Reciprocal inhibition refers to the process by which muscles on one side of a joint relax to accommodate contraction on the other side of that joint.[1][2] It is sometimes referred to as reciprocal innervation, however this is a misnomer because the agonists inhibit, or relax, the antagonists. The antagonists do not actually innervate (cause the contraction of) the agonists.[3] In reciprocal inhibition, afferent nerve fibers from the contracting muscle excite inhibitory interneurons in the spinal cord; the interneurons, by inhibiting certain motor neurons, cause an antagonist muscle to relax.[4]

See Also


  1. Donche, Dan (2008). FF Trainer Certification Guide. USA: Fatal Fitness. 
  2. various (n.d.). Reciprocal Inhibition. Wikipedia. Retrieved on 2008-08-08.
  3. unknown (n.d.). Active Stretching. Retrieved on 2008-08-08.
  4. Farr, Gary (2002, 06-24). Functions of the Nervous System. Retrieved on 2008-08-08.