sessions we combine both methods due to the intensity of training - and we focus our static streching on the tonic muscles.

For someone who has no experience dealing and working with professional athletes you seem to have all the answer’s Sean.

PNF is not static-stretching. And I love the fact that you have to quote yourself as a reference.

You again…

I already decided you were a tool but now you’ve outdone yourself.

WHY ? why static stretch ? Tell me the benefits!!

Your an embarrassment to your profession, it’s a good job your only doing rugby which is thankfully something no one even in England gives a shit about.


(quoting myself… love it. Egoism is the foundation of heroism.)

Egoism is a word? Didn’t know that. I guess I learned something.

It seems that you’ve forgotten about that other thread you started (H.I.T. Baby). Seems convenient. Where are the results and statistics you promised?

It’s funny, all the experienced coaches here and we’re outdone by a 21-year-old nobody. (Note Extreme Sarcasm)

There are many ways to “skin a cat” and there are many different degrees of “PNF” While great care must be exercised with any type, when you move with the athlete (vs static PNF), you can vary the resistance as much as you want or need. You can also feel what the athlete is putting out vs your normal reference point for him/her. The athlete generating less pressure than is normal indicates more tightness, requiring more caution.
I’d suggest, rather than strict rules about method, using rules re degree of stretch.
Here are a few general thoughts:
Increased ROM by any means: Only after the workout.
Static PNF: Only after
Moving PNF: Anytime required.
Always ensure that the athlete is reasonably warm before starting ANY stretch.
Always start with upper body stretches first.
Never force a stretch, before or after. Take up slack in PNF holds as it presents with exactly the same pressure. You can feel when this presents very clearly and it will always occur when the athlete exhales.
Abnormal tightness: Less stretching in general at the start of the session and much more time spent generating heat with easy movement. When stretching is applied, keep it brief and keep moving in between stretches.
If you have any doubt about a particular stretching method, leave it out.
If you are working on your skill to apply it, always do it after.
Anyone want to add to the list?

I also will employ static, non-assisted stretches with sprinters within the warm-up, but, then again, what do I know either?

I might point out that Number Two has worked as a stretching specialist with NBA teams for individuals with stretching problems- but hey, what does he know either!

If egoism could be substituted with the word results, you might be on to something.
Or, as a man like myself, from the trenches, might say: “Money talks. Bullshit walks!”

My first post (H.I.T) was an innocent account of the results I’ve had as a newly qualified coach working with school kids using H.I.T.

It was misinterpreted through no fault of mine.
Anyone who is involved in H.I.T (and actually applies it) will account that the numbers I put forth are what is to be expected.

I do not owe anyone here anything and I will not repeat myself or supplicate to people I don’t know. So when I’m being called an idiot because someone doesn’t “get it” whatever interest I had in that thread has gone.


p.s -Speedkills - i’m actually 20, and i’m glad I could improve your vocabulary. Maybe next time i’ll explain the words exercise, rationality and tosser.

Rugby League or Union?

If you come here presenting increduluous results, you shouldn’t be surprised when you are asked to present them. Spouting off instead of substantiating them doesn’t help your case.
While closing down the discourse on HIT, you now move on to inform everyone here that they don’t understand stretching.
I can tell you that I’ve had substantial experience in this field in Track, NFL, NBA, NHL, etc, as well as in clinical settings, dealing with the most difficult stretching scenario there is- Cerebral Palsy. You are free to accept or reject concepts depending on your individual circumstances and needs.
Despite your antics, you’ve opened up some interesting avenues for discussion. I hope you are able to take advantage of what is here for your own use.
Instead of attacking POWER, you should get in touch with him as he’s in your country. If he’d still be willing to give you a chance, go see what he does and then see if you think he doesn’t know what he’s doing. I’m pretty darn sure you’ll think otherwise!
I sighted an example of this before, regarding a Coach who was also a teacher at one of the toughest schools in Toronto. He was in his class on a very hot day when the toughest kid took off his shirt. He said: “Put your shirt back on.” The kid replied: “Why should I?” Now, if he’d said: “Cause I say so.”, it could lead to a fight. If he ignored it, it would lead to a breakdown in order. So he said: “Cause you’re turning me on!” Everyone laughed, including the kid, who put his shirt back on. That’s experience and no amount of theorizing can prepare you for that.
Successful coaching is a matter of adapting to realities, not spouting lines from a “Red Book” like Chairman Mao’s Red Guard.

Mr Francis,

You are the last person I want to get into a spat with, i’m not here trying to start fights. I do seem to attract them in these forums though.

Does the fact he works with the NBA makes what he says true?
Are you saying I should accept blindly what he or anyone has to say because of this?

The people who employed him won’t know the first thing about stretching but his resume says he does.(note that the sports science courses at most universities are drastically different than 20 years ago)

This is how you breed parasites e.g speedkills, someone like this can only ever know what is presented to him. He lacks independent and critical thought and can only improve his knowledge by riding the wave of whatever “breakthrough” has occured this week.

He will not contribute anything to the development of exercise science as you have (and I hope to). He can only feed of the thoughts of others, by definition a parasite.

I asked power (or anyone) to name the benefits of static or PNF stretching before a workout, so far i’ve had no answer.


I have heard you state on a few occasions that it is not appropriate to use PNF stretches on tight athletes (do you mean chronic tightness / or tightness in any given training session) can you explain why?
I would think an increase in temperature and range of motion which PNF stretches can apply would assist this type of athlete?
Is there not an excellent learning environment or increased awareness provided for an athlete during PNF stretches as they can feel that range of motion vs. slight resistance?

You did improve my vocabulary, by approximately 1 word. It’s too bad that’s all you did. I just find it hard to believe that you could come onto a message board and proceed to tell everyone (including in my opinion, the world’s greatest speed/power coach) that your training methods (and a couple of others including the late mike mentzer) are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Give it 1 year, perhaps even 10 if you’re a slow learner, and next thing you know your training methods will adapt and hopefully improve. Perhaps then you will see a need for more flexibility in your definition of what it takes to develop champion athletes and to be a successful coach.

Additionally, I find it comical that you would preach to so many of us about your training methods superiority (and apparently your knowledge and thought process) and expect your side of the argument to be accepted with open arms. Are you saying that we should accept what you’re saying blindly? So by definition, you are a hypocrite. Parasites and hypocrites together make for great debate.

I do take it personally that you would come onto this forum and take such an aggressive stance against training methodology that has time and time again proven it’s superiority (I am referring to the CFTS, Vertical Integration, and pretty much all of Charlie’s work).

So for my overly aggressive stance, I do apologize. But please don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.