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Redefining The Structure and Function
of Human Movement Science

The PPSC Functional Anatomy course is an intensive 2-day laboratory based cadaver dissection that will deep dive into the structure and function of the human body like you’ve never experienced before. Lead by orthopedic surgeon and PPSC Master Instructor Dr. David Marcu, focused dissections will take place on some of the body’s most complex and intriguing regions with focused emphasis placed on connecting the dots between the power of anatomical study and dissection and real world application of human movement and training created specifically for fitness professionals.

In this 19-hour continuing education course, students will not only visualize the human body like never before, but also have the opportunity to be hands-on with the cadavers, providing experiential learning at the highest degree. Each region of the body will be covered in vast detail from a structural standpoint, but will also create a dynamic learning environment that will be applied to injury prevention methods, training applications, advanced assessment and testing along with reinforcing the key pain-free performance training tenets of the PPSC in a whole new way.

While each human body is truly unique and discovery will lead the course content, the PPSC Functional Anatomy curriculum will be centered on:

1. Interconnectivity of the Shoulder Complex
2. Incidence of Pain and Injuries at the Lumbo-Pelvic Junction
3. Anthropometrical Study of the Hip Joint and Muscular Complex
4. Deep Dissection and Mobility of the Foot and Ankle Complex
5. Common Knee Joint Injuries and Properties of Degeneration
6. Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar Spine Biomechanics/Neural-Dynamics
7. Organ Study of the Abdominal Viscera
8. Vitals: Heart, Lungs, Brain Systemic Function
*Each course will be unique to the cadaver being dissected and studied

At the end of this 2-Day PPSC Functional Anatomy course, attendees will have visualized the key structural components of each region of the body and learned how to integrate this functional anatomy knowledge base back into movement and training application. And more important than any individual structure, this 2-day intensive will change the way attendees look at the integration of the human body’s key systems forever.

About Dr. Dave Marcu: PPSC Functional
Anatomy Lead Instructor

Dr. David Marcu

Dr. Marcu is a board certified orthopedic surgeon with a focus in sports medicine, currently practicing in Madison, Wisconsin. Dr. Marcu holds a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and his Doctor of Medicine from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

After graduation he completed his internship and residency at the University of Wisconsin, where he was named resident educator of the year, given the resident research award, and twice earned the highest in-training exam score in his department. Dr. Marcu has authored studies and papers that have been published in multiple peer-reviewed medical journals, including research on the biomechanics of rotator cuff injuries. He has also taught other surgeons as an Associate Master Instructor for the Arthroscopy Association of North America.

In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Marcu values training as part of a healthy lifestyle. He has used training to recovery from injury, and he is an advocate for the power of the preventative-based training model as a Pain-Free Performance Specialist (PPSC). As a lifelong educator, Dr. Marcu’s mission is to continue to build and strengthen the multidisciplinary model of injury prevention through intelligent training, rehabilitation and medicine.

What PPSC Functional Anatomy attendees are saying

"The PPSC Functional Anatomy course was truly educational experience of a lifetime!"

“To have the rare opportunity to not only see, but touch actual muscles, organs and structures on a human cadaver, surrounded by my fellow PPSC peers from all different fields and specialities was purely amazing! Having the pleasure of learning directly from Dr. Dave Marcu, a medical doctor and orthopedic surgeon gave huge insights into the anatomical, rehabilitation and surgical aspects of the PPSC preventative training model. And for the record, dislocating hips, flexing spines and finally visualizing deep structures like psoas and diaphragm simply blew me away. Highly recommend this course to anyone wanting to upgrade their anatomy education in a way that you’ll never forget.”

Sheri-Lee Da Silva, CPT, PPSC
Certified Personal Trainer

"There is no shortage of books about human anatomy but there is only one PPSC Anatomy course"

“It’s one thing to passively learn about anatomy in 2D from a textbook, but to fully appreciate the complexity and inter workings and functionality of the human body nothing beats a human cadaver dissection with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Dave Marcu. Functional anatomy is more than just origin, insertion, action and innervation. It’s about visualizing regional interdependency, dissecting the deepest layers of human vitality like the heart, lungs and pelvic floor, and appreciating the pure amazement of human movement capabilities. This course is no holds barred, a two day intensive dissection all lead with the key tenets of functional training in mind.”

Luis Huete, CPT, PPSC
Owner GRIT Health and Performance

"Attending the PPSC Functional Anatomy course was hands down one of the most unique and rewarding education experiences of my career."

“It’s not every day that coaches and trainers get to step into the gross anatomy lab and get hands on with a cadaver, let alone learn functional anatomy over a human body directly from an orthopedic surgeon like Dr. Marcu. Two intensive days in the lab not only took my knowledge of the human body to the next level, but was an experience that I will truly never forget and has shaped me as a coach. The PPSC Functional Anatomy course is more than just learning muscles and biomechanics out of a textbook. It will change the way you view human movement, client management and pain-free performance training forever.”

Tim Danchak, CSCS, PPSC
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

1982 S Bannock St
Denver, Co 80223

The following is the PPSC Functional Anatomy curriculum for this 16-hour continuing education course.
The Course will take place between 9AM and 5PM on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Day 1 Curriculum - Upper Quadrants and Viscera

1. Introduction to PPSC Functional Anatomy
1.1 what is Functional Anatomy?
1.2 the integrated functional biomechanical model
1.3 course learning objectives
1.4 the PPSC and Functional Anatomy tie in
1.5 preparation for human cadaver dissection

2. Shoulder Complex
2.1 The powerhouse of the shoulder: the deltoid
2.2 The strut – the clavicle, acromion, and AC joint
2.3. Access to the deeper shoulder: the deltopectoral interval.
2.4. The biceps and the long head of the biceps tendon.
2.5. Centricity: the famous rotator cuff
2.6. The glenohumeral joint itself and the intraarticular stricture and function
2.7. What are rotator cuff injuries and how do We fix them? Do they have to be fixed?
2.8. Injuries to the biceps and labrum: what are they and how do we treat them.

3. Pectoralis and Latissimus Dorsi
3.1. More than a beach muscle: the Pectoralis major
3.2. Pectoralis minor
3.3. The latissimus and its expansive origin
3.4. Pec ruptures and tears
3.5. Brief discussion of tendon transfers

4. The Upper Back & Posterior neck
4.1. The trapezius; its relation to the scapula
4.2. the erector spinae muscle complex
4.3. The spinous processes and lamina of the cervical spine
4.4. levator scapula
4.5. rhomboids
4.6. another view of the rotator cuff, deep to the back muscles

5. Thoracic Cage Structure and Musculature
5.1 Serratus anterior.
5.2. the ribs and the intercostal muscles
5.3. the sternum
5.4. importance of the thoracic cage

6. Cervical and Thoracic Spine
6.1. brief overview of anterior neck musculature
6.2. carotid artery, jugular veins
6.3. trachea and esophogus
6.4. the glottis and the valsalva maneuver
6.5. The 7 cervical and 12 thoracic vertebrae
6.6. The difference between the intervertebral discs and the vertebrae
6.7. the erector spinae
6.8. normal lordosis, kyphosis, and scoliosis
6.9. Nerve roots and what is a herniated disc? How does that happen?

7. Heart, Lungs, and Diaphragm: getting the good in and getting the waste out
7.1. trachea to bronchi to lungs
7.2. The heart and its chambers
7.3. the major vessels and cardiopulmonary circulation
7.4. the diaphragm
7.5. internal dissection of the heart, including seeing its valves

8. Abdominal Musculature and Visera
8.1. The rectus abdominus, the linea alba and tendinous intersections
8.2. external oblique, internal oblique, transversus abdominus and how muscle fiber direction affects function
8.3. the liver and gallbladder
8.4. stomach, small and large intestine, and rectum
8.5. another perspective on the valsalva
8.6. First view of the iliopsoas

Day 2 Curriculum - Lower Quadrant and Spine

1. Lumbo-Pelvic Junction
1.1. The psoas and the iliacus: the iliopsoas
1.2. The nerves from lumbosacral segments to the legs
1.3. the pelvic bones
1.4. the sacrum, the famous S-I joint, and the strong pelvic ligaments
1.5. Can you really manipulate the S-I joints?
2. Lumbar Spine and Surrounding Structure
2.1. The five lumbar vertebrae
2.2. The dura and the cauda equina
2.3. arthritis of the back, spinal stenosis, and spinal decompression
2.4. what is a spinal fusion?
2.5. another discussion of intervertebral discs, herniations, and “sciatica”
3. Hip Joint and Complex
3.1 the abductors: the gluteus minimus and medius
3.2. “the muscle that launched a thousand InstaGram likes”: the gluteus maximus
3.3. The sciatic nerve, piriformis, and piriformis syndrome
3.4. the other short external rotators of the hip.
3.5. the tensor fascia latae and the IT band
3.6. rectus femoris and sortorius
3.7. intro to surgical approaches to the hip joint
3.8. hip capsule and Dislocation of the hip
3.9 intraarticular anatomy of the hip joint itself
3.10. Difference in hip anatomy and anteversion; femeroacetabular impingement
3.11. a primer on hip arthritis and replacements
4. The Thigh
4.1. anterior compartement thigh muscluture and the femoral nerve
4.2. the adductors and the obturator nerve
4.3 the posterior musculature, the hamstrings, and the sciatic nerve.
4.4. the IT band, the abductors, and their relationship and trochanteric pain syndrome
4.5. Posterior thigh muscles insertions on the tibia and fibula, crossing the knee joint
5. The Knee
5.1. The anterior knee = the Extensor Mechanism: quad, quad tendon, patella, patella tendon, tibial tubercle.
5.2. The posterior knee: the hamstrings insertion and the origin of the gastrocnemius. The neurovascular bundle.
5.2. Opening the knee
5.3. The meniscus: the shock absorber of the knee.
5.4. The ACL: the most studies ligament in the entire body.
5.5. The articular cartilage, chondromalacia, injury, and arthritis
5.6 a primer on total knee replacement surgery
5.7 patella tracking, patella dislocations, and anterior knee pain
5.8. how do we do ACL surgery? How do we treat meniscus tears? Who gets surgery and who doesn’t?
6. Ankle and Foot Complex
6.1 extensors and flexors of the feet and toes, including the gastrocs and peroneals
6.2. the lateral ligaments and ankle sprains
6.3 the ankle joint and its mobility
6.4 the subtalar joint
6.5.the midfoot joints and toes.
6.6 the intrinsic muscles of the foot and plantar fascia
7. Grand finale: the arms
7.1. elbow flexors: biceps, brachialis and coracobrachialis
7.2. elbow extensors: triceps
7.3. biceps tendon rupturs
7.4 wrist & finger flexor muscles in forearm
7.5 wrist & finger extensor muscles in the forearm
7.6 the carpal tunnel and carpal tunnel syndrome
7.7 the intraarticular anatomy of the elbow joint.
8. PPSC Functional Anatomy Key Tenets Review
8.1 the human movement system
8.2 regional movement interdependency
8.3 functional positioning and programming
8.4 functional actions of key regions
8.5 open question and answer

19 Hours (1.9) Continuing Education Units accredited
through National Academy of Sports Medicine

Got questions? Anything regarding the event – email our event coordinator Nick Clayton directly at


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    PPSC Functional Anatomy Feb. 2020- Early Bird
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    PPSC Functional Anatomy Feb. 2020 – Regular