I have been using My 3R Method for many, many years! I want to share My 3R Method with you so your rehab experience will be even more successful!
What is My 3R Method?
My 3R Method is, “Release, Rebuild, Retrain”
Release tight muscles and stiff joints
Strengthen weak muscles and create stability for less stable joints
Take the work you have been doing and create a new movement pattern. This transfers into long term change rather than only short term change
What Does Retrain Have To Do With Anything?
The 3rd step is super important. If we don’t change something we are doing…the very thing that has caused our problem…we will only achieve short term change. We want to achieve long term change! Here is an example of this…
The picture on the left shows someone with a poorer posture; rounded shoulders, a forward head position, etc. This person wanders into the gym with the posture on the left and does great exercises like, stretching out her tight chest muscles that are pulling her shoulders forward and strengthens her weak back muscles. But…she then leaves the gym in the exact same posture she came in with. She has done a lot of great work but she hasn’t ‘taught’ her body any new positions that she wants it to be in. This will typically result in short term change.
In order to have a posture that is in the right side of the picture, she has to put her body in that position and wander out of the gym in that posture. She will keep on working on strengthening and releasing the muscles that are necessary to help maintain this posture more often. And, she will practice being in this posture so her body gets the hang of it.
What Does The 3R Method Look Like?
Let me use an example to demonstrate My 3R Method in action:
My client comes in to see me with concerns about her tight hip flexors. No matter how much she stretches them, her hips always feel tight. She wants to know if there are other stretches that might help with this problem.
If I just keep helping her stretch out her hips, she might feel temporarily better, but it won’t transfer into long term change. I need to do something else.
Here is how I would apply My 3R Method to this particular issue. When hip flexors are chronically tight, it means they are held in a shortened position for extended periods of time. That doesn’t allow for the muscle to be very useful because it can’t move throughout it’s full range of motion. Imagine bending your elbow as far as you can, holding this and wandering around throughout your day. Your bicep muscle will feel tight, it will feel tight even when you let it go and try to stretch it and it won’t be very useful. It just can’t do very much to help you.
When a muscle is chronically tight; hence, overworked, there must be other associated muscles that are not ‘pulling their weight’. In the case of a tight hip flexor, I very often see underworked butt muscles! The gluteus maximus muscle tends to be weak.
How Do I Address this Problem?
- Release the tight hip flexors
- Rebuild the weak glutes
- Retrain a new movement pattern
Release The Tight Hip Flexors
Rebuild The Weak Glutes
Retrain A New Movement Pattern
Why are the hip flexors too tight and the glutes weak?
I like to watch how my client walks. I often find that they are pulling themselves forward more than propelling themselves forward when they are walking. They pull with the front of their hips rather than pushing themselves with their glutes. Showing them this on video and then showing them how to correct it is a game changer.
Short Term Change Versus Long Term Change
I want my clients to experience changes in their body that last; otherwise they will be back to see me again and again. Even though I have fantastic clients that I enjoy seeing, I don’t want them to have to come back with the same problem. I haven’t done my job if that is what happens. This is why the RETRAIN part of my method is so important. If I help them lengthen their tight hip flexors and strengthen their glute muscles, and then send them off, they will only experience short term change. Why is this? Simply because something in their present movement patterns is causing this tightness and weakness. If I don’t find that and help them change it, it will continue to happen.
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Think about an issue you might be having in your body. Are you only stretching those persistently tight back muscles? Are you only rolling the bottom of your foot in the hopes to finally be rid of plantar fasciitis? Are you constantly on the foam roller, rolling out your ITB? Stay tuned for more posts applying the 3R Method to these very problems.