RPR: What Is It?

Kelsey Lensman ATC


     Reflexive Performance Reset. When I first heard those words I had no idea what they meant.  I knew what a reflexive was. I knew what performance and reset meant. But, what do they mean when combined together? After taking the level-1 course and implementing it into my training it clicked. RPR is a way of resetting the compensation patterns that your body functions on day to day.


     What is compensation pattern? To understand RPR, we first have to understand compensation patterns. Our bodies are like machines. They like to run as efficiently and as effectively as possible. Does that mean that each muscle will fire how it’s exactly intended to and at the correct time for each and every movement? No. This is where we come to many roadblocks. If any injury occurs or if your body has perceived something as a threat before it will shut certain muscles down as a result to protect itself. It will do this on purpose to keep your body safe from further injury. However, the kicker is sometimes you don’t even know. This is when compensation patterns come into play. When your body shuts certain muscles down, other muscles will take over in order to complete the task. Some muscles will become over activated, while others become inhibited. When you keep functioning in these certain patterns over time this will become your body’s new “normal.” This new normal can only work for so long. Compensation patterns quickly lead to injuries, pain, and submaximal performance. An example is the glute. The hot topic nowadays is glute activation. That is because your low back musculature and hamstring can take over to perform that same action as the glute. Therefore, your body may shut down your glute and have low back musculature and hamstring musculature over activation. This quickly leads to hamstring and low back strains.

     Now that we have covered compensation patterns, we can talk about RPR. RPR is a way of getting your body back to functioning and firing the intended muscles in the correct order instead of in compensation patterns. It is a way of manipulating the nervous and lymphatic systems to go back to the basics. For each muscle there are specific trigger points that you are to stimulate in order to activate that intended muscle. An example is for the obliques you stimulate both sides of the back around the spinal column first with your knuckle and then with firm pats. This initiates sensory receptors of that area to send signals to your brain, which in turn cause for an increased activation of the obliques by manipulating both the nervous system as mentioned and the lymphatic system.


     Like I said above, I begin each training session with RPR. I focus on breathing, deep core activation and glute activation to give me a solid foundation to build upon. As I continue on with the RPR series, I will show you different target points for different muscles that I use daily. Try the oblique test with a friend (as shown above in the video) and see how they respond! Let me know what you think and be on the lookout for more RPR videos to come.


Information learned from RPR Level-1 Clinic taught by JL Holdsworth, Chris Korfist, and Cal Dietz on February 11th, 2018.


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