Tim DiFrancesco: Functional Fitness, Injury Prevention and the Customized Future Of Athletic Training


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“Rinse, repeat, and live to fight another day.” These are the prophetic workouts that represent the cutting edge of athletic training and functional fitness. I catch up with former Los Angeles Lakers Strength and Conditioning Coach Tim DiFrancesco to discuss matters of great importance to weekend warriors everywhere: how to get the most out of your body and steer clear of nagging injuries and body breakdown that leaves many people on the sidelines or under the surgery knife before their time.

Tim has retired from the grind of the NBA with many great insights and a tremendous database of assessments and exercises that help fitness enthusiasts of all levels correct functional weaknesses to improve performance and heal or prevent injuries. Tim’s best insight from his NBA experience is that champions don’t have any special magic formula, but rather an ability to lock into a winning routine, “nothing earth shattering,” that allows them to maintain an awesome functional fitness baseline. The best athletes establish a comfortable, do-able pattern of the right exercises without overextending themselves and breaking down.

Learn more about Tim’s interesting customized approach to client programming at TDAthletesEdge.com. It starts with an assessment of how well you perform basic movements (the same thing he did to NBA draft prospects for the Lakers to see who’s been trained well and who has high injury risks before a multimillion dollar contract decision is made!), and then a consequent prescription of exercises to address areas of injury, pain and discomfort ― making them stronger without over-stressing them. Short of getting some custom programming from an expert, Tim offers listeners a cool Top 5 list of areas of most concern/injury risk, followed by a go-to exercise to improve function. Here is the list:

  1. Ankle/plantar fascia/Achilles: Do calf raises (off the edge of a step or any elevated surface)
  2. Patellar/quadriceps area near knee: The mighty wall sit is the isometric movement here!
  3. Quadriceps/hip flexors: The “Sprinter” exercise where you lay on ground, bring knee to chest, and apply counter pressure with your hand
  4. Adductor (groin): The “side laying bottom leg lift” aka the “TD Jane Fonda” move!
  5. Hamstrings: Partner-assisted Nordic hamstring curl is the best, or a bridge pose with legs extended out instead of the usual near-to glutes position.

This informative show will give you a complete understanding of the cutting edge concepts in functional fitness, injury prevention and peak performance.


Tim DiFrancesco formerly worked with the LA Lakers, now has a cutting-edge fitness program. [04:58]

If you're enjoyable to be around, if you add positive energy to the room, how can you lose? [08:39]

Feeling strong in what you do physically is a good way to feel empowered emotionally and in everything else. [08:55]

How does one optimize minimizing injury risk? [11:52]

One important aspect is the degree of difficulty of the regimen. [15:47]

The goal is not to crush you. The goal is to see if we can build you up and make you last forever. [19:46]

Twelve weeks is a physiological window for you to be able to feel like you’ve put in the right effort. [23:54]

It's not just muscles that get strong and more robust and healthier. The common denominator is strengthening. [25:09]

An example is the meniscus of the knee. If it has been overtaxed, Tim would NOT have you working through pain. [33:43]

Hip replacement surgery is only the last resort. Even surgery for torn meniscus. [38:27]

When Tim films a client, what is he looking for as you squat or do a pushup. [45:06]

Each client is different but there are some guidelines that are offered here. [51:22]

There’s a golf standard hamstring exercise called Nordic hamstring curl. [59:40]



  • "Rinse, repeat, and live to fight another day."

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216 episodes