The sneaky science of Essentrics® has decoded strength and grace!
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. 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 slight bounce back you feel at the end of a stretch is the myotatic reflex signaling, keeping the muscles from snapping. All fast movement fires the reflexes to contract. To keep it from triggering we need to move slowly, creeping in under the radar.
The key to unlocking the innate intelligence of the myotatic reflex is to move without tension. Like a Jedi Knight, or David Carradine.
In a complimentary action, the Golgi tendon reflex relaxes the muscle after contraction. If you’ve ever had a knee buckle unexpectedly, that was the Golgi reflex releasing muscular tension.
All muscle attaches to bone with tendons. When a muscle contracts, it shortens, placing a strain on the tendon. In between the contracting and releasing is a window of release. Like a trapeze artist suspended in mid-air, the body lengthens more easily when free of tension. Essentrics utilizes this “free zone” to elongate and decompress the body.
By definition, eccentric movement is lengthening our muscles while simultaneously strengthening them. The genius of Essentrics, is that we need no equipment to do this. By tapping into the body’s natural reflex intelligence, we get faster and more lasting results with gentler, slower movement. This is why PNF is an integral component of Essentrics.