If you are a patient at GlackinPT, we've likely performed some PNF on you. PNF stands for Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation. To put it simply, it's a technique utilizing manual/hands on contact, to provide information to the brain about where the body is and how it's doing (proprioception), to get the correct muscles to engage then develop endurance(neuromuscular), and then (facilitate) them to make movement easier and more efficient.
This exercise is great and I give it very often after pelvic PNF patterns. The down leg will drive the pelvis into posterior depression along with hip extension, knee extension, and ankle plantarflexion. All of these motions help with gait and driving forward off the leg efficiently. The up leg drives the pelvis into anterior elevation along with hip flexion, knee flexion, ankle dorsiflexion. All of these motions help with the swinging leg during gait and help to engage the core.
Weight Shift in Stride Stance
The weight shift in stride stance is a great carryover exercise to promote carryover from PNF utilized to get the pelvis to drive down and backwards which helps to engage the glutes, finish the stride out, and improve the gait cycle all around.
Stand with one foot in front of the other as if you've taken a step forwards. Gradually shift your weight forward while standing tall, shift far enough forward that your pelvis is in front of your ankle bones, at that point you should feel quads, glutes, and the calf muscles all working.
- Make sure to continue breathing while performing
- Stand tall but avoid leaning backwards at your low back, picture a straight line from the ankle to the shoulder
- Get the pelvis in front of the ankle bones to really engage the right muscles
- Hold that position for 3"-5" 20x
Prone on Elbows with Rotation
The prone on elbows position is a developmental position that helps us begin to develop strength and stability in shoulder girdles. By putting weight into our hands or elbows on the ground it automatically engages the rotator cuff and muscles that stabilize the scapula against the rib cage. Add in some rotation and we can really engage those same muscles even more.
Lay on the ground as in the video with elbows directly underneath the shoulders. Push your sternum away from the floor to engage the scapular stabilizers, from there spin/rotate your hands outwards. You should feel the muscles between the shoulder blades engage even more.
- Make sure the elbows are directly under your shoulders
- Don't sag into your shoulders, keep your sternum up and tall, pushing away from the floor
- Don't hold your breath
- For extra resistance add a band around the wrists
- Hold the position for 10" 10x
Low Trap row with Powerband
This exercise promotes carryover of the scapular depression pattern. Being able to drive the shoulder blade down and back is essential for stability of the shoulder girdle when lifting, pushing, pulling, but also plays a pivotal roll in gait.
Get in the half kneeling position, the leg that is up and forward is the opposite of the arm pulling the band down. Keeping the elbow straight pull against the band thinking about driving your shoulder blade into the opposite back pocket. Hold that position for 3"-5" and then slowly let the arm drift back to the starting position.
- Make sure the front leg is opposite of the arm pulling
- Don't let the band snap you back up, slowly control and resist the pull of the band to the starting position.
- Keep the elbow straight and think of moving the shoulder blade down and back, not pushing the arm back down to your side.
Hip flexion Isometric
A great exercise to get the core to engage following facilitation of the core using the stronger hip flexors.
- Lay on your back and bring your knee towards your chest
- Apply a gentle pressure up and towards the ceiling, not straight forward
- Think about grabbing and apply some traction to the skin of the thigh as you push towards the ceiling
- Don't let the leg move
- Don't hold your breath
- You should feel the core working more than the front of the hip
- Hold for 10", perform up to 10 reps