Posted by: Tags: glastonbury ct | Categories: Functional Movement, Movement Training
From a functional movement trainer's perspective, movement is the gateway to fitness. In this article I'll talk about the importance of movement training and what we look for in Functional Movement Screens.
What do all fitness, strength and conditioning, and sports programs have in common? The answer is very simple: MOVEMENT. Movement is a basic part of life. People who move well are the envy of the rest who struggle with movement on some level. Over the last 30 years as a trainer, my experience has shown that a client’s self-esteem and their self-efficacy are affected by their perception of how well they move. The ability to move has a profound influence on how we perceive ourselves, as well as our enjoyment of life. Everything from interacting with those we love (i.e. playing with children, and grandchildren), to being involved in recreational activities and sports is impacted by the way we move.
So, what determines how well we move? Movement is a complex combination of flexibility, stability, strength, muscular endurance, and endurance. More than anything, movement is the ability of the nervous system to recruit the right muscles in the right sequence at the right time. Lacking an element of ‘good’movement can make the whole process look off, even if most of the pieces of good movement are there. It is possible to have the flexibility, strength and endurance for a movement, but lack the stability and therefore give the appearance that none of the components are adequately developed. Furthermore, a person may be successful at one movement and not at another. Often times, a lack of mobility, stability, or strength in one part of the body, that is seemingly unrelated, can affect the movement of other parts or even the body as a whole. The hardest part for most is determining where to start: what exactly is the weakest link that causes the problem with Movement.
This problem was considered by Gray Cook, a prominent physical therapist. His interest in the subject sparked the development of a system of basic movement patterns called the Functional Movement Screens. These screens give trainers a better overall look at the way someone is moving: what kind of movements they excel at and what movements they may struggle with. The Functional Movement Screens also provide an indication of the best place to start with exercise in order to help improve movement. There are many benefits to this system. Functional Movement Screens help to reveal risk of injury in healthy populations. Studies have shown a dramatic increase in risk of injury for individuals whose scores fall below a criterion level on the screens. The Functional Movement Screens are also a good gauge that a person is ready to return to an activity after rehabilitation for an injury.
Upon completion of the screen, we look for one of the following four results:
1.) The screens elicited pain. If the screens elicit pain, then the client needs to be checked out by a health care professional. Exercise would be limited to corrective exercise for dysfunctional movement patterns that have no pain, as well as conditioning exercises for movement patterns that are functional and demonstrate no pain. Sometimes correction of dysfunctional non-painful patterns can bring pain relief for painful movement patterns.
2.) The screens reveal significant dysfunctional movement, but no pain. In this case, the client’s exercise program would focus primarily on corrective exercise to reduce the risk of injury and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of exercise.
3.) The screens reveal some moderate or average and symmetrical level of dysfunction. In this case, the client would be given some prep work to perform before exercise, and an exercise program that would not exacerbate any dysfunction that exists.
4.) The screens reveal acceptable and symmetrical movements. In this case the client has no significant limitations in their exercise program. After one of the four results has been identified, and the appropriate strategies have been implemented, the screens should be rechecked on a regular basis. Changes in the screen scores (movement) can result from training, competition, lack of movement, and other stressors.
Most of us start off very mobile in life. This mobility we are gifted with allows us to move and enjoy life. Functional Movement Screens are a good way of ensuring that we maintain adequate movement patterns throughout life. At Movement Training by Design, we will train your body to adopt the correct posture and movements needed to improve the way you move. Call 860-970-8575 today for information.