Autogenic Inhibition

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Autogenic inhibition, also called the inverse myotatic reflex, is the stimulation of a muscle which causes its neurologic relaxation. It is the reflex inhibition of a motor unit when excessive tension, as monitored by the Golgi tendon organs, is applied to the muscle fiber that it triggers.

Muscle tension is monitored by the Golgi tendon organs. Maximal contraction of a muscle causes an increase in the tension of the GTO. Impulses from the GTO then cause inhibition of motor neuron activity, causing the muscle to relax.

Autogenic inhibition is possibly a protective mechanism, preventing muscles from exerting more force than the bones and tendons can tolerate. Regular weightlifting is believed to counteract these inhibitory impulses, which is yet another factor in strength gain. See also golgi tendon organs. Autogenic inhibition is the basis for PNF stretching techniques.

Need more? See Science of Flexibility

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This page created 17 Sep 2011 21:53
Last updated 29 Jan 2017 01:19

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