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Focus on Fitness and Wellness: Department of Health and by Peter Koutroumpis

By Peter Koutroumpis

A health and wellbeing health e-book for a PE path in collage.

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Extra info for Focus on Fitness and Wellness: Department of Health and Exercise - North Carolina State University

Sample text

This form of stretching is normally used during the cool-down and is a highly recommended method for effectively developing flexibility. Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) This type of stretching consists of alternating an isometric muscular contraction followed by passive stretching. There are various techniques that may be applied when performing this type of stretching, with the most popular being a “contract-relaxcontract” method. This method consists of stretching the target muscle, isometrically contracting the muscle for several seconds, then relaxing the muscle and immediately stretching the muscle using gravity or assistance.

Due to a natural level of inhibition we are unable, except perhaps in moments of extreme emotion, to recruit all the available motor units (a built-in safety feature). With training, however, we learn to recruit more motor units. Early strength gains experienced before muscle tissue has hypertrophied is mostly the result of the nervous system learning to recruit more motor units. Muscle fibers (or more accurately motor units) are often classified according to their speed of contraction. Oversimplifying, the skeletal muscles’ fibers can be classified as either fast twitch or slow twitch.

Oversimplifying, the skeletal muscles’ fibers can be classified as either fast twitch or slow twitch. Although muscles typically have a mixture of slow and fast twitch fibers, all of the fibers in a motor unit are of the same type. For slow movements or movements that require little force, slow twitch fibers are recruited, and for faster movements or movements requiring more force, slow and fast twitch fibers are recruited. Of special interest to the weight lifter is the fact that the body recruits muscle fibers in a set sequence, with slow fibers always the first to be recruited.

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