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The Advantages of Muli-Plane Resistance

Posted by Tracy Barrett on Mon, Dec 19, 2011 @ 08:12 AM
By Andy Baxter, MES, PRCS 

Physical therapists and athletic trainers have been struggling for years to replicate multi-plane resistance movements by nailing bands to walls and tying them around chairs, but they could never achieve the same consistent and reliable settings and measurements found in the SCIFIT Function C3.  Studies show that multi-plane resistance can reduce the risk of injury by minimizing harmful loading conditions. This unique combination of resistance in two planes of the body makes additional therapy and prehabilitation exercises easy to perform and can meet the varied needs of both patients and athletes.

There are several benefits of this type of multi-plane resistance.
  • Multi-plane resistance gets the patient out of the dominant plane. Introducing resistance in the non-dominant neuromuscular plane “tricks the brain” into recruiting supportive musculature, reinforcing proper biomechanical form intuitively.
  • In the SCIFIT Function C3, the multi-plane resistance displaces axial load and reduces shear while recruiting more muscle groups than single plane resistance.  
  • The optional Humac360 identifies and protects against ballistic movements, keeping the load in the muscle and away from the joint and ensuring neuromuscular adaptation and control.  It also provides greater quality (intensity) of work – greater stimulus with less resistance, so it is safer.
  • We often mask things with speed and momentum. The Function C3 teaches better mechanics.  The slow, controlled movements provide a better quality of work at a lower level of resistance for safer exercise and better results.

Three Compound Movements

The Function C3 from SCIFIT provides three compound movements commonly found in rehabilitation, exercise and sports training.

1.  Compound Trunk Extension (CTE) 

What makes the CTE truly unique lies in the mechanics of what is typically wrong with a traditional stiff legged dead lift – the vertical load doesn’t stay in the vertical plane.  As the upper body descends it flexes forward (eccentric phase), out of the vertical plane and away from the fulcrum (pivot point) of the hip.  The further from the hip the upper body gets relative to the feet, the greater the load on the lumbosacral (spine) region.  With the CTE, during the eccentric phase the horizontal plane resistance pulls the hips back keeping the vertical load truly vertical, at the same time displacing that load and maintaining a neutral combined center of gravity (CCOG).  During the concentric phase, the dominant pattern in a traditional stiff legged dead lift is to pull up in the vertical plane. The CTE introduces resistance in the horizontal plane, forcing the brain to think about pushing the hips forward, recruiting the hip, gluteal and hamstring muscles, displacing the load on the spinal erectors.

2.  Compound Core Flexion (CCF)

The CCF movement contributes to total core/spine stability and health. This exercise is ideal for hip and back patients and athletes who emphasize rotational movements. Compound Core Flexion introduces resistance in the transverse plane by pulling hips forward and pushing hips back through the movement, displacing the load between the abdominals and hip flexors. With CCF, the flexion is the concentric phase and the extension is the eccentric phase.

3.  Terminal Knee Extension (TKE)

With the TKE, the dominant pattern is in the horizontal plane, as is a normal terminal knee extension.  There is also vertical plane load in the users own body weight.  What makes the TKE superior to a standard, foot-flat-on-the-floor version is the patented Bio-Flex™ foot bed.  The patient is driving the knee back in the horizontal plane while driving the heel down in the vertical plane. Because of the orientation and resistance provided by the Bio-Flex foot bed, the vertical plane resistance becomes dynamic in that the user actively pushes the heel down, firing the glutes, in addition to the medial quad, reducing shear in the knee.  This movement is ideal for prevention of ACL injuries, especially for young athletes participating in explosive sports such as baseball, basketball, volleyball and soccer.

Reduce Shear | Reduce Pain

One final note – when you reduce shear you reduce pain.  Many of our clients have painful degenerative arthritic conditions and many are post-surgical with total joint replacement.  Pain is the primary deterrent to the effective treatment of osteoarthritis.  The overwhelming comment that I get from my clients after using the Function C3 is, “there’s no pain!”  We see post surgical spine and knee clients currently that have limited function and ROM, but can perform these movements, get stronger and increase ROM pain free.

Andy Baxter, MES, PRCS is the owner and CEO of Ageless Fitness Systems™ and inventor of the Function C3. He is a medical exercise specialist, post-rehab conditioning specialist, and personal trainer. He has 22 years experience owning and operating facilities in New York, California, and Oregon.

Currently available in the USA only.

SCIFIT multi-plane resistance

Topics: Function Series, Multi-Plane Resistance, Andy Baxter