Ground-Based and Agility Drills

The goal of the ground-based drills is to help the athlete/patient gain confidence with stop-and-go multidirectional movements, planting, and land a loading. The use of the multi-directional drills below will prepare the patient for more aggressive and higher intensity drills during the Bridge program. Pre-Bridge patients should start out slow and focus on good technique. The therapist’s job is to make sure proper cues are given to help the patient understand how to properly move the body without getting injured.

Patients should be able to perform:

  • 3 and 4 cone drills
  • Line stops (both feet, single leg, lunge position, FWD, BWD, and lateral)
  • Lateral 2 step skater jumps
  • 3 cup drills

Plyometrics

Performing plyometrics is essential in getting patients back to their active lifestyle. This is the area that we see as the most lacking/least developed among bridge patients. Plyometric drills should be performed on a single and double leg with the average of 5-15 seconds per drill. Patients should be able to perform multiple sets without pain or instability by the time they are ready for Bridge.

Patients should be able to perform:

  • Forward and back hops
  • Side to side hops
  • Diagonal hops
  • 4 square hops
  • Standing long jumps (focus more on technique than distance)
  • Triple hop (focus more on technique than distance)

Treadmill Running

A therapist should use the walking protocol to transition the patient into running. Runs # 10-12 of the walking protocol will aid in the transition from walking to running. From there, the patient should work up to multiple sets of 1-2 minute jogs, ranging from 5-7 mph at a 5% incline, totaling about 8-10 minutes of running time.

Strength

While most exercises performed in therapy are adequate in preparing the patient for Bridge, the exercises below are common weak spots for patients entering the program. To help aid the patient’s transition into Bridge, make sure technique is spot-on and exercise is performed with exactness.  As always, quality over quantity, but don’t be afraid to challenge the patient if the exercises look too easy. 

Patients should be able to perform:

  • Multi-directional lunges
  • Single leg box squat
  • Elevated single leg bridge ups