Postural Restoration for MMA and boxing
From the moment I arrived at BWI and was greeted by my driver Ratioender Melo, I knew it was going to be a great trip. I’ve been fortunate in my career to work with some elite athletes but never has one of those elite athletes been the driver for the car service that picked me up at the airport. This is the life of professional MMA fighters.
My trip is being funded by a group called Maxxfit Professional Management run by Ed Porter and Chris Miller. This group manages and supports fighters like Melo who work real jobs during the day and night in order to do what they really love which is train to fight. In their quest to become champions.
First up was Myron Baker. I had worked with Myron back in July and at the time he presented as a patho-PEC (visit www.posturalrestoration.com for more info) pattern. This pattern was determined based on the objective testing that is consistent with the postural restoration methodology. Myron was concerned with not only his ability to balance his physical insufficiencies but his ability to rest. When you fight your sympathetic nervous system is alive and well but when you stop your body should be able to come back to a parasympathetic state for proper rest and recovery. Myron didn’t have that.
I was pleased that the exercises that I gave him in July turned Myron from a patho-PEC pattern to a left AIC pattern. The exercises consisted of abdominal strengthening aimed at opposing the diaphragm muscle to facilitate proper timing and sequence of respiration. Our job was to now get him to restore a left hemi-pelvis which will give him better striking power with his right hand. These exercises are an example of how we accomplish that.
Elija Gbollie was next on the list. Elija is an obviously strong and powerful dude that spent his early years lifting weights for football. As I see with most Olympic weight lifters, he has maximized his end range of his hips and back for strength and power. This is not a good strategy for injury prevention and performance.
As you will notice in the photo, Elija stands with his right foot turned out. Interesting later in the day I was fortunate to be able to watch Elija train at his gym Conquest BJJ, and he shows the same tendencies. His right hip is maximally externally rotated limiting the strength and power that he can produce out of his legs. For as much as he had going on in his hips our main focus for Elija was to reposition his ribcage to make him a better diaphragmatic breather and use less accessory muscles of the neck and back for respiration. His home program consists of the following exercises and help him become part of the exhalation nation.
Our final stop of the night was at Club One. This is where amateur boxer and golden gloves champion Amelia Moore trains. Amelia’s goal is to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio and given her attitude I expect to see her there. In talking with Amelia it’s hard to ignore that her passion for boxing is hard to suppress….ever! With a big fight coming up this weekend she reveals a plethora of physical issues that she is currently dealing with but the one that stands out the most is her inability to exhale. I will not reveal the details of our conversation other than she wants to knock more people out and to help her accomplish this she will need to breathe better in her upper left back. This patterned asymmetry is expected in patterned right handed fighters. We talked at length about the form and function of the ribcage and how it relates to aerobic vs anaerobic metabolism. The video below is a technique that she will use to open up her left back and help her knock more fighters out.
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