In this video clip we have UFC light heavyweight athlete, Brandon Vera, demonstrate progressions included in his rehab and strength program.  Brandon underwent flexor tendon repair for his elbow following his last fight and performed his rehab at Water and Sports Physical Therapy.

Not only was it important to achieve proper range of motion and strength of the elbow following the injury, but to maintain mobility and stability of the shoulder and spine.  In this video we demonstrate a few of Brandon’s exercises using the suspension trainer to challenge trunk, spine, and shoulder stability in addition to strength of the forearm flexors.

TRX Sports Medicine
Strength and Stability Progressions for the Upper Extremity

Here is a brief breakdown of the 3 exercises

1. Inverted Row into Biceps Crossing Clutch
Begin with the suspension trainer in the over-shortened position and walk yourself under the anchor point.  Hips should maintain full extension while the knees are bent to 90 degrees.  The arms are extended straight and cervical spine is neutral.  Begin the inverted row by driving the elbows back and pulling the chest towards the anchor point.  Perform 10 rows maintaining full extension of the hips.  Move directly into the biceps crossing clutch by performing a biceps curl with one arm on top of the other.  The arms should move into a curl position as if you were hugging someone.  Alternate the top arm for a total of 3 set of 10 reps.  With both movements, keep your chest up towards the anchor point and your shoulder blades depressed.

 2. Suspended Seal Walk
Begin with the suspension trainer in the mid calf position, your toes in the foot cradles, and facing away from the anchor point.  Assume a plank position on the hands with the toes dorsiflexed and the body in a straight line.  Keeping the feet together and body stiff, walk yourself away from the anchor point as far as you can go.  Then, maintaining a plank position, walk your hands towards the anchor point minimizing any shifting from side to side.  Repeat walking forward and back for 3 sets of 30 seconds each.  Watch for common faults including hips sagging, hips shifting side-to-side, shoulders elevating, feet coming apart, and head dropping.

3.  Plank Rotations
Begin with the straps in the mid calf position, your toes in the foot cradles, and facing away from the anchor point.  Assume a plank position on the elbows, the toes dorsiflexed, and the body stiff.  Center your weight on one arm with the other hand on your hip.  In a controlled manner, rotate your body away from the down arm to achieve a side plank.  Continue driving down through the grounded arm and slowly return to your starting plank without using the other arm for assistance.  Hold for 3 seconds before attempting your next rotation into the side plank.  This exercise challenges your spinal rotators as well as your scapular stabilizers as the torso rotates on a fixed humerus.  Try to maintain a packed shoulder position drawing the scapulae down and back through the entire movement and shoot for 3 sets of 8-10.


About Dr. Jennifer Reiner
Dr. Jennifer Reiner is the chiropractor for Water and Sports Physical Therapy providing sports rehabilitation services to Todd Durkin’s Fitness Quest 10 facility.  She is also a TRX Sports Medicine instructor.  Dr. Jenn obtained a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Florida and went on to pursue a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic West.  As a member of the Palmer West Sports Council, Dr. Reiner focused her studies on sports injuries and rehabilitation.  She is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

She spent five years as the official chiropractor for the University of California San Diego, providing care to a variety of sports including swimming, soccer, volleyball, track and field, tennis, and basketball.  She is certified in Graston Technique as well as Active Release Technique (ART).  Dr. Reiner also holds certifications in FMS (Functional Movement Screen), SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Assessment), TRX suspension training, and K-laser therapy.

For more tips and videos, follow Dr. Reiner on Twitter @drjreiner or