functional-progression-bookDeveloping functional exercise programs for athletes is sometimes difficult, particularly for rehabilitation professionals without much experience in their patients’ sport. Human Kinetics recently released the book, Effective Functional Progressions in Sport Rehabilitation by Todd Ellenbecker, Mark De Carlo, and Carl DeRosa. The book is divided into 2 parts. Part I provides the benefits and guidelines for developing successful sports rehabilitation programs, while Part II reviews functional progressions for 3 body regions: upper extremity, lower extremity, and trunk.

Functional Exercise Progressions

Each regional chapter reviews relevant functional anatomy and describes appropriate functional tests with normative data. The normative data can be used to set goals for the athletes’ rehabilitation, which can be very helpful to practicing clinicians. Exercises are grouped into specific progressions and labeled with different stages in the progression. The exercises start with isolated, joint-specific exercises and progress to more functional movements. Some exercises also include “Pearls of Performance,” which provide additional hints on performing and progressing the exercise.  The 3 chapters also include interval programs that provide specific exercise protocols for returning to sports such as tennis, baseball, football, soccer, and basketball.  The exercises include easy to use and convenient equipment such as elastic tubing, dumbbells, and exercise balls, making them accessible to virtually anyone.

Online Exercise Database

One of the best features of this book is the ability to access electronic versions of each exercise image in the book for PowerPoint presentations or patient handouts.  This provides a great tool for therapists, athletic trainers, or fitness trainers who give written exercise programs to their patients and clients.  Too often, exercises depicted in books are not readily available to create patient handouts; however, with the evolution toward electronic media in book publishing, this resource from Human Kinetics helps solve that problem.

A Great Resource for Sports Rehabilitation

Effective Functional Progressions in Sport Rehabilitation is a great resource for athletic trainers and physical therapists, including those who specialize in sports rehabilitation, and those who don’t. Those without sports rehabilitation experience may benefit from a little more review of the biomechanics of specific sports found in other textbooks.  Even readers with years of experience will learn a few new exercises from 3 great sports physical therapists. Ellenbecker, De Carlo, and DeRosa have done a great job bringing evidence to practice. Although more research is needed on specific protocols and outcomes for sports rehabilitation, such research will serve well for the next edition.

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