The Burdenko Method
Do you know what Burdenko is?
The Burdenko Method is part of the Burdenko Water and Sports Therapy Institute. Dr. Igor N. Burdenko founded the institute in 1984, focusing on the practical application of water and land exercises. He takes a holistic approach to rehabilitation, conditioning, and training which allows the method to benefit all ages and conditions. After more than 30 years of working with rehabilitation clients, training athletes in the NBA, NFL, NHL, US and Russian Olympic teams, members of the US Handicapped Olympic Team, and top international dancers and figure skaters, Dr. Burdenko has become internationally recognized in the rehabilitation and fitness worlds. The methodology works in a pyramid fashion- you must achieve the skills at the bottom of the pyramid to effectively master the skills at the top. The Burdenko Method also uses various equipment and speeds while exercising.
Water & Land Exercise
The Burdenko Method utilizes not only exercises in the gym, but in the water. What makes aquatic exercise so beneficial? Being in the water eliminates about 90% of your body weight, taking the stress of your muscles, bones, and joints. This occurs because water helps to stop the gravitational pull on the body, allowing you to move more freely than you would on land.
Most aquatic exercises used in the Burdenko Method are done in an upright position. By being vertical, the body’s buoyancy and posture is challenged. In turn, this helps to strengthen and stabilize the trunk, spine, and pelvic areas. Progressions to supine (on the back) and prone (face up) are also used for an added challenge. There are exercises done in shallow water as well, allowing the body to work against a gentle resistance.
Land exercises are also done progressively. Typically, one starts in a horizontal position: supine to sidelying to prone. This allows the freedom of movement from the extremities. Exercises can also be done sitting, standing, or moving dynamically. Many of the exercises can be done with or without additional equipment.
“Finding one's center of buoyancy and balance in deep water is the first step to experience pain free movement (Level 1). Then, by adding a combination of movements in different planes (vertical, supine, prone) in deep water and with horizontal mat exercises on land, coordination develops (Level 2). Level 3 adds challenges with different equipment and environments to increase the natural force of gravity.” “Your personal experience with Levels 1, 2, and 3 will allow you to progress to Levels 4, 5, and 6. You will develop qualities of endurance, speed, and strength.”
Blog post by Nikki Courtney.
Burdenko, I., & Gray, P. (2001). The Burdenko Method Exercise Guide Part 1. Wayland, MA: The Burdenko Water & Sports Therapy Institute.
Burdenko, I. (2002). Burdenko Exercise Guide Part 2. Wayland, MA: The Burdenko Water & Sports Therapy Institute.