PNF and Movement 2024; 22(1): 71-80
The Effects of Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Stretching and Ballistic Stretching on Hip Joint Flexibility and Muscle Tone
Tae-Woo Kang, P.T., Ph.D.⋅Seo-Yoon Park, P.T., Ph.D.
Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health and Welfare, Woosuk University
Correspondence to: Seo-Yoon Park (
Received: March 7, 2024; Revised: April 2, 2024; Accepted: April 4, 2024; Published online: April 30, 2024.
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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching, based on ballistic stretching and the contract-relax technique, on hip joint flexibility and muscle tone in adults with shortened rectus femoris muscles.
Methods: The study involved 40 adults with shortened rectus femoris muscles, identified using the modified Thomas test. Participants were randomly divided into two groups: PNF stretching, employing the contract-relax technique, and ballistic stretching. Measurements included muscle tension, hip joint range of motion, and muscle characteristics. The rectus femoris muscle shortening effect was confirmed by the modified Thomas test, while the flexibility effect was assessed through hip joint motion range. The muscle tension effect was determined using Myoton-PRO.
Results: Both stretching methods resulted in significant improvements in modified Thomas test angles and frequency, with the PNF stretching group showing notably greater changes. However, neither stretching method significantly affected decrement or stiffness measurements. These findings suggest that PNF stretching may be more effective for certain outcomes compared to ballistic stretching.
Conclusion: In summary, both stretching methods positively influenced flexibility and muscle tension, with PNF stretching showing a greater impact. These findings highlight the importance of selecting the appropriate stretching technique for achieving functional improvements in muscles, which could serve as valuable indicators for preventing and treating muscle injuries in both sports and daily activities.
Keywords: Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Stretching, Ballistic Stretching, Flexibility, Rectus Femoris

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