Quadruped Arm Traction

I’m a strength coach and a manual therapy student; so when I get the opportunity I like to take my lessons from massage school and apply them at the gym.

It’s kind of like how I combine man’s best friend with exercise equipment.

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(Seriously, get yourself a Fit Bull.)

It’s common for strength coaches to bastardize manual therapy techniques and apply them using a foam roller, lacrosse ball or pvc pipe. I do it all the time–we all should. What most don’t realize, though, is using these implements is an attempt to mimic neuromuscular techniques. We’re attempting to be a hands off Leon Chaitow–sans eyebrows.

In the treatment room I prefer Chaitow’s techniques to anyone elses that I’ve been exposed to. He makes the most sense to this beareded gingerbeast. That’s not discounting other great therapists–John Barnes for example.

I’m 95% sure that Barnes is a cult leader, but his myofascial release techniques are great. And, in truth, (I hope this doesn’t sound like blasphemy) I think his techniques are better applied at the gym than our implement assisted Chaitow replications.

If you’ve ever used a jump stretch band to traction a body part, you’ve applied Barnes work, sans drinking the cool-aid. It’s massively productive; band traction may well be the most productive pre-hab tool I’ve found. I’d traction my ears if I could figure out how to rig it up.

Being that I have a Quasimodo-esque hump from my congenital scoliosis, I’m always looking for ways to improve thoracic mobility. It’s become my quest. John Barnes, and his myofascial techniques, fired a few synapses that got me to try a new traction technique–quadruped arm traction.

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It works.

I can’t give Barnes all the credit, though, my massage mentor Aaron Pavlechko was the connection between Barnes and the band. One day when we were attempting to shave down my hump, he pulled my arm into traction under my body as I held quadruped on a massage table. So, Aaron dear, if you’re reading this, God bless you.

Give this a shot and report back!



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Todd Bumgardner

M.S./ CSCS/ Owner of Beyond Strength Performance/ Ginger

Todd Bumgardner

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