Chris Pronger, 36, is currently recovering from back surgery he underwent on May 12th to remove a herniated disc. Most question if he'll return in time for the 2011-12 season. Some question if he'll return the same player at all.
Though it is a hard knock on the Flyers blue line in the immediate future, one must know that Chris cannot be rushed back on to the ice if he were to ever again be the same effective force we've all grown to admire.
Flyers fans are aware that Pronger will be facing grueling rehabilitation, but a large number of us are not experts. What can we expect during his recovery process? What measures and limitations must his training respect?
Jerome Robinson, a Widener University graduate and California native, is currently a certified personal trainer with the American areobic association international/international sports medicine (AAAI/ISM), the owner of The Daily Grind Fitness, and a close family friend of mine.
A lifelong athlete, Jerome played football and was an All-American runner in Track and Field at Widener University, where he graduated with a degree in Education. His athletic talent led him to play Arena football and compete in Olympic level track and field after college.
With this combination of skills, Jerome is both a teacher and motivator to his clients and has worked with individuals from all levels of fitness. He loves to show people how fun and rewarding it is to get and stay in shape!
Jerome fulfilled his lifelong dream by establishing The Daily Grind Fitness, LLC. with his wife, Christy.
Jerome has trained professional athletes such as Ryan Vena, quarterback of the Philadelphia Soul, and once Philadelphia Eagles linebacker, Jason Short.
With Robinson just a phone call away, I decided to ask him what rehab regimen he expects/recommends for the seasoned veteran, Chris Pronger.
If Chris is going to get back to 100% we would have to use the "Ultimate Approach"; We would measure the capabilities of Pronger, understand the demands of hockey, and then devise a program to best prepare him to be an ultimate performer.
No one has to tell Jerome what wins games. There's a universal law in every sport that demands the best from its participants in order to call themselves professionals --
Speed and power - when executed with precise control - produce winning performances. Strength without control is useless. We would follow a 5 stage process that ensures a foundation for eventual strength, speed and power training.
1) Groove motion patterns, motor patterns.
This stage exists to locate Pronger's weaker/weakest area and correct it by establishing certain movements and exercises.
2) Build his whole body and joint stability.
Once these "groove motions and motor patterns" have been identified, they must be introduced during his "daily activities".
3) Increase his endurance.
Though these motions may prove tough to perform at first, the scheduled exercises will progressively intensify in order to build and stabilize muscle endurance to the weakened, surgically corrected area.
4) Build his strength.
Who hasn't heard of strength training to oppose muscle contraction? Over time, stages 1, 2 and 3 will lengthen and build on top of the weakened muscles around Pronger's corrected area.
5) Develop power and agility.
With stages 1 through 4 strictly followed, Pronger's strength will return. He will not lose any edge to his agility, and if followed correctly these stages may even prevent further damage to his back.
Why is it so important that these stages aren't rushed? Is it a slow process? Well, only time and Pronger's response to the physical therapy can tell. But Jerome stresses the importance of the training in relation to time --
Exercise is called "therapy" when used in rehabilitation, and "training" for Chris Pronger. The dose of exercise must be sufficient to produce adaptation yet too much results in injury. The difference between the dose and the tolerance is the margin of safety. Chris must master his motor control if he wants to distinguish himself as the best. His ability to exert his strength quickly, and in a way with perfect synergy throughout his body linkage, is what's needed to succeed dynamic balance.
I want to thank Jerome Robinson for taking time away from his day. If anyone's interested to know more about strength training, rehabilitation, or straight up wants to get in shape, I highly recommend The Daily Grind Fitness.
You can reach them at 1-877-77-GRIND, or email: Info@DailyGrindFitness.com, located right in the center of Conshohocken, PA.