PNF Philosophy

In the current movement industry, there are several approaches claiming to be “the answer” to all our movement problems.

Whether you’re a strength coach/trainer or a clinician, trying to decide which approach to use can get pretty overwhelming. I too have been trying to decide:

“Which was the “better” system?”
 “Which system should I invest my time and money to better help me, help my clients?”

Do I study… Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) or Postural Respiration Institute (PRI)?

 Should I use the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) or Institute of Physical Art (IPA)?

Instead, what I think I’ve found was the common denominator:

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)

So, I decided to pack my gear, travel to Vallejo, CA and do a residency program where I was mentored by expert PNF clinicians for 9 months in the trenches of neurological rehab.

Vallejo, CA is where the creators of PNF, Dr. Herman Kabat and Maggie Knott, developed and practiced PNF in the United States. This 9 month residency program helped me find the common ground in these so called “different” approaches.

Start with Why.png

If you haven’t read Start with Why by Simen Sinek, I would highly recommend it.  Simen’s book, in a nut shell, discusses that companies/systems, like Apple and Harley Davidson, are so successful because they start with ‘why they do what they do’ (the beliefs and inner motivation) before they discuss the ‘how’ (process/system) or the ‘what’ (product) .


Sinek starts with a concept called “the Golden Circle,” where the center of the circle is the ‘Why’ then the ‘How’, then the ‘What.’

I looked at this Golden Circle and placed all the different approaches to movement in that middle circle the ’How’.

Each systems’ techniques can be placed on the outer circle or the ‘What.’ But what about the “Why”? Could there possibly be common ’beliefs’ or themes among all of these systems?

Studying PNF for 9 months helped me realize that PNF’s philosophy and basic principles is the common denominator.

So let’s talk about PNF’s “Why.” Let's talk about what the inner motivations and beliefs of PNF really are.

I will be sharing my interpretation of the PNF Philosophies & Basic Principles through a series of blog posts.

I'll start by discusing PNF Philosophy #1: Every Living Thing Has Potential.  

Ramez Antoun