By Dan Guttenplan, FNF Coaches Sports Editor
World-class sprint coach Chris Korfist had seen one too many athletes get injured in 2009 when he vowed to find a way to help athletes prepare better themselves for threshold efforts.
“When really good kids get hurt, you’re always going to look for ways to eliminate injuries,” Korfist said.
Korfist began working with fitness experts all over the world to discover a better warmup method for athletes. He landed on the Reflexive Performance Reset® (RPR) method after partnering with world-renowned strength coach Cal Dietz and world champion powerlifter JL Holdworth.
“We pulled from a lot of different programs and condensed it into something simple that everyone can use on themselves to reduce injury and improve performance,” Korfist said. “It’s a way to empower people to take control of their own well-being.”
Korfist offers a RPR® course that shows athletes how to stimulate neurological reactions through self-touch.
“There are certain spots in the body that are there for a reason, but they get neglected,” Korfist said. “We get the muscles to work by developing the process of gait. In order to walk, we have to get hip flexion and extension. It’s going back to the beginning and learning to crawl.”
RPR® is a simple combination of breathing and acupressure that treats imbalances in the muscular and nervous systems. When muscles work together in sequence while fully activated, the body moves correctly. Athletic movements are sequenced chain reactions. Weak links in the chain and improper sequencing lead to injuries. When the same compensation patterns are reinforced, injuries linger and recur.
Here are a few examples of RPR® Wake-Up Drills™.
Begin by taking your thumbs and rubbing from the top of your sternum at your collarbone to the base of your sternum between your chest, moving at a moderate pace while paying attention to your breath.
As you breathe, take deep inhales through your nose and allow the exhales to flow out of your mouth. Once you’ve reached the base of your sternum, continue rubbing outward along your rib cage at the base of your chest on both sides.
Performing this exercise provides you with an opportunity to gain insight into your body’s current state of physical sensitivity. Take time to notice what feels good, what hurts, and how your body is potentially compensating as a result.
Place each thumb or set of fingers one inch from your belly button on both sides of your body. From there, follow the same breathing pattern you used in the first exercise as you rub those deep-seated core muscles connecting the lumbar vertebrae to the femur. Focus on that feeling as it pertains to the immediate area, and throughout your body.
This drill aims to determine what aspects of your core are feeling healthy, and if any aspects of your core are imbalanced.
Rub the back of the base of your skull where the tissue and the skull meet, breathing all the while. From there, find the point right under the earlobe and on the jawline, performing the same action. Press the jawline forward but only for a few seconds before rubbing down the jaw from under your ear.
You may be wondering how the back of your head connects to your glutes. After all, the two locations are rather far apart on your body. In reality, however, your entire back is a complex set of connective muscles, tissues, ligaments, and bones that all work in conjunction with one another.
By starting at the base of your skull, you can determine which areas of your posterior body feel asymmetrical, all the way down to your glutes.
Take the Reflexive Performance Reset® Course
Find the right RPR® course for your team at www.reflexiveperformance.com