Video Series: Functional Training

Functional exercises must mimic – mirror – the movement patterns, which the activity (sport) presents, and the sequence of these functional exercises is just as important as the choice of exercise. For instance, in tennis, where the player serves forward, the functional training must reverse the serve motion – reverse training – to rebalance the deficits created during the game. Here are segments in which April and I have previously demonstrated individual functional exercise, but now will show proper sequencing.

In this series:

Upper Extremity Stability

Assume an elevated push-up position with the body aligned in a straight line with hands spread in a wider position outside shoulder range.

Spread the legs adjusting to the width of the hands for balance.

Touch the side of the nondominant hand with the dominant hand and return to the starting position.

Repeat the same movement with the nondominant hand for a total of 5-10 seconds.

Option: Bend the knees and perform the same movement. Build-up to 15 seconds.

Cross-Training (rotator cuff and core)

Assume an elevated side plank with body kept in a straight line. With one arm extended in a locked position for stability, use the other arm to drop and catch decelerating a light ball or gel ball toward the outstretched stabilizing arm. Option: Bend the knees and perform same movement. Repeat to the opposite side. Try 5-10 drop and catches, while decelerating

Augmented Squat Deceleration: Hamstring Eccentric-Only Loading

Using either a light rubber tube or dumbbells (no more than 10% of body weight combined), place the resistance in both hands – with arms extended close to the sides of the body, feet shoulder width apart.

If tubing is used, stand on the center of the tube – with each end of the tube in both hands. Adjust tube length to control for desired level of resistance.

Squat down to a position just above parallel, as if sitting in a chair. Once the terminal position is reached, let go of the tubing or dumbbells – making sure to account for a short drop to prevent contact with the ankles.

Option: Perform a single leg squat to just above parallel.

Stand up without resistance. Repeat for 10 reps.

Pull-Apart & External Rotation (scapula stabilization prehab)

Using a light tube, grasp both ends – about several inches from the end – determined by the desired level of resistance. Place the tube at chest level with thumbs pointing inward. Pull apart the tube with arms extended outward. Perform an in & out motion – retracting the scapula’s, which causes the tube to make contact with the chest. Try 10 reps. Option: Shift the hands to diagonal pattern (left up, right low & vice versa) and perform same movement. Try 10 reps. Bring the tube to waist level – with thumbs pointing out and elbows at a 90-degree angle in contact with the sides of the body. Perform the same in & out motion. Option: Work one arm, with the other acting as an anchor. Repeat with other arm. Try 10 reps.

Short-Range Shoulder Extension, Triceps Press-Up & External Rotation (rotator cuff prehab)

Using a light rubber tube, place one end under one foot and hold the other end in the hand, with thumb up, on the same side. Adjust the tube length to either increase or decrease the resistance. Extend the working arm straight up. Using a short range of motion – approximately 15-degrees – decelerate the arm, followed by returning to the starting position. Try 10 reps. Option: Transition to performing an overhead triceps extension. Next, drop the arm to a 90-degree angle at the elbow and upper torso, – with thumbs up, just below shoulder height. Using the same short range of motion, lower the hand and raising in a controlled motion – decelerating the hand then changing direction and accelerating the hand. Option: Shift the arm inward and toward the body and perform a 45-degee motion. Try 10 reps. Repeat to the opposite side.
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