Month: January 2012

Introducing Dr. E and The EDGE

As I have mentioned, there are a lot of exciting changes coming to Henley Sports Performance, and one of the biggest is the partnership with Dr. Erson Religioso III. Dr. E is an Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapist and the creator of The EDGE tool for assisted soft tissue manipulation. If you have been following the site, you’ve likely seen a few links to articles or videos Dr. E has posted on his website, Today, I would like to officially announce the partnership between Henley Sports Performance and The Manual Therapist. Dr. E has taken the time to answer a few questions for my readers about The EDGE and OMPT in general.

I need to be honest, I’ve been looking forward to this partnership ever since I received my EDGE in the mail. It’s an amazing tool that I use all the time on myself. Can you explain who should be using The EDGE and relate it to the other soft tissue manipulation tools on the market? 

Dr. E: Thanks Drew! This is an exciting opportunity! I designed the EDGE to be used by any health professional who is licensed to perform soft tissue manipulation on a client. The practices acts may vary from state to state, but that includes physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, athletic trainers, occupational therapists, and osteopaths. Some in the Sports Performance world have purchased it for self treatment, which is fine, but I always recommend being evaluated by a health professional, particularly one who specializes in manual therapy for anything more than self treatment of simple tightness or limitations in movement.

There are definitely a lot of tools on the market, including a direct copy of mine. I originally designed it to be a versatile system, an all in one that was easily pocketable, relatively light, but high quality stainless steel. I believe the price is not the only value you get with the EDGE. The main thing I can offer is a willing evolution and open source community. I am always looking for feedback and evolving the shape/design every 1-2 iterations of it. I can also offer something my competitors don’t, which is regular and updated instructions and videos, even by request on my blog, facebook, and twitter pages. I use it daily, on all types of patients, from head to toe. I also teach courses in it locally in Buffalo, NY, or in house if your facility prefers.

I can say I’m very pleased and impressed with mine. So other than The EDGE, what methods do you use with your patients to facilitate recovery?

Dr. E: I have several certifications which lead to my specialization. I am credentialed in Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy, by the McKenzie Institute USA, and also a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists. Much of my caseload is spinal, headaches, followed by general orthopaedic conditions. I try to combine the best of what the literature reports as effective and valid, like MDT for the spine, spinal manipulation, and stabilization with what actually works clinically, like soft tissue manipulation. I use both functional or movement based release, and instrument assisted release for “issues in the tissues.”

Other than hands-on work with clients, you work with several universities and students, correct?

Dr. E: Yes, I teach for 3 doctor of physical therapy programs, D’Youville College (my first alma mater before doctorate), Daemen College, and State University of New York at Buffalo. I also teach and mentor post-graduate physical therapists for the Orthopaedic Manual Therapy Fellowship programs at Daemen College, the McKenzie Institute USA, and Evidence in Motion. In addition, I am working on starting up a certificate in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy at D’Youville College, and also teach continuing education courses in Neurodynamics, Spinal Manipulation, Comprehensive Soft Tissue Manipulation, and Temporomandibular and Craniofacial Pain.

You also run your site and maintain an incredible YouTube channel (which can be found here, it is an amazing resource for anyone who works on the human body and improving movement). Is there anything I am missing?

Dr. E: Well, I have a consultation practice within Rose Physical Therapy, owned by my good friend and former mentee Dr. Terry Rose, DPT, MS, FMS, FAAOMPT. We work very synergistically and have a blast daily! Both of us decided to go out on our own after working in management positions for 10+ years just about 1 year ago. The businesses are both doing well!

It seems as though much of your work is improving tissue quality to correct imbalances, deficits, etc. What can individuals do to maintain healthy tissue quality? 

Dr. E: It is! Although “issues in the tissues” are just one part of the problem. We look for dysfunction in the entire neuromusculoskeletal system. That being said, movement is key. The average person bends forward thousands of times a day. They also spent much more time sitting than standing. Get up and move! Try not to sit for more than 30-45 minutes. Get up and backward bend at your waist 10 times/hour. Sit upright, like everyone says their mother told them too (only she slouched too!) If everyone sat upright and moved more often, there would be a lot less general headache, neck, and lower back pain.

For the athletes, train globally and functionally. Seinfeld actually said it best “Lifting weights only makes you better at lifting weights.” Rest appropriately. Static stretching has pretty much been disproven to decrease injury, and some studies show may possibly decrease performance. However, early evidence shows dynamic stretching may be effective. Get screened by an FMS expert for injury risk assessment. Go to a manual therapist for evaluation at any signs of pain that can’t be helped with movement or form correction. Hydrate often!

More importantly, how do you think manual therapy and sports performance/strength & conditioning work together to reduce overuse injuries and maintain physiological balance? Athletes and people in general perform better when we are free of pain and in a state of homeostasis, what do you notice is lacking from individuals and their exercise programs?

Dr. E: I would say the average consumer or patient ends up on the wrong end or even the top of the bell curve. There is a bell curve in all professions.  What is lacking in both avenues, rehab and performance training is a “no pain no problem” attitude. Dysfunction and poor movement does not always equate to pain until it’s too late. In an ideal world, a physical therapist would screen at least annually, similar to a primary care physician. If we had “well visits” most likely a lot of overuse and postural based muscle imbalances could be prevented.

What is lacking in both professions are really science based programs and 1:1 personal sessions that base the patient’s or athlete’s program on them as individuals. It requires commitment on both ends. Training, and rehab, which are really just aspects of the same thing, but on different ends of the spectrum, require both parties to participate. Goals take work and there are no magic cures.

My colleague said at the FMS course that your average physical therapist doesn’t take the patient far enough. Referrals work both ways and once we get our patient pain free, it is certainly appropriate to send them on for further strength and/or performance training with a qualified trainer if you as a therapist do not have the facility, time, or training to do so. Both professions can learn a lot from one another!
I couldn’t agree more. It’s important for therapists and strength & conditioning professionals to have connections that allow the transfer of patients. I have been fortunate to work with excellent physical therapists and athletic trainers with whom I was able to transfer care with ease.  When an athlete I trained gets injured, I send them directly to the medical staff and once they are able to return, the PT/ATC trust me to correct the underlying problem. Without effective communication and transference of patients, there would be a lot more recurring injuries.
Thank you again for taking the time to inform my readers on your side of the industry. Keep the great information coming Dr. E!

Please be sure to visit Dr. E’s website at and all the resources he provides. You can also see his most recent posts here, in the sidebar to the right. 

In addition to this new partnership, I am proud to announce I have successfully completed my NASM-CES certification and will provide details on the credential and my thoughts of it in the future. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or requests, please feel free to contact me at any time.
All the best,
Drew Henley, CSCS, USAW, CES
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Training the Core

I put a new video up on YouTube – HSP Core Exercises – yesterday and thought I’d give a little detail about the exercises here. 

MB Rollouts – Great for resisting spinal extension, also works the lats, shoulders, triceps, and forearms.

Starfish – Maintain balance and spinal integrity in a dynamic environment.

Dead Bugs – Much harder than they first appear. Great for training the deeper core muscles needed for balance and proper LPHC positioning.

Pallof Walkouts – Works multifidi, transverse abdominis, internal and external obliques to resist rotation and protect spinal positioning.

Pallof Reverse Lunge – Similar to the walkouts, but incorporates the larger hip muscles. Also focuses effort on single leg balance through movement and transferring force through the entire kinetic chain.

SB Cable Twist – As you can see in the video, it’s important to initiate movement at the feet and get power from the hips. 

1/2 Kneel High-Low Cable Chop – This can be done with either knee down. Great for integrating the deeper muscles for stabilizing the LPHC.

SB Knee Tucks – A beginning level ab exercise. Good for increasing hip flexor strength as well.

TRX Superman – Great exercise for resisting spinal extension. Going towards the fulcrum increases the difficulty exponentially (as you can see in the video I struggle a little…but in my defense, it was the last exercise filmed and I was toast).

Slideboard Rollouts – What I like about this exercise is the demand it places on the scapular stabilizers. You are forced to maintain control of your shoulders or else they’ll slide out from under you and you’ll end up with a nice face full of slideboard.

As you can see, I put a heavy emphasis on resisting spinal extension. Also, very few of these exercises (or any core exercise I use) incorporates much more than just the abdominal muscles. Very rarely are the abdominal muscles where force is generated, the main function of the core is to efficiently transfer energy between the extremities. This is an important concept to remember during core training, train for the actual goal you want to achieve (and no, you won’t get to your six pack goal by isolating your abs).

If you missed my other videos, there are two other great core exercises on my YouTube channel – BOSU MB OH Extension and BOSU MB Oblique Lateral Extension. Be sure to check it out and subscribe here.

Let me know any questions, comments, or requests you have. As always, if I can ever be of assistance to you or your program, please feel free to contact me at anytime.

All the best,
Drew Henley, CSCS, USAW

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HSP Videos

The first round of videos are up on the new YouTube channel (which you can subscribe to here). 

Scapular Push Up Progression

Here is a series of exercises to increase strength of the serratus anterior and improve scapular stability. A few variations include contralateral scapular retraction with a dumbbell (which demands a LOT of core stability as well).
BOSU MB OH Extension

I love incorporating this exercise into my core work. Similar to rollouts with an ab wheel or TRX, the goal is to resist spinal extension, and can be manipulated by your position on the BOSU, the weight of the med ball, and the length of overhead extension.
BOSU MB Oblique Lateral Extension

Same concept as the OH Extension, only now we’re working on lateral flexion of the spine.
Alternating Push Ups

Provides variation and a great way of incorporating core work and scapular stability.
Side Plank with External Rotation and Extension

Working on the core as well as scapular retractors, stabilizers, and shoulder external rotation.

As you can see, the focus this week is on scapular stability and new ways of developing the core. Right now, baseball players (who are my main focus right now) are starting to turn it up in the weight room and need to remember it’s more than just moving big weights. Research has shown that up to 85% of muscle activation in decelerating the arm after a throw comes from the core and scapular stabilizers1. It is important for players to recognize the importance of balancing things out, and making sure they can stop their arm after throwing 98 mph. A Ferrari with 500 horsepower isn’t very useful if you remove the brakes.
Let me know any thoughts you have, or any requests you have. As always, if I can ever be of assistance to you or your program, please feel free to contact me at anytime.
All the best,
Drew Henley, CSCS, USAW
P.S. I apologize for those of you who have encountered errors with the site this past week, with all the changes there have been some hiccups. I appreciate your patience and understanding. The final product will be well worth it, I can promise you that.
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What’s Coming

Hello all, sorry for the long hiatus, holidays and family matters arose which commanded my attention. However, I am happy to report that there are several exciting changes and additions coming to Henley Sports Performance. It may be a week or so late, but here’s what you can expect from HSP in 2012…

First, as you can tell, there have been some changes to the site with the new logo, color scheme, and web address (

Also, I am proud to announce the new YouTube channel ( where I will regularly post new exercises and variations.

Third, I am working towards some exciting partnerships and affiliations with others in the industry that will hopefully produce a more complete resource for everybody. I’ll have more details on these in the next several weeks.

Finally, after speaking with several athletes and professionals in the field, many have offered to conduct Q&A’s to give my readers another point of view of the industry.

With these changes, there will be some disruptions and obstacles along the way. I appreciate the patience while we work the kinks out. As always, if I can ever be of assistance to you or your program, please feel free to contact me at anytime.

All the best,

Drew Henley, CSCS, USAW
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