Sunday, September 30, 2012

Boxing Fitness for Stroke and Spinal Cord Injury Rehab

In may of 2012 professional boxer and former middleweight champion Paul "The Punisher" Williams was in a motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. He received his rehab following surgery to stabilize his spine at one of the top ten ranked rehab hospitals in the nation, Shepard Center.

It was reported in an article by USA Today:

that Paul had asked for a mitt man to come in so that he could start throwing some punches again.

I was pleased to read that Paul was going to continue to train in boxing as he continues to rehab following his accident. It is my hope that boxing fitness for rehab will get noticed as a great tool for recovery.

Boxing is a fitness tool that I have found very useful working with post Stroke and SCI clients. There are so many ways to implement a sound strengthening and endurance program based on just boxing components that will also focus on coordination and balance.

The boxing stance alone is one that will challenge a clients balance and core stabilization.

This is usually a difficult stance for anyone to perform, but when you take into account someone with hemiparesis, poor balance, poor endurance or trunk control and it makes this stance very difficult to maintain.

Throwing a punch from this stance is additional difficulty, but so beneficial for someone with a neurological condition.

 So much mind muscle communication is needed for the movement in throwing a punch to happen, if that neuro pathway is weak then challenging yourself with an activity like throwing a proper punch repeatedly will help to improve mind muscle communication or to retrain your ability to do so.

A study recently highlighted the benefits of a boxing fitness through wii gaming for chronic stroke survivors and proved it to be a beneficial exercise program for improving endurance and maintaining optimal health.

There are so many ways to implement a strong boxing fitness routine for any individual. Stroke, SCI, Seniors everyone can benefit from a boxing fitness program and any boxing fitness program can be adapted to your needs.

Check out this wheelchair boxing fitness girl fight!:

For more information on a boxing fitness program for you contact me:

Keep Fighting, Never Give Up!-Devon

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Consistency yields positive results for Stroke patients!

Following the interview that I recently completed where I spoke on Adaptive Fitness for Stroke and SCI survivors, I decided to go looking through my literature to find a research article that I referenced. I was successful in finding it and have posted it below for all to enjoy.

Click here for the article:

To sum up the article and my conversation from that Interview, I was speaking on a research study that was conducted in October 2009 and published in an issue of The Cochrane Library and reported on by

The goal of this research study was to determine the benefits of post stroke exercise programs, the research collected was from 24 different studies with over 1100 stroke patients and including resistance training, cycling, and walking as means of exercise.

The conclusion from the study was that walking, 3 or more times a week for a minimum of 20 minutes yielded greater results than a strength training program or no program at all. The benefits were noted speed, walking tolerance, and cardiorespiratory endurance.

As I stated in the interview, consistent exercise is vitally important if an individual is looking to further their progress.

Walking is, in my opinion only the beginning when it comes to stroke recovery and regaining or retraining atrophied muscle or mind-muscle communication.

Walking is something that depending on your level of independence following stroke can be done safely with a family member, friend, or in your own home.

In addition to a great foundation with a walking program, I encourage all recovering stroke patients to look into adaptive fitness training to maximize strength, balance, coordination, and endurance all to improve your walking and all other functional movements in the process.

An adaptive fitness training session will include a combination of movements that are not at all uncommon, these movements will be paired with additional otherwise simple movements with a key focus in overstimulating your nervous system and maximizing mind muscle communication to improve neuro pathways.

For example, a typical session may include a stroke client performing a squat from a chair. Simple enough right?....Stand up, sit down, done.

Again, we want to overstimulate the nervous system. So that simple squat is going to include maintaining the position of a light medicine ball with fully extended arms with the ball above eye level. Getting harder now, huh?....

That's not all, constant cuing will be provided because the focus also has to be on engaging core muscles throughout the movement while breathing correctly.

Don't think it's challenging? try it.....

Overstimulating the nervous system.....the stroke patient/client has to perform a squat, while holding a light medicine ball, keeping the ball above eye level, while keeping arms fully extended, focusing on engaging core muscles and breathing all at the same time.

and now we go into the number of sets and reps that need to be completed....

It's is a very challenging movement and only one of the many exercises in an adaptive fitness trainers toolbox.

Exercise is a great tool for everyone, but is especially important when recovering from a disability.

If you don't use it, you will lose it!

Consistency, as proven with the above research article will yield positive results if applied.

Keep fighting, Never give up!


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hello everyone!

Take a look at my recent interview with on Adaptive Fitness for Stroke and Spinal cord injury survivors.

you can view the video here:

I have also joined the staff of visionary trainers as a consultant for all Adaptive Fitness inquiries, check out the Visionary Trainers page here: