Jan 29, 2015
Athletic Trainers Utilize 3-D Training

By Cassie Piercey

3-D isn’t just for the movies. We function with the innate ability to move in three dimensions, or planes of motion, every day. Now, athletic trainers and rehabilitation specialists can benefit from imitating natural, 3-D movement in a training environment.


“We all move in a multi-planar motion especially in sport,” said Carolyn Peters, M.A., ATC, CSCS, athletic trainer at San Diego State University. “Training in a multi-planar motion prepares the body for both life and sport and potentially assists in injury prevention. Range of motion and strength must be achieved in all planes to ensure adequate and peak performance.”

When it comes to sports-specific conditioning, performance enhancement or rehabilitation, one piece of equipment allows athletes to train in multiple planes of motion simultaneously, duplicating real life movements. From the trusted leader in functional exercise equipment for physical therapy and athletic training, the Total Gym® incline trainer by efi Sports Medicine® distinctively allows for 3-D functional training. The versatile apparatus allows for both the isolation and integration of primary and stabilizing muscles while utilizing the unit’s incline rolling glideboard and dynamic cable-pulley system.

The versatility of Total Gym allows users to load each plane with unilateral or bilateral exercises, or incorporate compound movements to load a specific joint in all three planes for improved join integrity, greater functionality and increased athleticism. Total Gym allows athletic and rehabilitation specialists to create both sport-specific and rehab training programs to meet every athlete’s needs.

Herm Schneider, head athletic trainer for the Chicago White Sox, has seen his athletes progress faster on Total Gym PowerTower® – a motorized version of efi’s flagship Total Gym – than with other rehab methods traditionally used. PowerTower is a standard part of rehabilitation and conditioning protocols for White Sox pitchers.

“We use PowerTower for rotator cuff strengthening for our pitchers,” said Schneider, a 32-year veteran of the White Sox athletic training team. “The player does the eccentric work and we help with the concentric part. It’s safer than doing a full weight-bearing exercise.”

Schneider adds, “Total Gym helps mimic activity that the players would be doing on the field in multiple planes of motion and in a safe partial weight bearing way.”

At San Diego State University, Peters utilizes Total Gym GTS®, the award-winning commercial version of Total Gym, daily in her rehabilitation and maintenance programs for women’s soccer and men’s and women’s golf players.

“I use GTS as I progress my athletes towards more weight bearing functional exercises,” said Peters, who also serves as secretary of the Far West Athletic Trainers’ Association. “It allows me to strengthen while working in a pain-free range of motion. It also is excellent for using the athletes own body weight for core and upper body exercises.”

For more information on efi Sports Medicine’s full line of Total Gym incline training equipment, please visit www.efisportsmedicine.com or call (800) 541-4900.

About the Author

Cassie Piercey is the Communications Manager for efi Sports Medicine® and a published fitness writer living in San Diego, CA. She has executed strategic marketing communications for nationally recognized brands such as Sprint, Hostess, H&R Block and the American Council on Exercise. Cassie graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia’s prestigious School of Journalism with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism. Her background includes work as a reporter and anchor for KOMU-TV, an NBC affiliate television station in Columbia, Mo. Cassie is a self-professed “fitness junkie” addicted to Pilates, weight training and running.

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