Eric Beard Thoracic Mobility Assessments and Corrective Drills
In this lecture and demonstration video, Eric Beard discusses the structure, function and common impairments of the thoracic spine. He’ll show you the assessments he uses to review the t-spine, and describes and demonstrates his favorite corrective programming to address issues found during the thoracic assessment.
In the first hour, he’ll remind you of the spinal anatomy—the vertebral structure, the muscles, connective tissue and attached ribs. He’ll discuss the changing angles, range of motion and the need for flexion, extension and rotation in each region of the spine.
You’ll learn about articular form closure, neuro-myofascial force closure and motor control of movement patterns. Eric then discusses the local vs the global musculature, and explains why some are more overactive and how that creates rigidity and stiffness in the torso.
That kind of dysfunction can lead to imbalance in the system, reduced athletic performance, increase in the risk of injury and local or referred pain. You’ll hear about other causes of these dysfunctions, including breathing, and then he’ll cover restrictions in the kinetic chain, as well as the muscular subsystems and how weakness and tightness affect them.
From here, Eric gives an overview of his normal assessments, and moves to programming after assessment. This includes normalization of the soft tissue, mobilization, stretching, disassociation and integration. He’ll show you the most common tools and techniques he uses in this process, and then moves on to the case studies in the second video.
This second video covers assessments of two very different fitness pros. Both are clearly in good condition, and without assessment you’d never guess they would need any correctives. After Eric guides you through the assessments, you’ll clearly see the problem areas in both cases, and will be relieved to see how much progress can be made with some simple corrective exercises.
With each case study, Eric demonstrates the assessments as well as the correctives, including a lengthy commentary of each exercise to show progressions and regressions you may need with your clients—or yourself. These techniques can be built into your warmups and cooldowns, and for all the benefit they provide, they really don’t take long to make a difference. In fact, when Eric asked one of his models after a few exercises if the effort and intensity felt more symmetrical, her answer was “Definitely!”
Your clients and patients will respond this way too.
As you consider the thoracic region—
- Can you describe the importance of an optimally functioning t-spine?
- Are you able to identify thoracic dysfunction?
- Does your thoracic mobility exercise programming work?
In this video, you’ll—
- Learn thoracic spine structure, function and common impairments
- Review t-spine assessments to use with your clients
- Discover corrective exercises that work to relieve thoracic spine impairments
In the second video, Eric is joined by his case study participants, Marianna Conway and Nicole Blasi. Eric’s video was filmed at Rebound Physical Therapy in Natick, Massachusetts.
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This is a two-disc video set. Disc One is Eric’s lecture presentation, at 53 minutes, and Disk Two covers two case studies in which Eric shows his assessments and the subsequent corrective programming, 79 minutes. Included with this digital download and on the DVD, you’ll find Eric’s presentation slides, as well as the transcripts you can use to make notes of his assessments and subtle adjustments to the corrective exercises.
Disk One, The Lecture Presentation
After a few minutes of general introduction, Eric begins to break things down—
- Bone structure, angles & range of motion in the spinal regions
- Form closure, force closure and motor control
- Global vs local musculature
- Causes of dysfunction
- Introduction to assessments
- Breathing assessment
- Programming after assessment
- Normalization, mobilization, stretching, disassociation & integration
- Tools, targets, techniques
- Progression & regression
Disk Two, The Case Studies
This video builds on the anatomy lecture as Eric begins the assessment and programming of his two case study models. We see—
- Assessments of his two models
- Standing posture assessment
- Breathing assessment
- Shoulder mobility assessment
- Overhead squat assessment
- Rotation assessment
- Programming suggestions for corrective work
- Tools used in the correctives
- Lengthy discussion of technique and tips of each exercise
- Examples of progressions and regressions, and
- When to do the re-assessment & what to look for
Throughout the video, Eric explains what to look for during the assessment and correctives, and how to use the movements in your practice. Scope of practice is something Eric stresses, and he’ll tell you what you shouldn’t do if you’re not qualified, even as he demonstrates the actions.
You’ll finish this session with some new ideas and techniques both in assessing and in correctives, and your confidence in spinal movement and anatomy will be refreshed under Eric’s clear guidance.
Eric Beard holds a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science, and is a personal trainer with a license in massage therapy. He’s also an NASM certified corrective exercise and performance enhancement specialist. He’s a presenter for conferences such as IDEA and Perform Better, and helped develop the education program at the National Academy of Sports Medicine. He’s a subject matter expert for Life Fitness Academy, and through his facility, Play Strong Athletics, he works with athletes on performance, individually or in teams, with patients coming out of rehab, as well as with clients looking for personal training or corrective strategies.
“Eric is rapidly becoming one of the best fitness minds in the country.
His knowledge, expertise, like-ability, passion, and communication skills are top notch.” Joe Fox
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