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A theoretical model for exercise progressions as part of a complex rehabilitation programme design
  1. Sam Blanchard1,
  2. Philip Glasgow2
  1. 1 Scottish Rugby Union, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2 Sports Institute, Ulster University, Newtownabbey, Antrim, UK
  1. Correspondence to Sam Blanchard, Academy Clinical Lead Physiotherapist, Scottish Rugby Union. BT Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Scotland. EH12 5P; sam.blanchard{at}

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Clear clinical reasoning relating to appropriate progression and regression of rehabilitation is essential to achieve positive clinical outcomes. A theoretical model to assist practitioners in this respect has previously been described.1 This model (figure 1) provides a visual means for clinicians to represent modification of rehabilitation stimuli with regard to progression of a single exercise.

Figure 1

A theoretical model to describe progressions and regressions for exercise rehabilitation.1

In brief, the model encourages clinicians to regress modifiable variables within an exercise (eg, sets, reps, speed) to facilitate effective introduction of external stimuli or a change of environment. While useful as a reference for clinicians on progression of single exercises, the original model is limited in its ability to describe progressions within a multidimensional rehabilitation programme. The model suggests that a patient must be able to fully execute each stage of an exercise progression before the reintroduction of previously learnt components. In practice, rehabilitation is rarely linear with many …

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  • Contributors SB was responsible for the development of the concept, authorship and development of the manuscript. PG contributed significantly toward the drafting and revision of the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.