Ryan, E. E., Lopez, R., Rossi, M. D., Doherty, J. L., & Jacobs, P. L. (2006). The effects of contract-relax-antagonist-contract form of PNF stretching on postural stability. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 2422.

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This study investigated the effects of the Contract-Relax-Antagonist-Contract (CRAC) form of PNF stretching, with and without a warm-up intervention, on anterior/posterior (A/P) and medial/lateral (M/L) stability. Healthy Ss (M =15; f = 15) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions. The treatment conditions were warm-up and stretch, stretching only, and a control condition with no treatment. CRAC-PNF of the hamstrings, plantar flexors, and hip flexors were performed during the two treatments. A six-minute treadmill warm-up was added to stretching in the warm-up and stretch condition. Stability measures were obtained using a computerized balance platform.

After treatment, warm-up and stretch scores were significantly different from the scores of the stretching only and the control conditions, the latter two conditions being no different to each other. Compared to before treatment measures, M/L stability for the warm-up and stretch condition improved 8% while the other two conditions did not improve. A/P measures did not differ between conditions.

Implication. PNF stretching combined with a warm-up produces better medial/lateral stability than stretching alone or no activity.

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