Stage 1: Biomechanical Assesment

Purpose

To assess and determine your current movement patterns. How active are your 6 functional systems and how dominant are your OP mechanics. Testing will use a collection of different bio-mechanical assessment, including but not limited to:

  • Illial upslip test
  • 4 point stabilization test
  • Talacrurial joint alignment in maximal dorsiflexion test
  • Posterior chain spring test; pronation/supination screen
  • Shoulder extension Core activation test (partner required)
  • Shoulder rotation Core activation test (partner required)
  • Body squat hip extension test
  • Anterior/posterior pelvic tilt test

We will also analyse gait patterns if you have any clear running videos available.

From this biomechanical assessment we will be able to predict future difficulties and issues that you will have. We can preempt and correct alignment and technique issues before they occur, tailoring exercises to correct your specific OP mechanics.

Stage 2: Basics of Core, Foot & Glute Activation

OP is caused by the dysfunctional and weakness of the core muscular and fascial chains within your body. Fixing OP begins with developing the very foundation of safe, efficient movement. Your core is fundamental to the stability of your spine and pelvis. Your feet, specifically your arches provide you with a stable foundation and your glutes stabilise your hips whilst providing you with the power to drive your movements. Your core, feet and glutes are the very foundation of your stability, power and control. Rebuilding your body from one that over loads your adductors to one that can dissipate load evenly across your body.

Stage 2 teaches you the baseline activation patterns to ensure correct engagement of your core, feet (arches) and glutes. For your core you will learn how to ‘core breathe’; a breathing technique which engages your core. You will start automatically and instinctively engaging your core, moderating the level of core activation by reflexively modifying your breathe based on the situation (ie breathing harder, more core engagement).

You will learn a foot sequencing pattern to ensure proper activation of your arch muscles; connecting your arch with your knee and hip will allow the 3 joints to stabilise ‘in time’ with each other. Individually each joint is unstable, but when sequenced correctly with the arch your lower body can be extremely stable, reducing the demand on your adductors to compensate.

The most important element to glute activation is balance and stability; if your body is unstable your glutes will not fire! With stability above from your core and below from your feet your core glutes will happily fire, providing you with the beginnings of real world glute strength.

By the end of stage 2 you will have the foundation of a strong stable body. The rest of the program will involve learning how to apply these skills in strength and real world movement settings.

 

Stage 3: Self Treatment

The role of treatment in OP is a contentious one. Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Massage Therapists will emphasise the importance of de-loading the adductors and realigning the pelvis through myofascial release and manipulation. OP is a movement disorder. Your ingrained movement patterns, the way you walk, run and change direction are overloading your adductors. Treatment can be beneficial, but the best treatment cannot control your movements when you leave the table.

Fixing OP is about fixing your movement patterns. But self treatment can be an invaluable tool to improve mobility and reduce soreness in an effort to enhance your rehabilitation efforts.

You will learn about the nature of pain; when to listen to your body and back off and how to safely push through pain so you can rebuild your body.

You will learn about the difference between fascial and muscular tightness, and the correct sequencing to effectively remove a trigger point and then the fascial dysfunction that causes the trigger point to form.

Self treatment will not fix your OP; but it can be an invaluable tool on your path to recovery.

Stage 4: Advanced Core Activation

Having learned how to effortlessly and effectively engage your core in stage 2, we will now apply that to increasingly complex whole body movements. You will be asked to engage your core to stabilise your body in unbalanced, unstable positions. Your core activation, your breathing will be required to balance and keep you upright in the face of extremely difficult exercises. In the past you would have relied on your adductors and hip flexors; aggravating your OP. Now you will learn how to replace your adductor activation with effective core activation; rewriting the very patterns which are causing your OP!

Center of Gravity, Balance and Glute Activation

Effective, powerful glute activation requires balance and alignment. Your glutes simply will not fire if your ankle, knee, hip, pelvis and spine are not in the ideal position. Stage 2 taught you the basics, Stage 5 will reinforce, challenge and amplify your ability to stabilise your upper and lower body through movement. Heavy weights are introduced during a variety of movements. Stage 2 core breathing  and foot sequencing will stabilise and protect your body from the effects of gravity. You will learn how to maintain your alignment as the load of weights tries to pull you back into the poor movement patterns that overload your body.

By the end of stage 5 you will have the ability to maintain your Centre of gravity, balance and alignment against the challenge of heavy loads. During real world movements you are having to deal with extreme load shifts as you change direction. Learning how to safely engage and stabilise against heavy weights, without over using your adductors is an important step in preparing for a return to real world training.

Stage 6: Pelvic Floor Release

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles which stabilise and control the pelvis and importantly, the Sacroilliac Joint (SIJ). The pelvic floor muscles also continue directly into the adductors. You should almost consider the pelvic floor and the adductors as the same muscle!

OP patients tend to over grip and over contract their pelvic floor. This causes the adductors to over brace and over load the pubic bone. Over contracted pelvic floor muscles will also ‘jam’ or ‘lock’ the SIJ, preventing it from moving and rotating freely. This jamming often leads to the compensatory pelvic twists, bends and tilts which are so common in OP patients.

With a strong grasp of controlling your lower body from below (Stage 2 and 5) and core from above (Stage 2 and 4) you have reduced the need and demand for the pelvic floor to over stabilise. You will learn how to release your pelvic floor, allowing your body to stabilise your pelvis without jamming or locking the SIJ.

This will ensure correct pelvic movements; reducing the needs for compensatory pelvic/hip drops, tilts and bends.

Stage 7: Split Leg Stabilisation

To this point the previous 6 stages were about developing the foundations of good movement. With a chronic condition like OP this can be extremely difficult. The movement patterns that overloaded your adductors may have been developing for years before it progressed into OP.

When you think about most gym exercises they are performed with parallel feet (squats, deadlifts, bridges etc.). The most complicated an exercise may get is a lunge. Parallel feet exercises are a simple, safe way to challenge the body whilst minimising the danger to your ankle, knees, hips and lower back. Unfortunately we are not kangaroos! All real world movements involve putting one leg in front of the other.

Split leg movements require your to ‘split’ your pelvis. Each leg moves in a different direction; and so does each side of your pelvis. Split leg movements actively stretch and twist your pubic symphysis and pubic bone. Change of direction movements are split leg, which is why they are the most aggravating movements to OP patients.

Stage 7 involves conquering this hurdle, so you can return to your normal training life! In stage 7 you will learn how to safely and effectively engage the correct core and lower body activation patterns so you can safely ‘split’ your pelvis. You will learn how to distribute load evenly across both legs whilst controlling your lower back/spine; preventing you from twisting, dipping or bending your pelvis.

Stage 7 is when you really start to get excited. You can see the end within reach and you know its not too long till your back on that track or field!

Stage 8: 3-D Movements

Congratulations, you can stabilise your pelvis in split leg positions. Now lets see if you can do it whilst moving. Whilst lifting heavy weight and rotating, twisting, bending and turning your spine. The first 7 stages were about building the foundation. Can you safely engage and stabilise your core, your pelvis your feet in relatively stable situations. Your feet remained planted on the ground, and we got you to move the rest of your body.

Now comes the interesting part. Can you apply your stability, alignment and control when you move. When you have to bend your spine, shift your hips and as you life your foot and transfer your weight from one foot to the other.

Stage 8 is where you learn to stop thinking, and to just start doing. You will learn how to ‘move within yourself’, how to shift your body weight effortlessly from foot to foot manipulating your own body weight to change direction. You will safely create power and explosiveness without damaging your body. Stage 8 puts your skills into ‘full action settings’. Slamming balls, throwing weights, you’ll need to maintain your alignment whilst generating serious force by shifting your body and taking advantage of momentum.

The previous 7 stages would have felt like rehab, stage 8 and onwards feels like high performance training.

Stage 9: Plyometrics

Purpose

To learn how to transition all the skills and strengths learned in previous stages into effortless, elastic movement within the fascia at full speed. This is what plyometric movements demand.

Education

  • What plyometric training involves; how it’s different to other types of training
  • The difference between ‘muscular power’ and ‘fascial spring’
  • Why quality alignment is paramount to safe plyometric movements
  • How plyometric movements are extremely dangerous without alignment.
  • How gifted athletes take advantage of plyometric movements to look powerful yet effortless at the same time.

Running Technique, Strength and Stamina

Purpose

To get an understanding of what makes quality running technique; relating this back to all the skills and strengths you have been developing in the previous 10 stages.

To develop the mobility, flexibility and coordination to improve running efficiency.

Education

  • Head to toe understanding of what good running should look, and most importantly feel like.
    • Foot strike
    • Knee translation
    • Hip extension during foot strike and stride.
    • Proper breathing technique
    • Arm position and the connection of accessory stabilization systems.
    • Head and neck posture and how to connect this to the breathe.
  • The importance of building up running ‘strength’ stamina so that you don’t lose your form and hurt your OP.

 

The 10 Stage protocol

Each stage of the Rehab Protocol covers both education and exercise prescription.  It is a logical progression, gradually progressing from simple ideas to some that are more complex.

Access to a gym space is great, but the program can be completed at home if need be.  You may just need to invest in some props (think kettlebells, balance pads, etc).

Book in for a free 20 min skype consultation