FAAST NeuroCore Training Program
The FAAST strength and flexibility training system is the fastest and most effective way to develop the core. All the exercises are done on unstable surfaces to challenge the athlete to stay centered. All postures are performed supporting the body weight by the core muscular system. The athlete will work in prone and side lying until their pelvic floor muscles, transverse, rectus abdominus, obliques and other stabilizers are developed enough to handle the demand of the exercise maintaining perfect neutral spine. This not only creates incredible strength, but the neural kinetic connection is retrained to pull movement from the core while stabilizing the pelvis and shoulder girdle. Then the athlete will move into a series of exercises where the spine will be in neutral, extension, flexion, neutral with rotation, extension with rotation and flexion with rotation. There is a counter- stretch in every repetition so the spinal muscular system and the rest of the core muscles are stretched and strengthened in a way unique to this system. FAAST research shows that the athletes feel" a difference in the way they stand, run, and lift weights etc. in only a couple of weeks.
Diagnosing Breakdown in the Core
It is my theory that if an athlete puts incredible demand on their core, by suspending the athlete in prone I can immediately assess if they have challenges with anterior and posterior pelvic tilt. FAAST takes the athlete through a series of sports specific movement patterns. For example, a long jumper would pull their knee towards the chest as if they were jumping and I would look for pelvic tilt and rotation. I would also look to see what happens to the leg in hip flexion. One particular case study showed that an Olympian in the described example had slight rotation and slight posterior tilt. When I manipulated him into neutral spine his leg was actually externally rotated to compensate for the tilt and rotation. This core issue caused him to lose momentum on the jump and had created groin injury due to the external rotation. These slight core variations are compounded over time as the athlete lifts weights and trains in these contraindicated postures. The FAAST system has been used with a wide variety of athletes, and the tendencies, however slight, have consistently been revealed in the diagnostic phase of FAAST. My research has demonstrated that what I see in the lab is consistent with what I see the athlete experience in their sport.
Diagnosing Extremities and their Relationship to the Core
FAAST also looks for misalignment of the upper and lower extremities and how this affects core stabilization. For the lower extremities FAAST uses resisted supine jumping to see what happens to the athlete’s toes, ankles, knees, hips, core and shoulders. My tests have shown that having the athlete do this on one leg diagnoses not only misalignment but serious breakdown in the core. For example, I had a sprinter whose right leg consistently pulled to the midline and the ankle would supinate when he became fatigued. This was a result of a lack of pelvic stability. Not only did this issue slow him down, it caused him to have injury to the tibia because he turns the ankle. For the upper extremities FAAST uses resisted sports specific arm movement. For example, I had a hurdler on an unstable surface perform the arm movement from the hurdle and she was unable to do it with out rotating and hiking the hip up. This is also how she hurdled. Taking time to re-adjust the pelvis makes a big difference in speed. In addition, landing with trunk rotation caused her injuries to her QL. Once again, from watching video motion of the athlete, I consistently show that minor core and extremity problems are the same in their sport as they are in the FAAST lab.
The Solution: FAAST NeuroCore Training
The solution is so simple. Replicate the technical skills in the lab and they will transfer to the sport. This is achieved by a two part plan of action. First to strengthen the core with a program unique to FAAST that achieves balance and flexibility of the muscular system and spine. The first phase alone makes a huge difference in a short period of time. The second phase is ongoing. Athletes are very set in their neural kinetic connection as it relates to their sports specific movement patterns. A well known doctor in the track and field community described this phase of FAAST by saying it is not unlike asking someone to write with their left hand, it is like asking Picasso to create a masterpiece with the wrong hand. Phase two of the solution will progress as the athlete does. The bottom line is that FAAST wants the athlete to remain centered and stable in the core regardless of how demanding the environment becomes. With my equipment and my creativity FAAST can simulate any movement necessary to train the athlete. My philosophy is this: if you can create intense conditions on the core, forcing the athlete to maintain perfect spinal and pelvic posture, then the athlete will develop the mind body connection and the strength in the right places needed to take a centered, flexible, balanced body back to the sport and it will be effortless. My mission is to create a FAAST Athlete!!!!