How to protect your body as a first responder

Most public safety workers understand that their physical fitness directly impacts performance on the job.

But did you also know that “how” you move can be equally as important in reducing your risk of injury, recovering faster when you do get injured, as well as working to your full potential?

Dr. Trent Nessler

My name is Trent Nessler, and I’ve been a top researcher in the field of movement and a physical therapist for pro, collegiate and elite high school athletes for decades.

I’ve helped elite athletes move safer, improve performance and increase their overall well-being. Now, I’m sharing this critical research, knowledge and training with first responders who are part of the Rebound network. 

Samantha Genno

Along with Lead Trainer Samantha Genno, a certified athletic trainer (ATC), we’ve developed a free multi-week education and training series for public safety workers, called: “Protect Your Body.” The program draws on our expertise and has been designed specifically for you: first responders who put their bodies to the test every shift. 

The focus is on areas of the body that are most prone to injuries in your fields, or are critical to these jobs, according to U.S. workplace statistics. These are:

  • low back
  • knees
  • shoulders
  • neck

For each of those areas, we’ll first start with education, outlining clear and easy-to-understand anatomy and leading biomechanics research. In our work with athletes, we have found that sharing the “why” behind movement dramatically increases their ability to improve. 

Then, you’ll receive our absolute best recommendations for exercises to safeguard these critical body systems. When done correctly and as part of a regular workout regime, you should see improvements.

We invite everyone who wants to reduce their risk of injury and improve their performance to join us on this journey. Posts will land every Wednesday for the next eight weeks.

As with all training programs, keep in mind the information in this blog should never replace the advice of your medical provider.


The “jelly-filled donut” that is the critical component of your back!

More about Trent and Samantha

Trent holds a doctorate degree in physical therapy with focus in biomechanics and motor learning from Northern Arizona University. He has more than 24 years’ experience as a practicing sports medicine PT and 18+ years’ experience researching human movement. Trent is a co-author of “Dynamic Movement Assessment, Prevent Injury and Enhance Performance” a college textbook, and his movement research has been published in peer-reviewed journals.

Trent has developed a comprehensive screening – called the Athletic Movement Index – that uses 3D wearable sensors to assess lower kenetic chain movement risks. This assessment has captured data on more than 27,000 pro, collegiate and elite high school athletes and is now being used by Rebound to examine movement in first responders.

Samantha received a bachelor of science degree in athletic training from Lincoln Memorial University and her masters in exercise science from Columbus State University. Samantha is a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) and previously worked in collegiate athletics during her undergradute and graduate education, as well as post-graduate. “What I love about my work is taking an athlete, or now in this case a first responder, and helping them from injury to back to what they love. I look at the person as a whole – not just a first responder – and want them to get back to doing everything they want, whether that’s picking up a grandchild or a favorite hobby.

Samantha is also nearing completion of her master’s degree in healthcare administration from Lincoln Memorial Unversity.

Rebound Safe Movement Program

This program is part of our innovative wellness services, helping public safety workers feel better and improve their performance while on the job. We want our valued first responders to also retire feeling well and without the aches and pains that have traditionally followed these workers, whose bodies take a beating during their careers, after they hung up their uniforms. Learn more: Rebound Safe Movement Program

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