#PTonICE Daily Show – Monday, June 10th, 2024 – Pelvic workshop excellence

In today’s episode of the PT on ICE Daily Show, #ICEPelvic faculty member Shaelyn Sharbutt makes her debut on the podcast, discussing how to execute a successful pelvic workshop geared toward coaches.

Take a listen to learn how to better serve this population of patients & athletes or check out the full show notes on our blog at www.ptonice.com/blog.

If you’re looking to learn more about our live pregnancy and postpartum physical therapy courses or our online physical therapy courses, check our entire list of continuing education courses for physical therapy including our physical therapy certifications by checking out our website. Don’t forget about all of our FREE eBooks, prebuilt workshops, free CEUs, and other physical therapy continuing education on our Resources tab.

Are you looking for more information on how to keep lifting weights while pregnant? Check out the ICE Pelvic bi-weekly newsletter!


Hey everybody, Alan here, Chief Operating Officer at ICE. Thanks for listening to the PT on ICE Daily Show. Before we jump into today’s episode, let’s give a big shout out to our show sponsor, Jane. in online clinic management software and EMR. The Jane team understands that getting started with new software can be overwhelming, but they want you to know that you’re not alone. To ensure the onboarding process goes smoothly, Jane offers free data imports, personalized calls to set up your account, and unlimited phone, email, and chat support. With a transparent monthly subscription, you’ll never be locked into a contract with Jane. If you’re interested in learning more about Jane or you want to book a personalized demo, head on over to jane.app.switch. And if you do decide to make the switch, don’t forget to use our code ICEPT1MO at sign up to receive a one month free grace period on your new Jane account.

What is up? Good morning and welcome to the PT on Ice daily show. My name is Dr. Shae Sharbutt and I am on faculty for the pelvic division here at ICE. Today we’re going to talk a little bit about doing a workshop for local fitness professionals and coaches based around pelvic floor issues. So this is really important because so many of those people’s clients will either put their memberships on pause or stop working out completely during this new phase of life. They’re trying to navigate it. Maybe it’s their first time being pregnant or their first time being postpartum. and they might not have a pelvic floor specialist friend or a good provider telling them that it’s okay to do these things. They might have a really good relationship with their coaches and so this is going to be the first person they talk to about these things.

So typically whenever I first start talking to a gym, I will contact the gym directly, either their gym manager or their gym owner or their head coach about the interest that they might have in a workshop like this. We can DM, we can email, and you might even have a close enough relationship to text these people, but it’s really best if you can get a meeting face-to-face and build that relationship. This not only gets that gym owner or that head coach super excited about what you’re going to tell them, but it also lets them see the value that you’re going to bring the other coaches and their members. So whenever you go to have this sit-down conversation, it’s best to be prepared. I always have a PowerPoint or a presentation to give to these coaches when I do these, and I’ll bring that along to that meeting with that gym owner or head coach to kind of show them what to expect from this workshop. It helps them feel a little better prepared, know what kind of equipment I’ll need before I teach their coaches, and how much space I’m going to take up. It’s then important to make sure that they understand that it needs to be during a time when we don’t have open gym going on and we don’t have class times going on. Maybe see what time of the gym is the least busy and they can block off a schedule and say, hey guys, we’re trying to get our coaches the best education we can. Please don’t come to the gym from this time to this time this Sunday. Have them kind of plan that ahead for their members. And that way the coaches can focus everything on what you’re saying and what you’re teaching them. And then they’re not distracted by gym members working out or maybe wanting to cue somebody’s lift in a corner or what have you.

So whenever you’re creating content for this workshop, you really need to think about what these people do. Are you going to a CrossFit gym? Are you working with contact sport athletes like in a martial arts gym or a jiu-jitsu gym? Is there going to be running involved? Are there gymnastics movements being educated? Are there heavy barbells that people are getting under. You really need to understand what these people are doing day in and day out to be able to educate their coaches on progressions and regressions. So this should really be a community that you’re involved in and that you understand what they’re doing and those coaches are going to respect you even more if you’re involved. So from there, we want three main things for our pelvic floor workshops for these coaches.

The first thing is a little bit of background. Most people don’t even know that they have a pelvic floor, let alone that they can struggle with issues with this area of their body. So give these coaches a little bit of background. Educate them on these muscles. It doesn’t have to be a full-blown anatomy lecture. Nobody wants to sit through that except maybe a nerdy PT student. But make sure that you give them a little bit of background. Maybe you show them a couple photos of what the pelvic floor muscles look like. Maybe you whip out a model. But if you can relate that back to something they’re familiar with, like hip structure, hip and glute muscles, core canister, maybe some abdominal muscles, that’ll kind of relate it back to things that they cue day in and day out and are way more familiar with. From there you want to give a background also on symptoms that they might have their clients complaining about in the gym. So a lot of CrossFit coaches are going to understand that there are women who leak with double unders and running and lifting, but maybe educate them on some abdominal pain, maybe educate them heaviness in that vaginal region. Really make sure that they understand that these symptoms are not the same for everybody and that points of performance are most important and we’ll get to that here in a second. But giving that background and giving some symptoms to look out for can be really helpful.

Part two of the pelvic floor workshop, you want to make sure that you give good demonstrations. So let’s say for example, I’m in a CrossFit space and we’re talking about pull-up regressions and progressions throughout pregnancy and postpartum. If I’m talking about a banded pull-up, I’m going to take out my band and I’m going to show them different variations of a banded pull-up. I’m going to show them what I like even more, a toe spot pull-up or a low bar pull-up. we’re going to go over points of performance, we’re going to talk about engaging the lats, we’re going to talk about holding that nice hollow body position, and cues that we might give someone who has a baby in their belly, such as hug baby or pull baby close to your spine, and then have the coaches practice that with each other. So, demonstrations are super important. Have them watch you set it up. And from there, you want to have a discussion and get their minds thinking about when they would use these different variations. So, if we’re going to stick on this pull-up progression example, let’s say that we’re talking about a workout being done in class FRAN. That’s a great, easy example. So for those of you that don’t know, FRAN is a 21-15-9 of thrusters and pull-ups. Let’s say I give them an example like someone is five months pregnant. It’s their first pregnancy. They’re having some uncomfortable stretching on the abdominal region. They don’t like it. They are really good at kipping at baseline, but doing that large kip is really bothering them. What kind of scale would you give them? Question these coaches, ask them these questions and get their brains thinking and have them think through some different variations that they would use. It’s also important to teach these coaches and have them think about timeline. So you don’t want the time domain for this pregnant or postpartum athlete to be vastly different than everybody else in class. So if she can’t do strict pull-ups or it would take her forever to do strict pull-ups and this Fran workout is taking people in class five minutes or less, what variation could we give her? What rep scheme could we give her to give her the similar stimulus to the rest of class and make her feel involved? So having the coaches build this discussion with each other and get out of their comfort zone from their typical scaling options can be super fun and helpful. Also lets it be a little bit more active. From there, I typically get a million more questions about specific movements. So, be prepared to answer questions about rowing. Be prepared to answer questions about going upside down. Maybe they’ll ask you about bench press. Not only laying on their back, but getting up from that bench press and not being uncomfortable. They’re always going to ask about core exercises. So have things ready, have examples ready to go for more demonstrations, but really make it a discussion and that’ll be a lot more fun and involved of a seminar. So, that’s part two we covered. Part one being give a little bit of background. Part two being some good demonstrations and examples of class workouts.

Part three that you want to make sure you get is the coaches doing these things. Get them involved. Get them moving. We already talked about it a little bit with pull-ups But if we’re talking impact progressions make every coach in there get their plate out and they’re gonna do toe taps with you Make sure they’re coaching each other through different breathing techniques under load and then from there on We’re always talking about hashtag be about it here at ICE. Get a group workout going. Have everyone have to choose a variation that they normally wouldn’t do, a scaled option that they normally wouldn’t do. Some of our coaches are games athletes and they’re fantastic coaches and they’re fantastic athletes, but they’ve never had to do a toe spot pull up in their life. Have them practice toe spot pull-ups in a workout. It is hard. Have them practice that form. Have other coaches pick them apart, just like they would any of their other clients. That can be a super fun way for them to practice their coaching skills, but also feel what it’s supposed to feel like. And then they can imagine, man, if I had a big old belly with a baby in it, how hard would this movement be? So that can be super fun as well. So lastly, you want to make sure that you feel comfortable being the subject matter expert. Don’t be ashamed to refer to yourself as the expert in your field. You want to make sure these coaches have someone to ask, someone to talk to. someone to send their clients to that they don’t feel comfortable modifying their workouts or they have more questions that are just out of their scope. It’s okay to be the subject matter expert. It’s okay to know what you’re doing. I think sometimes we apologize for that and we just need to be confident and know that we’re the person that they should refer to. We are the fitness forward professional and we are in it with them. We understand what these mamas want to do. So make sure you’re cool with being the referral source for these coaches.

Guys, thanks for listening. Our next cohort for level one, if you want to learn more from your pelvic crew, that is in July, and then that’s selling out really fast. Make sure you also get signed up for level two if you’ve already done a level one. We’re wrapping up a level one right now, so you know those people are going to hop on that level two as soon as they’re done. They’re all fired up. And then lastly, We have a live course in Cincy, Ohio. Get signed up for that as well. We love the live course. We go over in detail a lot of the variations of progressions and regressions I just discussed. So if you’re not comfortable with that, sign up for that Cincy course. We can’t wait to see you there. And if you need even more info, get on our pelvic newsletter. It is a blast and it is best practice. So that’s sent out every month. We will talk to you guys soon.

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