Course Objectives

List of Course Objectives


Facilitated Stretch Therapy for the Upper Extremity,
Lower Extremity, and Spine.

By Sterling L. Carter, PT, DPT, MS, CSCS

Upon completion of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Understand the Basics of Stretching and the evidence of its benefits.
  • Extensive review of the muscles that innervate the upper extremity, lower extremity, and spine.
  • Describe the benefit of Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF).
  • Understand the key differences between performing a facilitated stretch vs. other types of stretching.
  • Effectively perform facilitated stretching for the Upper Extremity
  • Effectively perform facilitated stretching for the Lower Extremity
  • Effectively perform facilitated stretching for the Oblique and Lower Back
  • Effectively perform facilitated stretching for the Torso and Neck
  • Pass clinical lab exam and written exam for certification as a Facilitated Stretch Therapist.
Timed Schedule / Table Of Contents

SPTW Stretch Therapist Certification program Outline: Weekend Course: 16 hours


Day 1:

8:00 am - 9:30 am : Understanding the Basics of Stretching

  • Connective Tissue, Fascia, Tendons, Ligaments, and Skeletal Muscle
  • Different Types of Muscle Contractions
  • Types of Stretching
    • Passive
    • Static
    • Partner-Assisted Passive
    • Active
    • Ballistic
    • Dynamic
    • Active Assisted Stretching
    • Muscle Energy Technique
    • Active Isolated Stretching
    • PNF Stretching
  • Guidelines for Stretching
    • Why is stretching important?
    • Stretch after Warm-up
    • Stretch Twice, Stretch Once
    • Stretch without pain

9:30 am - 9:45 am: Break time

9:45 am - 10:45 am: Focusing on Facilitated Stretching

  • What is Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)?
  • PNF Basis: Spiral-Diagonal Movement
  • What is Facilitated Stretching?
  • Key Differences in Performing Facilitated Stretching
  • Facilitated Stretching Three-Step Stretching Sequence
    1. The stretcher actively moves the limb to lengthen the target muscle (muscle to be stretched, antagonist) to its end range.
    2. The stretcher isometrically contracts the target muscle for 6 seconds. The partner offers matching resistance and does not attempt to overcome the stretcher’s contraction.
    3. After the isometric contraction, the stretcher actively moves the limb again to stretch the target muscle to a new range of motion. For example, to stretch
  • Things to remember:
    • Empower the stretcher to take an Active role
    • Engage muscles to improve neuromuscular function
    • Use Action Verbs
    • Normal Breathing
    • Importance of Positioning
  • Detailed Sequence for facilitated stretching
    1. The stretcher actively lengthens the muscle to be stretched (the target muscle) to its maximal pain-free end range. This is also called the soft-tissue barrier or stretch barrier.
    2. As the partner, position yourself to offer resistance against the stretcher’s isometric contraction of the target muscle.
    3. Direct the stretcher to begin slowly and “push” or “pull” to isometrically contract the target muscle as you provide matching resistance. Don’t allow the stretcher to overpower you. When the stretcher has achieved the proper level of isometric contraction (strong, but not maximum strength), hold it for 6 seconds (two cycles of breathing).
    4. After the 6-second contraction, the stretcher relaxes and inhales deeply. During this time, maintain the limb in the starting position.
    5. As he/she exhales, the stretcher contracts the opposing muscles. As the partner, do not push or pull to force the stretch.
    6. Now, move into the new position to once again offer resistance.
    7. Repeat the process two or three times.
  • Safety Considerations
    • Very Safe
    • Proper Body Techniques
    • Do not over stretch
    • Safety for the partner
    • Safety for the stretcher
    • Reduce Fatigue
  • PNF patterns:
    • D1 Flexion (UE/LE)
    • D1 Extension (UE/LE)
    • D2 Flexion (UE/LE)
    • D2 Extension (UE/LE)

10:45 - Noon: The PNF Program

  • Grab Seat Belt Partner Stretch
  • Fasten Seat Belt Partner Stretch
  • Draw Sword Partner Stretch
  • Sheathe Sword Partner Stretch

Noon - 1:00 pm: Lunch

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm: Oblique Abdominals and Lower Back

  • Anatomy
  • Oblique Abdominal Muscle Partner Stretch Seated
  • Quadratus Lumborum Partner Stretch, Side-Lying
  • Back Extensors Stretch, Supine, both knees to chest (with Partner)
  • Spinal Twist Partner Stretch, Supine

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm: Neck

  • Anatomy
  • Upper Trapezius stretch, Supine
  • Sternocleidomastoid stretch, Supine
  • Scalenes stretch, supine
  • Suboccipitals stretch, supine

3:00 pm- 5:00 pm

  • Review/Practice

Day 2: Lower Extremity and Upper Extremity Partner Assisted Stretching

8:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Hip

  • Anatomy
  • Hamstring partner stretch, Supine
  • Gluteus Maximus partner stretch, Supine
  • Psoas Partner stretch, prone
  • Piriformis partner stretch, prone
  • Medial hip rotators stretch, prone
  • Hip Abductors partner stretch, sidelying
  • Hip Adductors partner stretch, supine

9:00 am - 10:00 am: Knee, Foot, and Ankle

  • Anatomy
  • Quads Stretch, prone
  • Gastroc partners stretch, supine
  • Soleus partners stretch, prone
  • Tibialis Anterior partners stretch, supine
  • Toe flexors partner stretch, prone
  • Toe extensors partner stretch, supine
  • Peroneals (Evertor ) partner stretch, supine
  • Tibialis Posterior (inverter) partner stretch, supine

10:00 am - 11:00 am: Shoulder

  • Anatomy
  • Subscapularis Partner Stretch, supine
  • Infraspinatus Teres Minor partner stretch, prone
  • Pectoralis minor partner stretch, supine
  • Rhomboids and middle trapezius, partner stretch, sidelying
  • Serratus Anterior Partner stretch
  • Pectoralis major partner stretch, prone
  • Latissimus Doris partner stretch, prone

11:00 am - Noon: Elbow, Wrist and Hand

  • Anatomy: biceps and triceps
  • Biceps brachii partner stretch, supine
  • Triceps partner stretch, prone
  • Wrist and fingers extensor stretch, supine
  • Forearm supination partner stretch, supine

Noon - 1 pm: Lunch

  • 1:00 pm- 2:30 pm: Course Review
  • 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm: Written exam
  • 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm: Practical Exam
  • 4:30 pm - 5:00 pm: Graduation, Certificates, and gifts.

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