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Apr
13

Using Total Gym for Spinal Stabilization #3

Elizabeth Leeds

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How to Develop a Spinal Stabilization Program, Part 3:  Adding Complexity

This last blog will further discuss complexity. If you missed the previous blogs you can catch up with Part 1 and Part 2.

Adding complexity is done via increasing the tri-planar aspect of an exercise and/or changing the tempo.  A tempo change will encourage a different intent. It is common that clients develop a habit of performing the same exercise over and over with the same tempo each time. Unfortunately, we are not creatures of consistent tempos. For example, when ascending two flights of stairs it is very likely that each flight will be taken at different speeds.  We change pace when we walk and we even eat at different speeds depending on how much time we have. Recognizing that tempo changes are important for proficiency within ADLs is key so it would be beneficial for clients to incorporate tempo change into their routine.

Tempo changes can be as simple as instructing a client to move quickly in an exercise. It can also be emphasizing different phases of an exercise to enhance strength, such as moving slower during the eccentric phase of an exercise. Tempo changes can be one set fast, the other set super slow. Tempo can also reflect overall pace of the routine. A routine performed one exercise after the next will feel very different than if a 40-60 second rest is provided between sets and/or exercises. There is not a set tempo protocol when it comes to developing stabilization programs, rather it is something we sometimes forget to tweak. And sometimes a little change in tempo is all one needs to breakthrough stabilization and strength barriers.

As mentioned above, complexity can also occur with increasing tri-planar aspect of an exercise. Taking a linear movement such as squats. Adding arm movements of shoulder abduction and adduction and/or a tweak of the toes inward or outward starts can infuse more planes of motion.  There is no recipe to which plane should be added in first, rather add in another plane and assess if the client is able to maintain technique. Then within the next set, session or even sessions infuse more planes of motion into the exercise. Below are ways you can infuse greater planes of motions into the exercises you learned in blogs one and two.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Leeds, DPTElizabeth Leeds, DPT, owner of Seaside Fitness and Wellness, combines her background in physical therapy, personal training and Pilates in her practice and teaching. As a pelvic floor physical therapist working at Comprehensive Therapy Services in San Diego, her passion for pregnancy and postpartum is seen in her mission to empower women with knowledge and understanding of their physical changes, and how to address them to prevent future issues. Additionally, Elizabeth is a Master Trainer and developer for Total Gym’s GRAVITY education.

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