Definition of neuromuscular:
of or relating to nerves and muscles
Especially: jointly involving or affecting nervous and muscular
Definition of a stretch:
(of something soft or elastic) be made or be capable of being
made longer or wider without tearing or breaking.
The combined definition is the muscles and nerves being made capable of becoming longer and wider without breaking. But in order to complete that task, the nerves have to make sure the muscles understand that they are not going to “tear or break”. Now that’s where anatomy comes into play. Each muscle is a prime mover with an antagonist muscle that counteracts it. For example, the biceps and triceps move in sync together, when the bicep flexes the tricep extends. But if one of the muscles are tight then the other muscle can’t move as freely. For example, if the tricep is extremely tight and bounded up, the biceps will be lengthened more than usual and won’t be able to contract to its max distance which in turn will inhibit the triceps from reaching its max range of motion. Now in order for those two muscles to relax and both reach their full potential for a range of motion the nerves, muscle spindle, have to be trained into knowing that’s it's okay to lengthen farther and farther. The way that is accomplished is to contract, relax, and stretch the muscle that is being targeted. Each time that is completed through a full and partial range of motion during a contraction it allows the nerves muscle spindle to relax letting the muscles stretch. By the end of the stretch, your muscle spindles have relaxed allowing the body to stretch into positions it wasn’t comfortable getting into before because it wants to be tight because that’s where it feels strong and safe. It’s just unfortunately that doesn’t always feel the best when we are tight and bound up. Neuromuscular stretching isn’t just stretching, it is training for the body to get into positions it wasn’t comfortable getting into before.