Training in Bad Positions

Question from a PT that works with a Special Ops team

What if your patient must sit in a boat person for up to 30 hours (solid sitting- no getting up), would you strengthen them in sitting positions? In addition to variations of core stability in neutral, plank, etc.  What about long seated curl backs w/ rowing side to side with 5 kg?  Hip cross over in supine with hips 90 degrees and knees at 0 degrees?  These are not Mcgilll- or Sarhman-advisable.  However when you work with some one who must sit with bounces and the like, do you strengthen them in that position or continue to avoid rotation all together in the lumbar spine and work core stability in neutral? Thank you

Ahhhh boy. Hey, you can get one from Woodway if you really have to have one.

I would not train outside of lumbar neutral despite the extended seated positions. Here are the reasons.

1. The unsure consideration of this is due to the long seated position is provocative. Training that yields to provocative results is not advisable. At best, we are reinforcing the poor tone and motor patterns and decreasing the long-term durability of these individuals.
How important is short-term performance?

2. Does training in this position help performance anyway? I’m pretty confident it doesn’t do anything for durability, but I might question how much general preparation adds to this seated performance anyway. We might think it does, but does it?

3. If this person’s “job,” is seated for the long, there is probably some “practice.” I’d be very comfortable that this person has more than adequate special preparation in the seated position to prep him for his job performance.

My approach to this situation is actually very simple.
I don’t make suppositions towards the need or appropriateness of such end-stage performances.
I would ask the leadership or instructor if he felt that if he had an individual that moved better, moved faster, moved stronger, and moved for a longer period of time, could he make him into a better performer. I think most coaches would say yes.

Ignore the sitting. Ignore the reproductive exercises. Just train them as athletes. Let the special physical preparedness be supported by special environments. General training is what we do in the weight room or treatment table.

  • November 30, 2010

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Mike T Nelson Reply

I 100% agree that the goal of training is to make better athletes and make them better at their “job” No question.

I agree that a vast majority of their training should be well within their current limits and moving towards optimal training.

However, the job of a coach/terainer is to prepare the athlete for ALL aspects of their “job” This includes some things that may not be best for the athlete, but that is a responsibility THEY signed up for when they took the job; esp if it can not be changed.

If they have to sit for longer periods of time, a vast majority of their training will be OPPOSITE to what they are doing–so lots of overhead pressing with thoracic extension looking up, reverse lunges (hip extension), etc. to ensure great quality movement.

The minimal effective amount of training will be done (distress training) in the context that they will HAVE TO be in.

I know we are probably not in complete agreement, but we do agree on 95% of it I believe.

Thanks!
Mike T Nelson PhD(c)

Charlie Reply

If you are going to program minimally, will you not only get a minimal training effect?
Why bother with the cost?

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