CLINICIAN EDUCATION: synaptic facilitation


Pavel Tsatsouline is a well known Russian strength coach known for his somewhat unorthodox approaches to training and conditioning. One of his well known approaches is referred to as “greasing the groove”. With this approach, he discusses practicing certain techniques to improve the ability to perform other, more complicated movements.

This can easily be applied to rehabilitation:

1. address soft tissue restrictions by performing post-isometric relaxation techniques (agonist-contract, contract-relax, contract-relax-agonist-contract) to the antagonist of the movement

2. apply proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation to the agonist of the muscle to activate it from the movement’s synergists

3. have the person perform a set of 10 reps of active movement

CLINICAL EXAMPLE: decrease hip extension

1. ensure no restriction of mobility due to joint or capsule adhesions

2. with the patient prone, perform PIR to the hip flexors (rectus femoris, iliopsoas, tensor fascia latea, sartorius)

3. with the patent prone, perform PNF to the gluteus maximus and hamstrings (semi membranosus/ semitendinosis)

4. with the patent prone, have him/her perform active hip extension for 10 reps