These functional exercises are
excellent for regaining a limbs full
range of motion and reducing pain.

Functional Rehabilitation Exercises

Special Exercise Routine
by Dr. Jeff Donatello

This is an example of a routine that should be done when starting on a weight reduction program to increase the efficiency of the metabolism for burning stored fat. It should be done 2 days a week for 30 to 40 minutes. This video was created by Dr. Jeff Donatello, a friend of Dr. Marquis, and used with permission.

Hip Stretch - Laying on Back (Gluteus Medius, Minimus, TFL, Piriformis)

While laying on a wide supportive surface pull your right knee across the left side of your chest and simultaneously pull your right foot towards your left shoulder. The further across the chest and the higher you pull towards the shoulder the more intensely you will feel the stretch in your right back pocket area. Hold this for 10 seconds then release and repeat on the other side.

Hip Stretch (Face down)

Place one leg in front of you in bent knee position with the outside of the leg resting on the table. Your other leg is standing on the floor leaning on the edge of the table. Bend forward and towards the bent knee till you feel a good stretch in your hip pocket of the leg that is on the table. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times.

Hip Jut Stretch - Standing (Same as Hip Stretch Muscles)

While standing erect with feet together, point your toes to the right, arch your back, slightly bend your knees and puch your hip to the left. The stretch should be left in the region of your left back pocket. You can enhance the stretch by emphasizing the arching of your back backwards. If the stretch is not adequate you can modify if by placing your right foot over and slightly in front of the left while keeping all other directions the same as noted above. Hold the stretch for 7-10 seconds then release and repeat on the other side.

Cross Crawl Exercise (Hams, Glut Max, Quad Lumborum, Lat Dorsi, Trap)

While laying face down, arms outstretched above your head, tighten your buttocks and raise your right leg. Simultaneously raise your left arm. Slowly lower arm and leg together, relax buttocks then repeat on the other side.

Groin Stretch (Iliopsoas)

Place your right foot up on an elevated and sturdy surface such as a low table, counter top or chair. Arch your back while shifting your pelvis forward. Rotate your torso towards the right knee. You should feel the stretch in your left groin. You can enhance the stretch by emphasizing the arching of your back. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds then repeat on the opposite side (Fig. 1 on right). This can also be performed with one knee on a pillow on the floor and one foot forward on the floor, while keeping all other directions the same as noted above (Fig. 2a and 2b on right).

1 2a 2b
Groin Stretch - Laying on Back

Lay on back with one knee to chest while other leg hangs down off end of table. Have someone assist you by applying pressure into the leg hanging to increase the downward stretch. After 5-10 seconds isometrically lift leg up against the resistance and hold this resisted lift for 5 seconds. Release pressure and allow leg to hang lower. Repeat 3-5 times. Stretch is felt in groin.

Proper Sit-ups "Crunches"

Knees straight or hanging off a bench (Don't bend knees to flex hips!). Flatten lower back and tuck chin. Tighten abdominals and raise upper body until the scapula is up, then relax and lower body. Repeat at angles lifting to each side to strenghth obliques.

Knee to Chest Flat Back (For Spondy's)

Just as it's described, stay in this position keeping back flat for 1-3 minutes.

Leg Release (Upper, Lower, ITB, Ankle)

While seated apply moderate pressure by the pads of your fingers and thumbs into the muscles just above and to the side of the knee. While maintaining pressure slowly straighten and lower the leg. With each movement of the leg, change your point of pressure so that you cover all the soft tissues from the hip to the knee. Repeat this on the inside of the leg. On the lower leg muscles the only change is that instead of raising and lowering the leg, you rotate the ankle clockwise and counterclockwise while keeping moderate amounts of finger-pad pressure into the muscles. This release can be modified by using a blunt object such as a bottle to create and maintain pressure rather than your fingers which may get fatigued.

Hamstring Stretch (Hamstrings)

While laying on your back extend your right leg through a door way and raise the left leg up on the wall. Point your toes to the right and attempt to straighten the knee of the left leg. Hold this stretch for 1 minute then point your toes straight and repeat for another minute then point your toes left and repeat for another minute. You can increase the intensity by moving your buttocks adjacent the while straightening your knee. The stretch should be felt in the back of the leg through all 4 heads of the hamstrings repeat on the other side.

Stair Step Stretch
(Gastroc, Soleus, Achilles Tendon)

While stabilizing yourself on a sturdy wall or rail, stand erect and allow your heels to overhang on a step. Push your heels down as far as your can and hold the position for 1 full minute. Avoid pushing up on your toes, as this will be counter productive for the muscles being stretched. Stretch should be felt in the back of the lower leg.

Side Neck Stretch - 4 Positions
(Upper Trap, Levator, Scalenes)

While holding the backside of a chair with left hand lean to the right allowing your head and neck to stretch. You Should feel a stretch down the side of your neck into your shoulder. With light pressure gently pull your head towards your right knee with your right hand. The stretch should now move to the back of the neck into the shoulder/upper back region. With an equal amount of resistance isometrically lift your head into your right hand and feel a light muscular contraction in the left side of your neck and shoulder. Relax and lower your head towards your chest then slowly roll your head to the opposite side and repeat.

Fist Rib Release (Scalenes)

With hands overlapped apply moderate fingertip pressure into the top of the shoulder closest the base and side of your neck. Gently tilt your head towards your hands and as your shoulder softens under you finger take up the slack with more overpressure. Maintain this new pressure and gently tilt your head away. Repeat 3-5 times then roll your shoulder backward and down then relax. Repeat on the other side.

Chin Tuck (Suboccipitals, Deep Neck Flexors)

It's basically just what it's called. Look at yourself from the side and if you are like 95% of the population you will see your head jutting out in front of your shoulders. This plays a roll in head aches, neck and shoulder pain as well as arm and back fatigue. The key in this exercise is to not bring the chin down but to truly retract it straight back while holding the shoulders back and down in a neutral position. You can add resistance by doing this exercise in the car against the headrest or against the wall with a pillow or ball between your head and the wall surface.

Funky Chicken (Same as Chin Tuck Muscles)

The same as the "Chin Tuck" with some motion added. Start this exercise in the chin-retracted position and with your shoulders back together and down then glide your chin straight forward and then retract again. Next, glide your chin forward and to the right then retract and repeat to the left. This movement will help to enhance normal motion in the cervical vertebra as well as relax tight neck muscles.

Chin Tuck Head Lift (Deep Neck Flexors)

While laying on back tuck your chin as much as possible (give yourself a double chin). Hold this position while gradually lifting head up off the table and hold for 3-5 seconds. Slowly lower, release and relax. Repeat until first sign of fatigue.

Reverse Shoulder Roll (Rhomboids, Serratus, Levator)

Using tubing that is firmly attached to a fixed object pull back allowing your scapula to come together. Hold this position for 5 seconds. While holding your scapula together slowly raise your shoulders into a shrug then roll backwards and down then relax and allow your arms to extend forward. Repeat.

Doorway Stretch (Pectorals)

Standing in a doorway with your arms out like a field goal post allow your hands and arms to rest in the door frame and lean forward. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds then relax and repeat 3 times. Next, do the same stretch with your arms elevated 45 degrees. This is felt in the chest and front of the shoulder.

Forearm / Wrist Release (Forearm Extensor / Flexors)

"Play your arm like a guitar!" Hold your left forearm in your right hand with your fingers on the outside of the arm closest the elbow. Apply moderate pressure into the muscles until you find potentially tender nodular-like tissue. Next roll the wrist around slowly either direction and feel the muscle move under your fingers. It may become more tender as you move due to the pressure on trigger points that become exposed as your wrist moves the muscles and this is O.K. Gradually move your fingers down your forearm towards the wrist while maintaining constant pressure. Then start over again in another spot on the arm until you cover the entire forearm. Repeat with the other side. If you find that your hand applying pressure gets fatigued then use a blunt object like a bottle to make the contact.

Shoulder Stretch - External Rotation

Begin with arm outstretched and braced against a fixed surface and elbow pointed down to "lock" arm into place. Take your opposite hand and in a "rake" like fashion place your fingers into the intercostal space (space between the ribs) and apply light pressure to begin the stretch. While maintaining finger pressure into the ribs rotate your torso away from the stationary outstretched arm and turn your head away as well to increase stretch. Repeat several times sufficient to cover the entire rib cage from back to front and top to bottom. Time the stretches to coincide with deep slow breaths so the rib cage expands and relaxes while rotating the torso.

Shoulder Stretch - Internal Rotation

With arm overhead in a 90° bent position lean into a wall or door frame and lock the arm and elbow into place with your head. With your opposite hand apply pressure into the locked arm and gently push it forward. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times. Stretch is felt in a band along top of shoulder.

Overhead Shoulder Stretch

Stretch Grasp the wrist of one arm that is raised over your head. While gently pulling on your wrist provide resistance by attempting to lift your elbow up to the ceiling. To accomplish this your body must lean to the side. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times. Stretch is felt in armpit and shoulder blade.

Shoulder Distraction with Whole Arm Rotation

While holding a weighted object of about 10-15 pounds lean away so you can feel a stretch in the side of the neck into the top of the shoulder and it should feel as though your shoulder is gently being pulled down and out of its socket (Its not really being pulled out of socket we are just trying to distract the joint to give it some room to restore motion and decrease inflammation).  After you are comfortable that the arm can stretch no further begin to gently turn the entire arm by rotating your hand that is holding the weight or tube.  Rotate in and out repeatedly 5-10 times then relax and repeat 3 times.  Key point is to not shrug the shoulder!  It must stay relaxed and down throughout the entire movement.

Shoulder Distraction with Full Arm Circling ("Modified Codmans Arm Circle")

With weight in one arm (10-15 pounds) lean towards weighted side so you can feel the top of the shoulder depress and it should feel as though your shoulder is gently being pulled down and out of its socket (Its not really being pulled out of socket we are just trying to distract the joint to give it some room to restore motion and decrease inflammation).  After you are comfortable that the arm can stretch no further towards the floor begin to gently turn the entire arm by rotating the entire arm in small circles.  This motion should occur without any effort on the upper arm and in fact the arm should be relaxed enough to be blown back and forth in a strong wind.   Rotate in circles clockwise and counter clockwise repeatedly 5-10 times then relax and repeat 3 times.  Key point is to not shrug the shoulder!  It must stay relaxed and down throughout the entire movement.  Also your body should be tilted sideways or slightly forward but without much effort to maintain balance.

Anterior Shoulder / Pectoral and Rib Cage Stretch

Begin with arm outstretched and braced against a fixed surface and elbow pointed down to "lock" arm into place. Take your opposite hand and in a "rake" like fashion place your fingers into the intercostal space (space between the ribs) and apply light pressure to begin the stretch.  While maintaining finger pressure into the ribs rotate your torso away from the stationary outstretched arm and turn your head away as well to increase stretch.  Repeat several times sufficient to cover the entire rib cage from back to front and top to bottom.  Time the stretches to coincide with deep slow breaths so the rib cage expands and relaxes while rotating the torso.

Draw Alphabet With Foot & Ankle

While seated rest the lower leg so that the calf muscle is being pressed into by the knee-cap. Once you have a "feel" for the pressure into the muscle belly start to rotate the ankle such that the muscle on the back of the leg gets "kneaded" or "massaged" by the pressure of the kneecap. Allow the leg to glide up and down as you do this to cover as much of the muscle as possible. This process can also be done by hand by hold the leg and pressing the thumbs into the muscle while performing the same ankle rotation.

Draw Alphabet with foot