Posts Tagged ‘Anthony Carey’

The Core-Tex buzz continues…..

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

This past week I was invited by one of the top orthopedic groups in San Diego to give a demonstration of the Core-Tex for their physical therapists. As mentioned in a previous post, the fitness industry is chomping at the bit for the Core-Tex to be available. And it will be soon.

But this was the first demo for physical therapists only. What was supposed to be a 15:00 introduction and demonstration for 6 therapists, turned into an hour and half with about 20 more therapists, assistants and several patients getting in on the act.

The Core-Tex is one of those pieces of equipment that you just can’t ignore. If you see it, first you see the fun. But then through exploration and a little instruction, the incredible therapeutic value becomes apparent.

This group liked it so much they are interested in doing a study using a population with a specific lower extremity injury and comparing the benefits of the Core-Tex to an existing protocol. Obviously, it is very rewarding when others see the value.

We believe the Core-Tex has as much value to the rehabilitation field as it does to the fitness and sports performance fields. If you have any questions on the Core-Tex or would like to be on the Core-Tex interest list, email:

The Core-Tex is a hit!

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

I just recently attended the IHRSA convention here in San Diego.  IHRSA is the largest fitness equipment trade show/convention in North America.  This show was the first time that I publicly demonstrated the invention that my good friend Olden Carr and I developed.

The Core-Tex was an amazing hit.  I couldn’t believe the response we got. Olden and I had been working on this project for many years never really giving it the effort it deserved.  We recently picked up the pace and had a pre-production prototype ready for this show.  And was it worth it!

We should have units available for retail in mid May.  Watch for the Core-Tex to be rated as one of the most innovative products for 2008.

If you want to see a couple of video clips of me using it, you can find them here on the Function First web site.

Corrective Exercise is Functional

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

I’ve just submitted a HUGE article to titled “Corrective Exercise is Functional”. It was so big they have decided to divide it into 3 articles.

I’m really excited about this article and the justification I make for the need and role of corrective exercise in the total continuum of training….even for uninjured athletes.

The first part of the series should be online February 1st.

The article is certainly going to ruffle a few feathers. And this is a good thing.

We should all be open to challenging the thoughts and convictions of one another for the purpose of expanding our own knowledge.

If you’re not a member of, remember you can get a discount by going to the Function First sign up page:

Stay tuned…..

My perspective on the BOSU

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

Some of you may be familiar with the sarcastic remark I make on occasion about those in our industry that feel functional training means doing a one-legged stance on a Dynadisc or BOSU with the eyes closed, singing the Star Spangled Banner while holding a puppy overhead. If taken the wrong way, you might think I was anti balance devices. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.In fact, the inventor of the BOSU, my friend Dave Weck was at a talk I was doing here in San Diego in the spring. I made a similar comment regarding the puppy, etc. and Dave called me out on it. It was then that I realized that there might be a perception that I was not a fan of the BOSU or other air balance devices.

Dave is helping me with the development of my own balance device (and there is NOTHING like it available!). During a visit, Dave asked me to put my perspective down on paper. He asked me because there are hard line trainers and coaches out there that have put out a lot of negative comments about the BOSU. Which is absolutely ridiculous. So they following article is what I wrote putting things in perspective.


A BOSU Believer


Anthony Carey M.A., CSCS, CES

Function First

If you are a personal trainer, strength coach, athletic trainer or physical therapist, then you are also an environmentalist. Maybe not the recycling kind, but you are an environmentalist nonetheless. Webster defines environmentalist as “one concerned about environmental quality especially of the human environment”.

In this context we are not talking about air, water or trees. We are talking about the environment that you create to maximize your client’s function, performance and reduce their chances of injury.

The environment must match the goals and needs of your client or athlete. That’s why we don’t train our running athletes on their backs or our seniors with depth jumps. But the environment also must provide a way to challenge the body outside of its normal operating environment because that is where injury typically occurs.

Some in the health and fitness industry have polarized philosophies of training. On one end of the spectrum are those that believe either traditional machine and/or Olympic style lifting is the only way to go. On the other end are those that believe that every exercise must be triplaner and performed in an unstable environment.

Who is right? Neither. If you agree with the previous statement “…the environment that you create to maximize your client’s function, performance and reduce their chances of injury”, you can not justify either position exclusively.

Those that are anti training on unstable apparatus inevitably refer to the naïve professional they have witnessed who has their client/athlete doing an exercise on a BOSU that the client can not perform successfully on solid ground. And they make a valid point. That environment is not appropriate for that client at that time.

But to disregard the benefits of the BOSU is also naïve. If the body is not challenged outside its current modus operandi or “M.O.” via the training environment, when it does venture there out of necessity or as the result of the current environment (i.e. change in playing surface, opponents, momentum, etc.), the body is predisposed to injury.

Consider the linebacker whose training regime consists of traditional Olympic power lifts and plyometrics. Both of which are essential to power development necessary for the sport. All of these are movements in which the athlete has prior knowledge (feedforward) of where his base of support is or will land. He also has prior knowledge of where his center of gravity (COG) is based either on his current starting or landing position or as a result of the external weight of the barbell. And he has prior knowledge of the consistency of support surface he is training on in the facility.

Now consider that same linebacker who is engaging blockers while moving, who must control his COG in three dimensional space while working to overcome the mass and momentum of his opponents all with unpredictable arrangements of his body parts. These are situations that no Olympic lift or plyometric exercise can produce. The shear number of variables and combinations of situations make it impossible to physically train the body in every potential scenario.

Therefore, the next best thing is to train the body’s systems that will be expected to gather and interpret changes in the environment to give the body and opportunity to produce, reduce or control forces as necessary. That’s where the BOSU comes in. The BOSU demands that the user make use of the body’s three primary feedback mechanisms for the purpose of controlling it’s COG. These include:

     1. Somatosensory (muscles spindles, golgi tendon organs, joint mechanoreceptors, and cutaneus receptors)

    2. Visual

    3. Inner ear

It then requires the body to integrate the gathered information into an appropriate motor response (sensorimotor integration). If the body does not elicit the appropriate motor response or does not illicit the response fast enough, the user’s COG will be disrupted and they fall off of the BOSU or over correct with inefficient motions.

Many people view the BOSU strictly as a lower body (when standing on it) balance device using the somatosensory receptors. But it will also effect the visual feedback as the user’s gaze fixation is disrupted during involuntary shifts in the COG. The same will produce motion of the head that requires input from the inner ear as well. Neither of which are adequately challenged using Olympic lifts or even plyometrics.

The BOSU is an environment. And it is an environment that is a progression from solid ground and can be a progression from uniplaner balance devices. Although the BOSU surface does not reproduce the base of support for most activities, it does provide an environment to challenge and enhance the sensorimotor mechanisms at work on the ground.

Can anyone really argue that improving one’s reaction time, proprioceptive awareness and activation rate of stabilizing muscles is not beneficial? Of course not. But can they argue that the progressions to the BOSU ball or while on the BOSU are at times inappropriately applied? Absolutely.

To borrow a slang saying, “don’t hate the player, hate the game”.

I believe that we should never lose perspective on the roll of the BOSU or any other training device or environment. We use them. They don’t use us. They are a means to an end. If we attempt to structure any exercise program around a piece of equipment, the equipment is using us.

Anthony Carey M.A., CSCS, CES is the CEO of Function First in San Diego, CA. He has been using his approach to functional corrective exercise for the past 16 years helping people feel and function better.

Anthony Carey’s welcome post

Monday, November 5th, 2007

One of the major reasons I wanted to start a blog for health pros is because I know that if you are reading this than you want to hear what my therapists and I have to say. You can look forward to technical posts from myself, Adrienne Navarra and Zac Marshall. You can also look forward to a little controversy.

We don’t plan to appease everyone with what we will be posting. Understand that we will be sharing our thoughts on what works for our clientèle. This will not mesh with everyone. And that is OK. At that same time, I don’t plan to be some arrogant SOB who is going to hide behind a blog to get things off of my chest.

Those of you that know me know how much I respect the work and efforts of so many other people in the field. I don’t agree with them all. But I respect them.

So this is going to be fun.

Anthony Carey M.A., CSCS, CES