Training After ACL Surgery
It was my privilege to write the following guest blog post for my chiropractor and friend, Dr. Bradley Weiss of Performance Health Center, performancehealthcenter.com. I am posting it here, because it gives insight into how I work.
Thank you for reading it!
Dear Performance Health Center Community,
I am honored to write a guest blog post for my chiropractor and friend Dr. Bradley Weiss! As you know, aside from being a great Chiropractor and ART Practitioner, he is helpful, open, and friendly. When I mentioned that as a Movement Specialist and Fellow of Applied Functional Science®, I would probably rehab from ACL surgery differently than a traditional personal trainer, he wanted to understand by doing.
I use the principles of Applied Functional Science® to approach every training. Basically this means that I see exercises as a series of integrated movement patterns as opposed to isolated muscle actions. For instance when you bend to pick something up off the floor, your brain doesn’t think: “flex at the hips, knees, and ankles, with less flexion at the shoulders, and extend the elbows, hands, and fingers to the floor”. You bend and reach as a movement.
Using Dr. Weiss as an example, I must consider his ultimate goal is to be able to play tennis without a brace. Therefore I need to be able to analyze the movements of tennis and break the movements down into different parts to make sure all parts working fully. Then we have to put the parts back together in the form of movements that get closer and closer to tennis. Think of an airplane. If I took apart an airplane and put all the pieces on the runway, the separate pieces cannot fly – but all the potential to fly is there if the pieces are put together correctly and in fine working order. The more optimal the working order, the smoother the flight.
Therefore, all Brad’s “systems”, from nervous system to his joints and muscles, must understand the task and must be able to do them in a coordinated fashion. All the systems must work together to hit the tennis ball. Strong glutes alone won’t do it, nor will a strong core alone, etc.
Furthermore, I need to understand how gravity, mass, and momentum play into tennis movements. That doesn’t mean that every exercise uses those properties just as tennis does, because by manipulating those variables, we can work on strength, speed, agility, endurance, etc.
We are constantly working on parts and putting it back together again. We can see how Brad is getting stronger by the week, because he does his exercises consistently. Just as the brain needs repetition to learn, so does the body. Then a mind/body connection can be established so the body can react at the right time in the right way.
I am confident that Brad will reach his goal and I will be so happy for him when he does!