How to Jedi the Sh*t Out of Strength and Grace

How to Jedi the Sh*t Out of Strength and Grace

One of the things I like most about Essentrics® is the sneaky science. Harnessing the power of reflex intelligence, Essentrics® cleverly utilizes Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) to increase range of motion. The philosophy of PNF informs every movement in Essentrics®, so today I am going to explain why.

The muscular system has a built-in safety reflex that protects us from tearing tendons and overstraining muscles. It’s collectively referred to as our “reflex intelligence.”

The myotatic reflex keeps muscles from snapping. When we reach the end of the stretch, we feel a slight bounce back. That’s the myotatic reflex signaling. To keep from triggering it, we move slowly, creeping in under the radar.

Rapid movement, naturally, fires the reflexes to contract. The key to using myotatic reflex intelligence is to stay as relaxed as possible as you move.

The Golgi tendon reflex relaxes the muscle after contraction. If you’ve ever had a knee buckle unexpectedly, that was the Golgi reflex releasing muscle tension.

All muscle attaches to bone with tendons. When a muscle contracts, it shortens, placing a strain on the tendon. Contracting and releasing creates a tiny window in which the muscle is free of tension. In that window, we consciously apply more relaxation to deepen into the stretch.

By tapping into the body’s natural reflex intelligence, we get faster and more lasting results. This is why PNF is an integral part of Essentrics®.

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