Exos recently made the news for its forward-thinking functional performance leadership within the fitness industry. Bloomberg published this article focusing on the benefits of “prehab,” movements that warm the body to prevent injury and support functional movement.
A Functional Movement “Aha” Moment
The Bloomberg article addressed the sudden influx of movement-related injuries and strain that the pandemic brought about. As more people worked from home and worked out at home, they found themselves battling pain and movement issues.
Now the idea of preventing those issues through a whole-person approach to performance is not only an Exos focus.
“It’s an idea whose time has come for the industry, but it’s not a new approach for Exos,” explained Jeff DiBiaso, Exos Vice President for Community Operations. “Our clients appreciate our focus on a holistic approach to movement. We move all day, every day, and our bodies need to be able to perform those movements efficiently.”
“That’s the essence of human performance, and it’s what we provide for everyone.”
Functional Performance for Everyone
In addition to providing training for elite professional athletes and teams, Exos manages sports performance training centers, community fitness centers, and physical therapy practices across the U.S. At every site, the focus on functional movement and injury prevention informs the movement plans Exos coaches and trainers provide for their clients.
Exos has developed a proven approach to improving human performance through four holistic pillars: mindset, nutrition, movement, and recovery. By starting every training or therapy relationship with an individual assessment that addresses the four pillars and several functional movement screenings, Exos coaches and therapists are able to identify disordered movement patterns that contribute to current and potential issues with pain and injury.
Welcome to What Works
Using this approach has helped Exos clients break cycles of chronic pain and reoccuring injury by solving the movement problem at its root cause. What’s even better is that Exos has been treating and preventing injuries this way for more than two decades.
Learn more about this iterative approach to holistic human performance and see why Exos best practices are becoming fitness industry best practices.
The Exos athletic performance focus is all about removing barriers to fitness self-actualization. For everyone.
Monument Health Sports Performance Institute in Rapid City, South Dakota, serves as a model for the future of human athletic performance training. Senior General Manager Sam Linart says the facility’s Launch Program is changing lives for the better – for good.
“Our Launch members may never have considered themselves athletes before,” Linart explained. “Or maybe they’re people who loved the gym at one time, but felt like they had to get in shape to get back to the gym.”
“Launch is for everyone, and the community response has been incredible.”
Launch makes fitness training accessible
Mike Latour, System Director of Musculoskeletal Services and Sports Medicine for Monument Health, said the initial goal with Launch was to provide a vehicle for integrating lifestyle medicine for Monument Health patients referred by their doctors and therapists.
“Launch members are coming back to the gym after a long time, or they may not have any fitness training experience,” Latour said. “They enter the program after being referred by physical therapists, physicians, or other members.”
“They stay because they can see and feel the results.”
With a huge and growing adult training population, Monument Health SPI has built a successful retention program focusing on providing a continuum of care that’s fully integrated with Monument Health medical care.
It’s more than personal training
“Launch is there for anyone,” Linart explained. “A typical workout incorporates body weight and light-weight movements for about 30 minutes in a small-group, coach-led session. It feels like personal training, but there’s an element of community camaraderie that’s essential to keeping members engaged.”
Launch participants are introduced to the full complement of Exos methodology, a little at a time. Coaches focus on teaching mindset, nutrition, movement, and recovery pillars in a way that’s immediately applicable to members.
“The classes focus on movement quality while building strength and cardiovascular health,” Linart continued. “While all four pillars play a role in the Launch program, the biggest take-away for most members is the mindset part. Their mindset shifts, they find their confidence, and believe in themselves, and they begin to see that they are capable of so much more than what they originally set out to accomplish walking through the doors.”
That’s why the Monument Health SPI program continues to grow.
Launching a Revolution at Monument Health
Monument members are able to take advantage of personal health coaching at any time during their Launch experience by signing up for Revolution.
The Revolution Program began as a 12-week virtual “conversation” about topics such as meal prep and building healthy habits. It’s now an in-person lifestyle discussion centered around building healthy habits.
Linart explained that a member might spend 3 months to a year in the Launch program, while Revolution is 3 months focused on behavior change. It can be combined with a training program to incorporate the movement pillar and, gradually, more challenging athletic performance training classes.
Both offerings are designed to remove barriers to entry for anyone interested in better overall health.
“Members move through Launch at their own pace,” Linart explained. “They work on building confidence and fitness, then move to Bridge or Return to Play, then adult performance training classes.”
Launch and Revolution membership continue to grow. With many people looking to re-engage in healthy habits they started – then lost – during the pandemic lock-downs, Linart says she doesn’t expect the hybrid introductory programs to be a passing phase. In fact, they’ve become a model for building community and engagement at similar Exos managed performance training sites.
“We currently serve 270 active adult performance members, and more than 45 youth and high school members,” she continued. “This is such a unique community, and the coaches really enjoy helping members achieve small victories and daily progress.”
“That’s what human performance is all about – getting better every day.”
About Monument Health Sports Performance
The Monument Health Sports Performance Institute teaches athletes, first responders, and community members behavioral health and lifestyle medicine. Exos Coaches and a Performance Dietitian offer individual and group training for members of all ages and physical abilities. Exos provides business consulting, staffing, membership, maintenance, community outreach, and ad hoc marketing support for the Monument Health System.
How Exos is taking this long-held belief, new insights, and an invigorated message to the world
By Jeff DiBiaso
Over the past 20 years, Exos has worked alongside some of the best athletes and teams in the world. This is our legacy.
What you might not know is that Exos has been bringing this same training behind the scenes to physical therapy patients, members at community centers, and employees at Fortune 100 companies. And now we want to move that front-of-scene.
So in late 2021 we unveiled the new Exos brand. Our goal: Bring Exos’ experience and insight to everyone, including you. After all, human performance is for everyone.
Here’s how we’re bringing this message and experience to the world.
1. Redefining how we talk about human performance
We’re still Exos. That will never change. But with our new brand, we’re redefining how we talk about human performance. As Exos has grown into the go-to training resource for the pros, performance training has naturally been elevated to elite-athlete status.
And elite athletes should expect elite training. But so should everyone else.
Our coaches recognize that there’s an athlete in everyone, and it’s one of the many reasons we believe in the four pillars of human performance: mindset, nutrition, movement, and recovery.
2. Sharing our four-pillar approach to human performance
Our four-pillar approach was designed using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which categorized human needs in order of importance. First up, physiological needs and safety. After that, love and belonging and esteem. Lastly, self-actualization.
Our cyclical approach helps fulfill these needs, leading to a better, stronger human.
Mindset impacts every aspect of life. At Exos we recognize that human performance limits are typically self-imposed, and through education and motivation our coaches can help break down barriers to physical improvement. With the right mindset, each person can reach higher than ever before.
Nutrition is one of the most basic human needs. And the brain and body requires the right fuel to perform its best. Exos coaches share how nutrition impacts performance and help implement small changes that can ladder up to any goal. This goes hand-in-hand with nutrition, as positive lifestyle change leads to improved performance.
Mindset and nutrition build a foundation for movement. And Exos coaches understand the importance of functional movement and injury risk reduction for better overall performance. This shows up in how they explain the principles of movement and improve movement through purposeful, progressive training.
Optimal human performance requires recovery. With quality sleep and muscle recovery, new levels of performance can be achieved. Our coaches recognize that recovery is equally as important as mindset, nutrition, and movement.
Our holistic approach hasn’t changed, it’s just evolved with research, insights, experience, and a more intentional focus.
3. Emphasizing self-actualization
Together the four pillars of human performance are the secret to self-actualization. Exos sees the hero that exists in every human, and we strive to help others achieve their full potential.
So now more than ever, whether you’re running a business, working on feeling better day to day, or looking to improve the health and performance of your local community, Exos is here for you. And our coaches are ready to champion anyone who’s looking for more.
Our message to the world: We’re here. When you’re ready, so are we. #ExosReady
When Katie Redmond* found herself battling chronic knee pain, her primary doctor recommended physical therapy. A quick search of her options turned up a nearby Exos Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine clinic. Having some familiarity with the Exos whole-person approach to performance due to her work in the fitness industry, she signed up.
“My biggest concern was getting back to normal,” Redmond said, admitting that she wasn’t keen on rearranging her daily work and family obligations for PT. “I knew something had to give, though. I was ready to do whatever it took to feel normal again.”
Building a workable therapy plan
What struck Redmond at her first appointment was the detail with which the therapist addressed all forms of movement. Using a proprietary Exos intake process, the physical therapist worked with Redmond to assess the health and range of motion of all her joints – including everything from her ankles to her thoracic spine and how they worked independently and in concert with other joints – in just 20 minutes.
“It really was phenomenal,” Redmond recalled. “I remember thinking that I should maybe point out it was my knee that hurt, but I was curious about what he would find with the assessment.”
Her patience and curiosity paid off. Through an interactive combination of Functional Movement Screening, traditional orthopedic tests, and the 21-step Exos Pillar Pre-Requisite Assessment, Redmond said her therapist found some movement restrictions in her hip and spine that were contributing to her nagging, recurrent knee pain issue.
“He explained everything so well that it made perfect sense,” she said. “In that first session, I learned a set of exercises I could do at home to improve the way I move so that my knee could get some relief. We talked about nutrition and my therapist gave me some great tips for working my PT exercises into my daily schedule. I thought, ‘I can do that!’”
Within just a few days of starting her at-home exercises, Redmond said she could tell her back and hips were moving better. Within the first two weeks, and with check-ins with her therapist on video and in person, she said the knee pain began to lessen. As a team, she and her therapist, physician, and dietitian adjusted her treatment plan to account for her increased mobility to incorporate some strength and stability components.
Three months after that unique first visit, Redmond says she’s confident that her knee issue is a thing of the past.
“Now that I understand what I need to do to move my whole body more efficiently, it’s pretty simple,” she explained. “My knee pain is almost completely gone, and I’ve started the transition to a performance training program to focus on strength and functional movement. I was pretty skeptical of PT overall, but this experience has been different than what I expected. I feel great.”
Positive clinical outcomes begin with a different approach
Redmond’s experience isn’t unique among Exos Physical Therapy patients. Exos Director of Rehabilitation Jim Godin says it all starts with that first visit Pillar Pre-Requisite Assessment.
“Exos has a system in place that allows us to objectively assess each client’s movement, both from a global view as well as from a smaller, more segmental view,” Godin said. He also emphasized that the Exos approach to physical therapy is to focus on the root cause of injury rather than becoming fixated on the painful structure, such as a patellar tendon. Digging deeper during the assessment and identifying both the root cause of the pain as well as the actual painful tissue(s) or joint(s), a clinical team can work together to develop a comprehensive treatment plan along with the patient’s physician, nutritionist, and performance coach.
“It’s an integrative and long-term approach to physical therapy that sets the Exos Physical Therapy philosophy apart,” Godin said. “You might expect that, when you go to physical therapy for knee pain, the therapist will just give you a bunch of ‘knee exercises’ or perform treatment only local to the knee. The Exos approach attacks the root cause(s) of the pain using manual techniques, corrective exercises, and various loading strategies at the hip, ankle, or spine (possibly all of the above) while simultaneously addressing any local joints or tissues that are painful.”
“In general, pain is a great ‘check engine light’ as it allows us to dig deeper into a person’s movement strategies while we rid them of their current pain symptoms quickly. This clears up what’s causing the source of pain so the patient experiences relief and doesn’t get injured again in the future.”
What the Pillar Pre-Requisite Assessment provides
Exos Physical Therapists developed the Pillar Pre-Requisite Assessment to provide consistency at each initial therapy visit with a focus on whole-person movement health. Using the tool, a physical therapist can analyze a patient’s quality of movement, then follow a logical approach to treatment that addresses the patient’s lifestyle and overall health.
“Movement quality impacts sports and performance in everyday life,” Godin said. “For Exos clientele, performance needs range from running a 40-yard dash at an NFL Combine to a mother being able to pick up her child.”
Despite that wide range of physical activity and goals, Godin said the Pillar Pre-Requisite Assessment is applicable to every unique patient, and that the end goal is always the same.
“This tool is universally applicable to all patients,” Godin said. “We want to make sure they can absorb force and propel force while minimizing any energy leaks, and the assessment tool helps us avoid missing anything that could potentially positively or negatively impact their ability to do so pain free”.
“Using this systematic approach, we are able to differentiate whether it is a tissue or joint that is restricted or if there is a sneaky, underlying inability for the person to actively control their available range of motion, which we term a ‘neuromuscular control’ issue,” he continued. “The results allow us to be more targeted in our treatments and, at the same time, create a theme to follow throughout the plan of care with specific exercises and complementary manual therapy techniques to improve a patient’s movement. We want to respect our clients’ time by being very specific and intentional with all of our rehabilitation strategies.”
A focus on getting back to better-than-normal
Some Exos Physical Therapy clients include professional athletes, first responders, and military special forces personnel. Godin emphasized that developing the Pillar Pre-Requisite Assessment to serve those highly physical individuals has only made it more useful for everyone, at every stage of treatment.
“We use the tool to assess, reassess, and then transition the patient back to their workplace, whether that be the battlefield, the streets, or the boardroom,” he said. “This approach allows us to create a plan of care that seamlessly transitions clients from their injured state all the way back to full performance.”
And, true to the Exos focus on healthy lifestyle and performance, Godin said the team-based integrative therapy approach addresses lifestyle improvements through patient education to improve outcomes.
“We connect all the dots and explain what we’ve found in the assessment so the patient understands why they’re experiencing pain. That creates a level of autonomy that enhances patient compliance so they continue the PT work at home.”
“We give our patients tools for personal wellness and autonomy. It’s a behavior upgrade model that creates healthy habits.”
Post-therapy return to training, made easier
The Exos Physical Therapy rehabilitation approach to lifestyle improvement was built upon the company’s foundational human performance training, so it’s no surprise that the Pillar Pre-Requisite Assessment and Exos PT treatment plans make sense to athletic trainers and coaches.
“Our rehabilitation system is based on absorbing force and propelling force, and we break down those movements to make sure each patient is ready to train using that reciprocal process,” Godin said. “Coaches speak our language, and we work with them to clearly indicate where their clients are so they can manage loads and intensity and get their clients back to preparing for their upcoming season or event.”
That bridge between rehabilitation and performance may look different for each therapy client, but what doesn’t change, Godin explained, is the proven process used to get them there.
“Exos Physical Therapists can provide return-to-sport rehabilitation, injury prevention strategies, and return-to-occupation rehabilitation, as well as more traditional outpatient orthopedic therapies while working in collaboration with an extensive network of researchers, industry professionals, and partners,” he said. “We do this within a model that allows our therapists to learn about the various aspects of the client’s life so they can design a sustainable plan that fits their goals and lifestyle.”
“The client gets just the right combination of education, manual therapy, exercise, and movement strategy while the clinician continuously refines and optimizes the plan,” Godin said. “We set them up to succeed, and that’s what it’s all about…ensuring a positive outcome for each individual.”
Learn more about Exos Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine’s approach to long-term patient wellness outcomes and Practice Management Services. Contact us today to learn how Exos Consulting can help your practice reach more patients, focus on proactive injury prevention, and speed recovery through a proven, integrative approach to human performance training.
*Patient name and certain details have been changed to protect the patient’s privacy.
OAK Health Club is a 29,000-square-foot fitness and wellness facility serving Ashburn, Virginia, within commuting distance of Washington, D.C. The facility is owned and operated by AARP Services, Inc. A flagship wellness community focused on offering healthy living and performance services, OAK Health Club membership includes access to innovative TechnoGym fitness equipment, personal training, and both indoor and outdoor dedicated fitness spaces. Members also have access to healthy meal and snack options at Canopy cafe; massage, cryotherapy, and infrared saunas at Revive spa; and a full-time, on-site registered dietitian. Members can access their fitness plans and virtual fitness options via a mobile app, myWellness.
Programming includes an extensive group exercise schedule, personal and small group fitness options, and complimentary personal health assessments and individual nutrition planning for new members.
ASI and Exos Community Consulting began project planning in late 2017. From facility design and equipment selection and procurement, to staffing, membership pre-sale, and ongoing management, Exos has provided in-depth expertise and recommendations every step of the way.
Exos Marketing Support
As ASI and Exos worked together to develop the new facility’s unique brand and vision, Exos Marketing consulted with ASI to develop a comprehensive pre-sale marketing and staff education program. The integrated team developed marketing materials and pre-sale promotions.. The team then moved into regular operations, programming promotions, and member communications to increase engagement and retention while continuing to grow the OAK member base. OAK marketing assets include a bespoke website, Facebook and Instagram channels, Google business and advertising optimizations and reporting, and a marketing strategy built for a growing and unique fitness community.
WorkLife Wellbeing powered by Exos is a more than 25,000 square foot fitness and wellness center in the heart of PENN1, a midcentury, multi-use corporate office building in downtown New York City. The site was revitalized by Vornado Realty Trust as part of a larger PENN DISTRICT campus renovation project encompassing 9 million square feet in a dozen buildings surrounding New York’s Pennsylvania Station.
Located within the building’s first three levels of an interconnected WorkLife amenity ecosystem serving PENN1 corporate tenants, Wellbeing shares the space with a full-service restaurant, private dining rooms, formal and casual meeting and conference spaces, and more than 80,000 square feet of adaptable workspace.
Exos partnered with Vornado to support design and development of the WorkLife Wellbeing fitness solution to serve an onsite population of 12,000 tenant employees. Exos services have included facility design and layout consulting, equipment procurement, and marketing for branding, pre-sale, and grand opening events. Exos will continue to manage and staff the facility and manage its operations, membership, and marketing needs. Fitness programming will include the fitness center, group exercise, personal training, a Fueling Station, wellness and nutrition counseling, restorative therapies such as massage and top-tier recovery services and equipment, a retail Gear Shop, and powered by Exos sports performance training.
Located inside Children’s Health Andrews Institute of Plano, Children’s Health Andrews Institute Sports Performance powered by Exos provides customized training and nutrition coaching for local youth, high school, professional/elite, and general population adult athletes. A medically integrated performance site, Children’s Health Andrews Institute Sports Performance specializes in Return to Sports training and works with Children’s Health medical professionals to manage post-physical therapy patients’ advanced sports rehabilitation needs. The site also manages Team Services Agreements with local sports teams and offers sports-specific camps focused on high-performing athletes of all ages. Coaching includes nutrition counseling, functional movement and performance screening and coaching, and individualized, goal-based training in a small-group setting.
With fewer than 100 members, Children’s Sports Performance powered by Exos is an elite-level training facility focused on exceptional service and performance-driven results.
Children’s Health Andrews Institute Sports Performance comprises a team of highly dedicated Exos Performance Specialists and a Sports Dietitian whose focus is community education and engagement and growing the client’s revenue streams. The Exos Community Management scope includes staffing, operations, member management, and consulting with Exos Community Marketing on an ad-hoc basis when requested by the Children’s Health marketing team.
Located inside Inova Fairfax Hospital and within an easy commute of Washington, D.C., Inova Sports Performance powered by Exos offers performance training and nutrition services to facilitate the peak performance of teams, individual athletes, and active adults. In cooperation with Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Inova also offers a Performance Reintegration Program for current military service members who have completed injury-related physical therapy, providing a bridge to service re-entry for high performers.
Services at Inova include functional movement and performance testing, strength and conditioning, injury prevention and regeneration education, and nutritional counseling with a registered dietitian. In addition to the military cohort, Inova members include local youth, high school, and collegiate athletes, sports teams, and active adults within the local community. Training is offered in both small-group and individual settings according to member age group and performance goals.
Powered by Exos locations are fully managed and staffed by Exos performance specialists. Exos Community Operations team members work in concert with Inova Fairfax Hospital administrators to build programs and revenue streams that support the hospital system’s brand and objectives. Exos Community Marketing support is available on an as-needed basis to assist with communications and marketing strategy and consulting and co-branding efforts.
Mercy Fitness Center is a 50,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility with the latest in technology and equipment. Located inside Mercy Clinic I-35, the fitness center offers medically integrated programming and works with clinic physical therapy, orthopedics, and nutrition professionals. In addition to an expansive fitness floor and indoor walking/running track, Mercy Fitness Center has a saltwater aquatics area with two pools and a spa. The center is also home to Mercy Sports Performance and has dedicated fitness studios, a cycle studio, and offers a full group exercise schedule, personal training, massage, swim coaching, and an onsite member childcare facility.
Since 2017, Exos Community Operations has managed Mercy Fitness Center’s operations, staffing, programming, ancillary services, and marketing promotions. Mercy Fitness serves more than 2,500 members and generates an average of more than $1 million per annum for Mercy Clinic.
Exos Marketing Support
Exos Marketing provides marketing strategy and support in partnership with Mercy Marketing and Exos staff. The team manages a promotions budget that averages $8,000 monthly and includes internal and external communications, digital advertising, website management, and brand and reputation management.
Managed by Mayo Clinic Sports Performance powered by Exos, Minneapolis, MN
Mayo Clinic Sports Performance is an Exos-managed entity with two locations at Mayo Clinics in Minneapolis and Rochester, Minnesota. Sports Performance Coach and site manager Luke Corey manages Team Services Agreements, to include services for 15 rostered players and 40 operations staff within the Minnesota Timberwolves NBA Franchise.
Exos TSA Services
As the Timberwolves Exos TSA Coach, Corey attends every practice and game during the NBA season. A registered dietitian and certified performance specialist, he performs regular nutrition evaluations, hydration testing, pre- and post-game supplementation, and general nutrition and performance counseling, both in person and virtually depending on team member needs.
TSA Services also include specialized menu planning and meal preparation and delivery for players. Corey works closely with team trainers, coaches, and players to ensure that nutritional support aligns with overall and individual performance goals.