Postural Restoration for MMA and boxing

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.

Adductor pullback

Adductor pullback

Standing right glute max

sidelying right glute max

Sidelying right glute max

First up was Myron Baker. I had worked with Myron back in July and at the time he presented as a patho-PEC (visit 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.


All 4 belly reach

All four belly reach

stdg resisted alternating reach

Resisted wall reach

stdg afir and balloon

Balloon squat with internal rotation



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.


Thank you for creating

Florida Institute of Performance July Visit

I would like to thank David Donnatucci and his staff at Florida Institute of Performance for their kind hospitality and willingness to learn more about the science of Postural Restoration and how it is applied to golfers.

Michelle demonstrates a very challenging exercise that requires her left hamstring to remain active while she activates her right posterior glute medius.

Michelle demonstrates a very challenging exercise that requires her left hamstring to remain active while she activates her right posterior glute medius.

On July 29th I flew to West Palm Beach Florida to consult with Donnatucci.  It did not take long before I knew that I had colleague as passionate about golf biomechanics, neurology and respiration as I am.  David

works with two rising stars in the golf fitness arena Barrett Stover and Isabelle Lyndl.  Together they are responsible for the physical health and fitness for several top LPGA and PGA tour players and accomplished amateur players as well.

David has a business that is located at PGA national and caters to those individuals who want to use exercise to increase their longevity in the game and to help them play better golf.  David reached out to Jennifer Poulin and me to help him process and apply the science of Postural Restoration and how it relates to helping his players.

My first day was spent mostly evaluating players with David, Barrett and Isabelle keenly observing and taking notes.  This proved to be invaluable because I was able to communicate with them how to perform the PRI tests correctly and how to avoid some of the common pitfalls with the tests. All of the players that we evaluated were patterned right handed golfers who we simply needed to test the integrity of their hip and lumbar ligaments and then prescribe the correct ligamentous muscle to help support the overstretched non-contractile tissue.

A great post impact drill

A great post impact drill

As predicted, every golfer fell into one of two categories, a patho-PEC or patho-Left AIC.  Patho-PEC players are those individuals that due to occupational demands have jeopardized soft tissue in order to perform their job with a pelvis that was not in the proper position to do so.  This process of over stretching ligaments usually takes place early

in their development and can be traced as far back as their teen or pre-teen years.  Luckily postural restoration provides a solution to help these players by prescribing exercises to inhibit muscle tone that is driving them into this pattern and then facilitating muscle to support the joints that have overstretched ligaments.

DSC_0288Day 2 continued to be a day of assessing new players and following up with the players who were already evaluated.  This was an off-week for the LPGA tour so we were able to get some consistent work done with most of the ladies.  Day 2 was rewarding in that we were able to review many of the Postural Respiration manual techniques to establish better rib position and mechanics.  For those athletes that needed a left zone of apposition the results were immediate and we were able to undo years of bad patterning that may or may not have been causing pain.

My last day at the Florida Institute of Performance was spent integrating some of the concepts of what we doing as part of their PRI repositioning program and integrating it in the strength and conditioning programs of the players.

This is an effective to strengthen the lead hip in the golf swing in the proper hip position at impact.

This is an effective to strengthen the lead hip in the golf swing in the proper hip position at impact.

Both professional and amateur players were able to appreciate a new, better more efficient position of their body.  I hope with consistency these players continue to develop into the best most injury resistant athletes that they can be.

A special thanks to the athletes for being open to trying new things.  Being around professionals like this makes me demand more out of myself so thank you and thank you David for the opportunity to help your team.


Getting Cindy into her hip

Getting Cindy into her hip




Right trunk rotation with TRX

This exercise will benefit golfers looking to maintain abdominal stabilization in their backswing. It is best applied after repositioning the pelvis using PRI techniques.

TRX Back swing

Coaching keys are to maintain a slightly backward rotated pelvis, inhale with good opposition through the left abdominal wall, exhale and move your arms to the right. Inhale again as your arms move further to the right while feeling your left front ribs stay down. Continue this sequence for 5 breaths.

Working with Duffy Golf Fitness in Great Britain

Chris Poulin’s recent trip to St. Andrews, Scottland was more for work than pleasure, although he would probably claim both.

Chris has been consulting with Duffy Golf Fitness and helping them integrate the concepts of Postural Restoration in the training and reconditioning of their athletes.  Staying competitive in professional golf means to be sure that your body is working correctly for you.  Postural restoration is being utilized to do just that for these talented group of players.

Stephen Gallacher, Tommy Fleetwood, Danny Willet, Lee Slattery, Brett Rumford, Alejandro Canizares, Matt Baldwin, Paul Waring and Dave Horsey

Most Golfers Need This Exercise

Most of my golfers need this exercise regardless of their ability level.  The “Unresisted Wall Reach” is an exercise example to help golfers who struggle with maintaining their spine angle in their backswing.

Spine angle is the angle between the thighs and the back (generally about 110-130°).  It is a key factor in enabling you to turn efficiently, and to swing powerfully and consistently, while protecting your back and avoiding back pain and injury.

Remember, as with all postural behavior exercises, it is important that this exercise is performed under the direction of a trained clinician.