Corona-virus and training
at Sports Therapy UK

23rd March 2020.

It is clear the gravity of the situation globally and here in the UK is growing. We are all now aware of the immediate ramifications, but also some of the wider implications as we move further on. Inevitably these will increase before things start to get better, and one question everyone is searching for an answer to is ‘when?’ I am not even going to begin debating or trying to guess the answer to this as this would be quite futile. We are therefore preparing for a lengthy period of a national ‘shut-down’ the extent of which is bound to vary from week to week. We will look forward to when the time is right for us to offer practical training here in Hertford and to welcome you back, but we will only do this when the government and the W.H.O. deem it is safe for all concerned.

In the meantime, we will be doing all we can to support you and help you progress your learning in spite of the obvious limitations we are all facing. We recognise the added anxieties everyone will be dealing with over the coming weeks so we will be working hard to help reduce these with regards to your training with Sports Therapy UK. Here are some of the steps we will be taking:

Marking time for assignments:

We are diverting some of our teaching resources to reduce this as far as possible. We will keep you informed of how long to expect before receiving work back.

Practical training:

Where possible we will be recording more instructional videos to substitute the direct contact you would normally have with us. We are assessing each stage of training reached and how much going forward may be substituted by online instruction. We will liaise accordingly with each group to help you progress and will advise you of any variations in the level of direct contact required to complete your course. This will also involve us seeking approval from VTCT. Our aim remains to deliver the highest standards of tuition and to help you become both competent and confident in your professional capacity.


We are exploring all options for online delivery and will use the most appropriate medium for each tutorial. We will notify each group as we create and make them accessible for you.


As we will not have the normal interaction with you, we will be using conference calls, skype, WhatsApp, emails, etc to directly support both groups and individuals.


We will distribute general news via newsletter, Facebook and would urge you to access and read these sources. We will try to generate interesting news and extra-curricular activities to help you through this period, plus tips on how you can interact with your clients.

Rescheduled Practical Training:

There will be a need to reschedule practical training dates. We will do this when we can be a little more confident that any revised dates have a greater chance of going ahead. I realise this doesn’t help when it comes to planning ahead and we would love to reschedule with confidence but that is simply not possible at the moment. We will keep you informed as things change.

Please make sure you continue to read all emails sent to you, and check the announcements posted on Canvas; these will be updated as frequently as necessary and we hope will provide answers to questions most of you are asking.

We look forward to staying in touch with you and wish you well.

Level 3 VTCT Sports Massage Online Course Instructions


The Treatment Room
Tips, tricks and advice for you as Sports Therapy Practitioners.

Welcome to The Treatment Room where we will add tips and advice that may be useful to you as practitioners within your chosen field. If you have any you would like to share, please send them to and we may publish your top tip soon. To receive notification of future posts to our Treatment Room please Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

The following article is founded on research conducted at the Division of Sports therapy & Rehabilitation at the University of Bedfordshire, Luton, LU1 3JU. The full Research article is available to view under Student Centre/Learning Resources on this website.

Sheard PW, Paine TJ. Optimal contraction intensity for maximized range of motion following proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research..

During the teaching and practise of applying PNF techniques we conducted experiments to compare varying levels of muscle contraction to determine what intensity would achieve the greatest gains in joint range of movement. It was already well established that PNF is a widely used and highly effective means of stretching and that post-isometric relaxation (PIR) achieves great results. Research has been conducted into the efficacy of this technique under various names including P.I.R. and Muscle Energy Techniques and although there is universal agreement that substantial increases in muscle length can be made, the optimal intensity to ask the subject to contract to remained unclear.

We chose to target and compare muscle contraction intensities at 20%, 50% and 100% of the maximum each subject could achieve. The target muscle group for stretching, and therefore contracting, was the hamstrings through hip extension with the knee fully extended. Once each subject had been tested and their maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) recorded, they were invited on 3 further occasions to receive massage and PNF P.I.R.  at the different contraction levels described above.

Our results showed a wide range of muscle intensities achieved and after analysing all the data from 37 subjects it was found that a peak increase of 13 degrees in joint range was achieved at an average contraction intensity of just under 65%.  It was also noted that contractions intensities were generally underachieved when contraction intensity was higher.  Because of this, we encourage the use of a 70% target contraction intensity which will generally produce the desired ~65% contraction.

This study underpins our chosen method when practicing PNF P.I.R. techniques, where we  encourage the client to build from 30% to a target of 70% of their estimated maximal contraction.  Later we conducted further experiments to discover how to help subjects reach this contraction intensity without the use of equipment providing feedback to help them achieve the target intensity. This will be reported in a later article.