No More Injuries For Me-Our Sports Performance Training Program Builds Stronger, Faster , More Bulletproof Athletes

Core Training Alone Won't Save You - Athletes Need A Well Designed Plan To Perform At Their Peak

By: Ethan Banning
Certified Structural Health Specialist, and Certified Strength Coach
Human Performance
January 26, 2020

Many years ago, when I became a collegiate strength coach, I worked to develop a system that could be consistently implemented and would elicit results every time.

I'd been using principles like this for years, but it wasn't until I read Mike Robertson's seven R's of program design that I was able to put into words, what my athletes had been doing. After reading Mike's article, I began working with Joe cannon of the Carolina Panthers. Joe, or big house as he's known around the world, developed a similar type of program. Based on these experiences, I developed my program called the 10 R's. Let me tell you a little bit about what I mean.

R-1 is Release
Release is the beginning of each training session.

We have our athletes use a number of different implements in an effort to increase blood flow by adding barrier trigger points within muscle fibers, reduce muscle tightness, decrease tone of overactive muscles and improve the quality of tissue extension and pliability.

This helps improve mobility, range of motion and ultimately improve the quality of an athlete's movement. One way to increase the intensity of release is by increasing the density of the rolling implement. This can be done by moving from a foam roller to a more rigid implement like a PVC pipe, or by exchanging a tennis ball for lacrosse ball. Another way to increase the intensity of release is by decreasing the size of the rolling implement an example this might be going from a medicine ball to a softball and then a lacrosse ball.

Foam Roll To Release And Prepare

To begin the release protocol, I suggest between 30 and 90 seconds per area or body part and try to relax the tissue that is lying on the roller enough that we can "untie the knot" so to speak.  If an area is particularly tight, a little longer period might be necessary. If It's not bad, then take a shorter period of time. Move on to the next body part and do so accordingly at each spot.

The key here is to allow the tissue to relax and let the implement do the work by spending more time on the tighter areas and less time on the areas that aren't so tight. A great way to do your foam roll pattern is by beginning at the feet and working your way up to the head. You can learn more about our release protocol, along with all of our sports performance programming at the link here

R-2 Resets Improve Joint Mobility
Reset movements are designed to activate or turn on certain muscles deactivate or turn off certain muscles and improve mobility and specific joints of the body.

For mobility, we want to increase blood flow, take the joints through range of motion, and prepare the whole body for the ballistic movement to come in the upcoming workout session. Muscle activation and deactivation are done using specific isolated movements designed to turn on or off muscles to improve your functional movement. To have proper and efficient joint motion, every movement requires the muscles involved to do work together with some of the muscles firing while the opposing group relaxes in a harmonious relationship known as inter-muscular coordination. The targeted muscles are those important to posture stability, and force production.

These resets should be done with relatively low exertion in an attempt to improve the synergistic qualities of your muscles before load is applied or explosive movement is required in the session. To learn more about my reset series, go to and click on our human performance page.

Are You Ready For Explosive Movement?

R-3 Readiness

Let's Get Ready To Work

This is where we begin to ramp up the nervous system and really prepare the body for the rigors of the upcoming training session. During readiness portion, we use a series of exercises and movements for dynamic mobility and transients skill development that some people might call a dynamic warm-up. These drills are integral components for injury prevention, as they help the athlete protect against low back dysfunction and hamstring overcompensation.  They're also super important to develop and improve posture and position by teaching athletes how to keep the pelvis in a neutral position while extending at the hip and maintaining upright posture like they need to do in their sports.

The emphasis of proper linear lateral and jumping mechanics done in our readiness portion of the 10R's are key elements that will improve movement literacy and ultimately make you the highest functioning most explosive, bulletproof athlete you can be.

R-4 is for Root
Core Training Develops A Strong Trunk

Root is the core or trunk of the body. The root is like a cylinder that wraps around the circumference of the body from mid thigh to the sternum line. Think of it like the trunk of a tree. It's the part that ties the branches to the roots. In this example the tree's trunk has be strong on all sides keep the tree from falling over against the wind. Just like the route ties together our upper body to our lower body.

Well Designed Core Training Will Help You Develop A Trunk Like An Oak. That said, the root must be developed in multiple planes of movement using a variety of attack angles with both dynamic and isometric components. To make sure that our athletes are best prepared for the explosive movement of sport, I break the route down into different categories like trunk flexion, trunk extension, lateral trunk, flexion, trunk rotation, anti-rotation, or any combination of these patterns.

Even a car with a huge tires and a powerful engine can't go anywhere without a strong transmission that efficiently transfers power from the engine to the tires. Just like that car. We've got to have a strong roots transfer our power efficiently produced force. Learn more about the route series, go to elite athletes TV com, they click on the video links on Route program.

R-5 Reactive
Plyometric Training Will Develop More Ballistic Athletes

Reactive or jump training is my explosive plyometric program. The term plyometrics are also known as "the shock method." They were developed in Russia in the late 1960's and early 70's.  Implementation into the Russian Olympic training programs are a large part of why the former Soviet Union was so successful in international competition.

During the reactive portion of training athletes will improve their overall jumping and explosive ability and prevent injury by learning proper jump mechanics, including; landing, hinging, applying and absorbing force.  Well designed exercises engage the muscles to exert maximum force in short bursts. They increase efficiency through inter-muscular coordination with the goal of increasing power (speed-strength). Muscles are forced to extend and cont and move between both states in a rapid or "explosive" manner. Plyometric training is essential to athletes in almost every sport.  My R-5 Reactive training implements a variety of different jump patterns and styles for maximum benefit to the athlete.

R-6  is redirect
Learning To Redirect Momentum Is Essential In Sports Performance Training. It's Also A Great Way To Prevent Injury.

Our redirection training develops the athletes ability to change direction laterally and then stop, stick and stabilize. ADR or acceleration, deceleration, reacceleration are some of the most important components of sports performance.

Take for example, a basketball player that's driving to the basket. If the ball gets stolen, everyone on the court must redirect their bodies to the other end of the court. If they're unbalanced or inefficient at these types of movements, they will never be as good as they could be. Deceleration is major contributing factor for many sports injuries. Our Redirection training helps an athlete improve physically through muscle adaptation as well as mentally. By presenting the athlete with proper strategies, solutions and techniques for the rigors placed on them in their sport we keep the athlete safer and help prevent injuries.

R-7 Is Rapidness
I Feel The Need For Speed!

This segment of my program develops the athlete's ability to sprint efficiently and explosively. Everybody knows the faster the athlete, the more likely they will succeed at their sport. The most important factor in sprint performance is the ability to quickly apply force to the ground. Studies show that faster runners apply greater amounts of force into the ground with briefer foot-strikes .As part of the program we increase each athletes linear speed and explosiveness by teaching them how to properly punch and drive so that they can effectively apply force into the ground, quickly and efficiently, to propel themselves faster.

We focus hard on force production and force application during R-7 as they are the quickest way to improve speed.  Just like all of our training we use various implements and strategies to introduce and refine proper mechanics. However, we also work on turnover and stride length as they all contribute to faster sprinting.

R-8  Resistance Training

Pardon Me, Where's The Weight Room?

The term resistance training signifies any form of exercise that forces your skeletal muscle to contract against a load. Many people refer to this as strength training or lifting weights. It's a huge component of my program. Resistance exercises can be external or internal in nature.

External resistance exercise is one that uses the application of additional load to increase the athletes contract against a load.  Barbells, dumbbells, and kettle bells all fall into this category.  Implements like bands and chains also have a place in resistance training to help build a well rounded athlete.  I have a massive selection of exercises to chose from in my programs at . Click Here To Check them Out.  

Internal loading works on the same process as external loads, however, rather than using external implements the athlete is lifting their own body weight .  Often times we use both external and internal loads during our workouts. It's an excellent addition to our training program to create synergy and balance.  It's also an excellent choice that's well suited for younger athletes and athletes that haven't attained the prerequisite strength necessary to move heavier external loads.  We often use internal loads as a regression for athletes that are working through sports injuries to maintain movement patterns and promote healing as well.

Each type of load is designed to increase muscular strength, endurance, mass and tone while improving lean body mass. Once again, we use a variety of movement patterns and lifts to facilitate maximum benefit and development in our athletes by further developing the structures to improve performance and prevent injury.

R-9  Regenerate
Recharge Your Battery

Regeneration from exercise and stress is an integral component of my training program. It's essential for optimal performance and sustainable improvement.  After all, it's hard to perform at even your normal state if you are stressed, malnourished or tired.  Your body reacts by protecting vital systems like heart, respiratory and brain functions at the expense of less critical concerns, like gaining muscle.  

Think of regeneration in terms of a bank account.

If you are depositing less than you are taking out than soon you'll be overdrawn.  If your deposits and withdrawals are equal then you will remain in a state of stasis or equilibrium.  It's only when you are depositing more than you're spending that you can see the fruits of your labor grow and prosper.  It is the same with the body.  If the rate of regeneration is improved than higher training intensities and volumes are possible without the potential detrimental effects of over-training (deficit), so you can become an elite athlete. Regeneration includes proper nutrition, sleep and rest, while avoiding Nervous System stressors such as alcohol or drugs.  

Proper Nutrition Will Keep You Fueled up For Competition.

There are variables that can make an impact in terms of nutritional choices and sleeping habits. Loosely speaking, though,  the main focus of an athlete, unless they are actively trying to lose weight, should be on remaining above the deficit level on the nutritional side in order to reap the rewards of sports performance training. If they are trying to add muscle then a surplus of calories is necessary.

Sleep and rest should always be a priority.  Without proper sleep an athlete's performance, both mental and physical, can suffer substantially.  For that reason, I always recommend athletes get a minimum of 8 hours sleep per night and more when they are undertaking arduous training.

What if Sleep and Nutrition aren't enough?

R-10 recovery is for any athletes competing or training intensely. Recovery is also for anybody in chronic or acute pain. This could be manual therapy, hot or cold tub therapy, chiropractic, body tempering, It could be tool assisted facial abrasion or cryo therapy, or even deep tissue massage. It's a huge component of allowing the body and helping the body recover from training or any stimulus that's  giving it tension or tone for R-10 or recovery. We recommend the athletes think of their body like a race car. If you're going to run laps around the track and you race and race and race at some point you've got to go into the pits. Get the tires changed, change the oil, add fuel and make the adjustments necessary to keep the car on the track and winning. So we want to make sure that we provide those same types of tools for our athletes so they can recover and have regeneration. By helping athletes recover we help them compete in optimum condition in their sport.

As you can see there's a lot more to our Human Performance program than lifting a couple weights and doing some sprints.  The practice of sports medicine and the understanding of human physiology has come a long way in the last couple decades.  Our approach is to use cutting edge, science based, research paired with tried and true training practices in our programs.  At our mission is to help you be the best version of you so that you are able to become an elite athlete at your sport.


Coach Ethan Banning

Elite Athletes TV Coach Ethan Banning comes with a unique set of skills that was built from his sports background.

As an 8 year pro in Arena Football League (AFL)  Coach Banning won 3 world championships He kicked off his new career in human performance development with his company Triple Threat Performance in 2004. He quickly developed a no-holds-barred regimental human strength and conditioning methodology for the elite athlete from high school, collegiate to pro levels.  Banning is not only a coach.  

Banning, Whois a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS),  graduated with a Master’s in education from the Arizona State University outside of being a coach he is also an exceptional teacher for his athletes.

He was the Sports Performance Coordinator at Scottsdale Community College, overseeing all aspects of sports performance for 350 Student-athletes. In addition, he was a strength consultant for Major League Baseball developing, implementing and overseeing all aspects of player strength and power development for players from international countries. In 2008, Banning became the State Director of National Strength and Conditioning Association for AZ.

Joining Rehab Plus Physical Therapy as Elite Performance Coach in 2012, Banning oversaw strength and conditioning, performance training, speed, agility and structural balance. He was also the off-season assistant strength coach for NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Being only one of six strength and conditioning coaches to be a part of the MLB and the NFL.  

Currently he is the owner of Triple Threat Performance, in Scottsdale, AZ Where he functions both as a human performance coach and a Certified Structural Health Specialist. As such, he has trained a number of medical staffs in both MLB and the NFL on implementation of healing modalities and a variety of treatment techniques.