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PNF Techniques

Technique

Definition

Rhythmic Initiation
(RI)

Moving passively
through a range
(initially)*

Rhythmic Rotation
(RRo)

Moving passively
through ROM in
alternating/multi
directions
A combination of PT
help and pt activation
through range

Active-Assisted (AA) & Guided *

Used For

Stage Applied

Examples &
Notes

Understand the
timing & rhythm of a
movement
Quickly progress to
A-A*
Understand timing of
rotational movements

Initial Mobility,
hyper/hypo

e.x. passive UE D1
patterns.
(move to active
assisted quickly*)

Initial Mobility,
Hyper
Rigidity (PD)

Next level of initiation


have them help you

Initial Mobility,
controlled mobility
(difficult tasks)

e.x. passively rocking


a pt or PROM thru
range for
rhythmicity/timing
Used if patient cant
get through entire
range actively;
continuation of RI
e.x. pt flexes
shoulders to 90,
dont let me move
you; PT applies force
into Flex, then EXt
e.x in sitting, dont
let me move you, PT
applies rotational
force to trunk
Dont hold onto G-H
joint!!!
Uses quick stretch to
initiate, followed by
resistance

Alternating
Isometrics (AI)

Isometric contraction
of agonist &
antagonist against one
plane of mvt

Strength, stability of
postural and girdle
muscles

Stability

Rhythmic
Stabilization (RS)
**

Isometric contraction
of multidirectional
force

Promote stability via


co-contraction and
isometrics in many
directions

Stability

Repeated
Contraction (RC)

Repeated, dynamic
contraction applied at
one point of range

Specific strengthening
for a target agonist

Initial mobility
(targets one weak
area), hypotonic;
controlled mobility

PNF Techniques
Resisted
Progression (RP)

Manual resistance to
pelvis during
locomotion
Resisting a muscle
through both
concentric and
eccentric
Slow, isotonic
contractions of the
agonist w/ resistance,
then the antagonist w/
resistance
RH, with isometric
contraction at end
range

Strengthens during
functional activity

Controlled
mobility/Skill

Strengthens agonist

Controlled mobility

Strengths muscles
(around a joint,
usually)

Controlled mobility

Enhance dynamic
stability, esp.
proximally

Stability, controlled
mobility

Weight-bearing to
promote cocontraction around
joints

Stability around joints

Stability
(Isometrics can be
used w/ hypo, too)

Contract-Relax
(CR)

Active contraction of
agonist, followed by
passive stretch

Increasing flexibility

Initial mobility,
hypertonic

Contract-Relax,
Antagonist
contract (CRAC)

Active contraction of
agonist, followed by
active antagonist
contraction
Isometric hold of
agonist (PT pushing

Increase flexibility of
agonist through
active participation

Initial mobility,
hypertonicity

Increase flexibility

Initial mobility,
Hyper or hypomobility

Agonist Reversal

Antagonist
Reversal: Slow
Reversal (SR)

Antagonist
Reversal: Slow
Reversal-Hold (SRH)
Hold Positions

Hold-Relax (HR)
[w/ Active

Just enough
resistance to make
them work
e.x. Resist biceps
during elbow flex and
ext.
e.x. resist biceps w/
elbow flex & triceps
w/ ext.
careful resistance
through entire range
e.x. same as above,
but have them hold
resistance at end of
arc of motion
e.x. prone on elbows
**some source place this
as a type of a rhythmic
stab b/c you can try to
move people in a WB
position (isometric
resistance)

e.x. contract
hamstrings onto PTs
shoulder; relax & PT
passively stretch
e.x. contract
hamstring, relax &
actively extend knee
(quads)
e.x. PT tries to extend
knee dont let me

PNF Techniques
Mvt=HRAM]

into it), then either


passive stretch, or
activation of
antagonist

move you; pt holds,


then relaxes. Passive
stretch or activation
of antagonist