You enter the gym with hamstring pain, you start into a stretch and feel that your hamstring is beyond tight, and flexibility is minimal. This would be an opportune moment to get into PNF Stretching. PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) stretching techniques involve a partner actively stretching the participant by some combination of altering contraction and relaxation of both agonist muscles-a muscle that causes motion, and antagonist muscles-a muscle that can move the joint opposite to the movement produced by the agonist.
If you do not have a partner, make use of Dyna Bands, a towel, a chair--anything close by that can help you get that stretch effectively. Some of the different PNF techniques used include slow reversal hold, contract-relax, and hold-relax. PNF stretching usually involves a 10 second push phase followed by a 10 second relaxation phase, typically repeated a few times. PNF stretching is capable of producing greater improvement in flexibility compared to other techniques. Its disadvantage is that it typically requires a partner. However, having a partner may have some motivational advantage for some individuals to consider.
Here are some examples: