Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation of the Wrist Flexors
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The present study examined a wrist extension-to-flexion contraction pattern that was theorized to result in proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. However, the “reversal of antagonists” contraction pattern may have, alternatively, interfered with motor learning-related increases in strength. Participants (N=24) were matched on predicted strength and randomly assigned to either the control or experimental group. Training occurred during three test sessions within a one-week period. Retention and transfer (crossed-condition) tests were administered during a fourth test session two- weeks later. Both groups exhibited comparable increases in strength (20.2%) and decreases in muscle coactivation (35.2%), which were retained and transferred. Decreases in error and variability of the torque traces were associated with parallel decreases in variability of muscle activity. The reversal of antagonists technique did not interfere with motor learning-related increases in strength and decreases in variability. However, the more complex contraction pattern failed to result in proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation of strength.