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Piston Science Part One: Diaphragm/Pelvic Floor Piston for Adult Populations Online

Piston Science Part One

Diaphragm/Pelvic Floor Piston for Adult Populations Online

Modules 1-7

Julie Wiebe, PT

Course Tools

Course Description:

Piston Science is a new approach to adult rehab, recovery and return to fitness. The viewer is introduced to a dynamic team of muscles, inclusive of the relationship between the diaphragm and pelvic floor, that works together to balance muscular forces and pressures, creating an integrative model of dynamic central stability. Issues with the musculoskeletal system, movement pattern efficiency, pelvic health, and fitness performance can be addressed simultaneously when this central team is coordinated, then effectively linked to the rest of the superficial postural system (Modules 1-4). Integrated into movement and fitness programs, this inside-out strategy is reinforced and embedded to build automaticity and optimize outcomes (Modules 5-7).

Adapted for the online educational format, embedded video, case examples from recreational to high intensity athletes, independent lab opportunities and live course footage of a runner “volunteer” provide the viewer with ample opportunity to interact with the material and apply this approach in all areas of adult rehab and fitness (women’s health, orthopedics, sports medicine, fitness and neuro). The course is a bundled learning opportunity, with each of the 7 modules building on the previous presentation.

*Want a taste, before you buy the bundle? Module One is an introduction to the theory, concepts, and evidence for the approach. You can purchase Module One by clicking here. When you’re hungry for more, you can purchase the rest of the modules by buying Modules 2-7 here, Modules 2-4 here, or Modules 5-7 here.

**Continue your learning by engaging in the clinical reasoning process to learn, in depth, how, when and why to apply the concepts in real time with two real female athletes, in Piston Science Part Two: Bridge the Gap Between Rehab and Fitness.

***The most economical option is to purchase the Foundations + Athlete Application Bundle: Piston Science Part One (all 7 modules) and Piston Science Part Two. Check it out here.

Module One: An in-depth discussion of the theory, evidence and concepts for the Piston Science approach, a neuromuscular and systems based path to creating central stability from the inside-out. The diaphragm is presented as the intersection of multiple systems, with breath mechanics as an accessible gateway for all populations to a new model of dynamic trunk and pelvic control. In addition, dysfunction across the lifespan is explored from this new perspective.

Module Two: Optimized alignment promotes the availability of individual components of the anticipatory core (Diaphragm, Pelvic Floor, TA and Multifidus) and augments their teamwork. The position of the ribcage relative to the pelvis contributes to maximized breath mechanics, core component teamwork and a balance of multiple systems. An assessment paradigm for evaluation of alignment, including ribcage position, and corrective cueing is presented.

Module Three: The diaphragm is the powerful link between the postural control, movement, sensory, balance, pressure, GI and continence systems. Optimized action of the diaphragm is the gateway to interacting simultaneously with all of these systems in our treatments and fitness. Identifying barriers to optimal breath, including alignment considerations as well as abdominal and pelvic floor over-recruitment, are included in an accessible assessment model of breath mechanics. Easy to apply intervention strategies are presented.

Module Four: Understanding Pelvic floor as a teammate in the stability system rather than a spectator leads to simultaneous improvement of postural control, musculoskeletal, performance and pelvic health concerns such as incontinence and prolapse. Pelvic health providers interested in developing integrative programs and promoting a return to fitness will gain new tools. For those who are new to the pelvic floor, tips are included regarding external palpation (When and when not to? How?). Alternative indirect evaluation ideas are provided through observation, functional testing, and treatment options.

Modules 5-7 were recorded at a live course in Toronto, Ontario. The live recording provides the viewer with the opportunity to hear ongoing practitioner questions and see a volunteer/runner work through each step of the material over the course of the day.

Module Five: Integrating deep to superficial, anticipatory to reactive, postural relationships is critical for the creation of an automatic postural control strategy that is both stable and responsive to the demands of function. The Posterior Oblique Synergist (POS=Lats with contralateral glute max) is presented with links to anticipatory core elements, previous alignment interventions, and recorded live exercise demonstrations. Module 5 also includes a one-hour live Q and A.Independent self-lab activities are provided.

Module Six: Introduction of the Lateral Synergist (LS=Glute Med/Min and contralateral Adductors) and Anterior Oblique Synergist (AOS= Obliques and contralateral Adductors) brings balance to the postural flexors and extensors to optimize trunk and pelvic control, promote efficient movement, load transfer, and improve fitness strategies. Links to anticipatory elements, previous alignment interventions, and live exercise demonstrations are presented. Independent self-lab activities are provided.

Module Seven: Rotation is necessary for efficient movement, ground force attenuation, load transfer, power generation, and is often our patients’/clients greatest vulnerability. Our final synergist, the Rotational Synergist (RS-Ipsilateral adductors and deep lateral rotators), completes the movement picture as a complement to the other synergists and as a pre-gait activity. Gait is the postural control and alignment systems in motion. Patients must walk before they can run. Gait assessment and intervention strategies are provided. Plyometrics are briefly addressed in order to prepare patients for the next step: impact loading. Independent self-lab activities are provided.

Online Course FAQ’s: Total run time is approximately 15 hours of content. Each single viewer purchase allows for unlimited access: review, re-watch, rewind as often as you need to for as long as you like. The online course is essentially identical to the live version, but has boosted content (more mini-case studies, videos, cues, self-labs, evidence, etc.) to facilitate independent learning.

Course Objectives:

  1. By the end of this online course the participant will be able to differentiate between the historical musculoskeletal interpretation of core strength and a neuromuscular, systems approach coined “core strategy”.
  2. By the end of this online course the participant will be able to describe the influence of the optimal muscle recruitment order on postural control for a reaching task.
  3. By the end of this online course the participant will be able to label the 4 components of the anticipatory core team.
  4. By the end of this online course, the participant will be able to describe the interaction of the four anticipatory core components to synergistically prepare for movement.
  5. By the end of this online course the participant will be able to describe 3 posture types using 1 rib cage and 1 pelvic positional descriptor for each.
  6. By the end of this online course the participant will be able to identify 4 alignment screening tools to guide therapeutic exercise selection for a treatment session.
  7. By the end of this online course the participant will be able to demonstrate 2 intervention techniques to optimize anticipatory core recruitment.
  8. By the end of this online module, the participant will be able to integrate breath mechanics as a gateway for postural control for 2 functional and 2 fitness movements (ex-sit to stand; squat).
  9. By the end of this online course the participant will be able to identify when it is and is not appropriate to palpate externally for pelvic floor activation in male and female clients.
  10. By the end of this course the participant will be able to determine when to refer a client on for an internal pelvic floor examination.
  11. By the end of this online course the participant will be able to describe 4 reactive core postural synergists and the role of each in optimizing postural control in functional movement patterns.
  12. By the end of this online course the participant will be able to demonstrate 3 exercise interventions for each reactive core postural synergist.
  13. By the end of this online module the participant will be able to articulate 3 strategies an orthopedic, sports medicine, or neurological physical therapist can utilize to integrate and address pelvic health considerations within their traditional care.
  14. By the end of this online module the participant will be able to articulate 3 strategies a pelvic health physical therapist can utilize to integrate fitness concepts into their traditional care.

Course Audience:

This course is designed to equip adult rehabilitation professionals with the evidence, theoretical constructs and practical clinical tools to provide a neuromuscular, systems- based clinical model for postural control, inclusive of the teamwork between the diaphragm, pelvic floor and pressure systems. Musculoskeletal, movement pattern, pelvic health, and fitness issues are addressed simultaneously when this central team is coordinated, then effectively linked to the rest of the postural, movement and performance systems. All participants should apply the information within their state/jurisdictional scope of practice.

The PT/OT will gain the theoretical basis, clinical reasoning and practical tools for integrating a neuromuscular, systems-based approach to postural control from assessment to evidenced based treatment plan development integrating pelvic, musculoskeletal, and performance health concepts. Co-professional collaboration and referral will be stressed.

The PTA/COTA will gain insight to the theoretical basis for assessment process, and reasoning behind the POC designed by the therapist. Course participation and experience with specific cueing, exercise guidelines, progression parameters and treatment methods will insure continuity of care.

The Athletic Trainer/Kinesiologist (AT)/Kin will gain insight into theory, evidence and practical tools for integration of the POC into an athletes training program keeping pelvic and musculoskeletal health in mind.

Detailed Schedule PDF

Course Schedule:

Module One: Part One (approx. 1 hr.) Foundational Concept Introduction

Introduction/Course overview. Conceptual introduction to a neuromuscular, dynamic approach to central stability vs stiff musculoskeletal strategies. Clinical applications and the development of Core Strategy

Module One: Part Two (approx. 1. 25 hr.) Core Dysfunction Across the Lifespan

Re-framing both pelvic health and musculoskeletal dysfunctions in light of new understanding of Core Strategy across the lifespan. Clinical applications and concept synthesis

Diaphragm/Pelvic Floor Piston for Adult Populations Online: Modules 2-4

Module Two: Part One (35 min) Alignment

Alignment as access to optimized muscular recruitment, multiple systems and inputs to the brain

Module Two: Part Two (1.5 hrs.) Alignment Screen

Demonstration via lecture and video of detailed alignment screen Movement/Functional Screen (form efficiency) cueing and clinical pearls.

Module Three: Part One (approx. 45 min) Diaphragm and Breathing Mechanics

Anatomical and functional review of the Diaphragm and breath mechanics, dysfunctional dominance patterns, barriers to a balanced breath and breath mechanics intervention strategies are presented.

Module Three: Part Two (approx. 1.25 hr) Refine the Breath

Chest and Belly Breather intervention strategies. Concept synthesis through 2 mini-case-studies of CrossFit athletes.

Module Four: Part One (approx. 1 hr) Pelvic Floor/TA

Anatomical and functional review of pelvic floor and functional partnerships. External pelvic floor assessment: palpation, self-palpation and functional tests and interpretation.

Module Four: Part Two (approx. 1 hr.) Find the Piston

Pelvic Floor intervention strategies; connect to the Diaphragm and create the Piston. Pelvic Floor tips for interventions, integration into function, motor control and building automaticity Concept Synthesis through a continuation of mini-case studies.

Modules 5-7 were recorded at a live course in Toronto, Ontario. The live recording provides the viewer with the opportunity to hear ongoing practitioner questions and see a volunteer/runner work through each step of the material over the course of the day.

Module Five: (approx. 3 hrs) Posterior Oblique Synergist

Recorded participant Q and A based on Day one information from modules 1-4. Volunteer follow-up. Anatomy and function of the Posterior Oblique Synergist lecture. Posterior Oblique Synergist exercise lab demonstration and self-lab instructions.

Module Six: (approx. 2 hrs) Lateral Synergist/Anterior Oblique Synergist

Lateral Synergist Lecture: Anatomy and Function, exercise lab demonstration, and self-lab instructions. Anterior Oblique Synergist Lecture: Anatomy and Function, lab demonstration, and self-lab instructions.

Module Seven: (approx. 2 hrs) Rotational Synergist/Gait/Plyometrics/Course Synthesis

Rotational Synergist anatomy and function, exercise lab demonstration, and self-lab instructions. Gait training integrating to dynamic functional task, plyometrics and fitness concepts. Concepts synthesis via volunteer epilogue and course wrap-up.

I need a Certificate of Completion

After you have completed the course modules, look for a link “I need a certificate of completion” at the bottom of the course page. Click the link to be directed to your post-test at www.classmarker.com. You must score a minimum of 70% on this test in order to receive the certificate. After you have submitted the test, you will be provided with the option to download your certificate of completion. In addition, click the link to be directed to a course self-refection to optimize the application of your learning to clinical practice. Please follow the provided link to complete the course evaluation. We value your feedback!

Is the course eligible for CEU's?

The Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy (FSBPT) has approved and awarded this course 11 Continuing Competence Units (CCUs). CCUs are accepted by 34 state boards and will be translated by them into either CEUs or hours depending on which your state board awards. Please be advised this may not directly correlate with the number of CCUs awarded, nor to the number of contact hours of the actual course. You need to contact your board to understand how the CCU’s will be convert-ed to the “currency” of your board. To receive CEUs you must complete the course and pass the post-test with a minimum of 70%. Please click here to see if your state board accepts the FSBPT approval.

Computer Compatibility Needs

This course is hosted on the teachable.com online streaming service designed to handle any system setup. So if you have a computer and an internet connection you should have access without issue. If you have issues with a slower bandwidth connection then you can change the video settings to a lower quality to help improve any loading issues.

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Your Instructor


Julie Wiebe, PT
Julie Wiebe, PT

Julie Wiebe, PT, DPT (Candidate), MPT

Julie Wiebe, PT has over twenty years of clinical experience in both Sports Medicine and Women’s Health. Following her passion to revolutionize the way women recover from pregnancy and return to high levels of fitness, she has pioneered an integrative approach to promote women’s health in and through fitness.

Her Diaphragm/Pelvic Floor Piston Science concepts have been successfully incorporated by rehab practitioners and fitness professionals into a variety of populations. A published author, Julie is a sought after speaker to provide continuing education and lectures internationally at clinics, academic institutions, conferences and professional organizations.

Julie maintains a clinical practice in Los Angeles and shares her approach for post pregnancy and pelvic health recovery and return to fitness with women worldwide through online courses.

When not trying to change the world one pelvic floor at a time, Julie is happy to focus on her first passions: being mom to the Z’s (Zoe and Zack), and wife to David.

Follow it all and join the conversation with Julie on instagram, twitter and Facebook. Get your questions answered by Julie and find more content on You Tube.

Want to book Julie for an onsite or online lecture, inservice or course? Please contact [email protected]


Contact Julie at [email protected] (Julie’s clinical practice is in the Los Angeles area)CV-Julie Wiebe, PT


Course Curriculum


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Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
Can I share a course with a friend or colleague? How does the group discount work?
Each course purchase is for a single viewer only, and may not be shared. If you are interested in group/staff viewing, please contact admin at [email protected] to arrange a group discount code specifically for your group. The larger the group, the larger the discount. Each individual must purchase separately with the discount code, and agree to the terms and conditions (legal). This provides each participant with their own copy to review at their pace, in addition to the opportunity to interact with colleagues as you all work collectively through the material. Real time group online mentoring for Q and A is available with Julie to support your distance learning as you work through each module or after completing the course. Contact admin at [email protected] to set up a group discount and group mentoring.

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