The Performance Matrix

Flexibility for performance:

MUSCLE Extensibility Contractile tissue

Analyse for potential restrictions in contractile muscle tissue that cause painful compensations


Course Outline

Our clients and athletes acquire restrictions for many reasons in normal functional and sporting activities. It is quite usual for them to compensate for these by increasing movement somewhere else.  If these weak links (compensations) are poorly controlled they can contribute to performance deficits or tissue stress resulting in pain. 

This module identifies ways to assess for and regain mobility or restrictions in contractile tissue (muscle). This module will analyse the relationships of restrictions and weak links.

Topical issues abound as many contemporary sources are identifying the importance of finding lack of functional range in both athletes and general population. 


This course is suitable for sports, exercise and medical professionals including:

  • Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, Chiropractors and other medical professionals
  • Movement Therapists
  • Sports Therapists & Rehabilitation Professionals
  • Body workers


Participants MUST be able to demonstrate that the course material is within their scope of practice and that they have appropriate professional liability insurance to cover them for their attendance on the course and their course content.

Key Features

This module covers contractile (muscle) ‘flexibility’ issues:

  • Factors in assessing loss of muscle extensibility
  • Identify restrictions that cause painful uncontrolled movement
  • The relevance of relative flexibility for functional performance
  • The principles and processes required for regaining extensibility safely and effectively
  • Practical application is applied to the trunk, upper limb and lower limb
  • Options for regaining extensibility will be explored including sustained stretches, autogenic inhibition, reciprocal inhibition and myofascial trigger point release
  • Determining the optimal process for regaining myofascial extensibility 

Learning Outcomes

Following this module the students should be able to:

  • Discuss and define the key concepts of flexibility
  • Identify areas of relative stiffness and relative flexibility and how to address these imbalances
  • Understand the physiology of muscle contractile tissue in relation to extensibility
  • Locate and treat Myofascial Trigger Points (MTP)
  • Relate myofascial restriction to the site and direction of the weak link
  • Apply different principles / techniques to regain muscle extensibility:
    • Sustained stretch
    • Autogenic inhibition (Post Isometric Relaxation) (Contract-Relax)
    • Reciprocal Inhibition (Active Inhibitory Re-stabilisation) (Active Antagonistic Contraction)
    • Myofascial Trigger Point Release

Programme Outline

  • How uncontrolled movement (weak links) contributes to pain and dysfunction
  • How uncontrolled movement compensates for restrictions
  • How to analyse for potential restrictions that cause painful compensations
  • The differentiation restrictive tissue   
    • Articular restrictions
    • Contractile tissue restrictions
    • Neuro-dynamic restrictions
    • Connective tissue restrictions
  • How are contractile tissues are affected by muscle reflexes
  • Techniques for regaining muscle contractile extensibility
    • Passive stretch
    • Autogenic inhibitions (contract relax)
    • Reciprocal inhibition (active inhibitory re-stabilisation)
  • The affect of myofascial trigger points on muscle extensibility
  • Analysis of the dominant global mobiliser muscle restrictions or over-activity on the site and direction of uncontrolled movement
  • For  each global mobiliser muscle
    • Analyse muscle action & therefore it’s elongation direction
    • Passive stretch (sustained force loading)
    • Post isometric relaxation (autogenic inhibition)
    • Active antagonist contraction (reciprocal inhabitation)
    • Myofascial trigger point treatment

Course Requirements
and pre-course preparation

Observation of movement and practical soft tissue techniques are a key elements of this course, so please wear appropriate clothing (e.g. sports wear).

Revision of muscle anatomy.

Testimonials, NewsHighlights

'Excellent background applied in a practical way'

Exploring the effect of restrictions on the movement system. Restrictions of functional range casue faulty movement patterns.

Knowing rules of tissue adaptation gives an infinite number of opinions to reduce the restrictions of the ‘repeat offenders’ amongst contractile and connective tissues. 

Understand the consequences of loss of muscle extensibility on performance and injury risk and the importance of integrating muscle extensibility techniques into an exercise programmes



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