Sunday, October 22, 2006

A weekend away teaching...

I was away this weekend assisting my friend Gray Cook at a presentation in Northern VA. For those of you who don't know Gray created something called the Functional Movement Screen (click on the products link on my website - go to the bottom and through the link you can purchase the book Athletic Body in Balance). The movement screen is a way to assess essential movement patterns and find restrictions and asymmetries (Gray is referring to asymmetries when he refers to balance not wobbling on a disc). Once the restrictions and asymmetries are found they can be dealt with and the difference is amazing.
Gray also has a Clinical level evaluation that he teaches to Physical Therapists (consider yourself lucky if someone with this is in your area).

While I was there to assist - I learned far more. An appreciation for what movement screening and evaluation can mean was hammered home this weekend. Look for upcoming blogs and information on both Gray's book and the Movement Screen.

Also brought home to me this weekend was the fact that the RKC principles and techniques put you ahead of the game as a trainer. Breathing, strength and the instructors eye for assessing movement come in handy anywhere.

I had the opportunity to put on a little grip and KB demo which went over very well.

A "gem" from the weekend - what makes an exercise functional or not depends on whether it improves the goal activity.

Think about that for a moment...(go ahead - I'll wait...)

What do you want to improve? Did the exercise improve it? If yes - it is functional to the goal - If no - well then no... ;)

Standing on a wobble board and doing curls is only a "functional" exercise if it improves the goal activity. It is not a "functional" exercise because it involves a wobble board and some "expert" said it was.

Having a baseline and re-assessing will be the only way you can determine the functionality of an exercise.

A squat is a basic strength training exercise - combine this with the skill work specific to the goal and it can be a sport specific exercise. Once you re-assess you will know if things improved. Saying something is functional or sport specific does not make it so.

More tomorrow... Sorry for the missed blog - travel happens!


Brett Jones said...

Couldn't agree more - I worked with Gray back in 95-97 when I was an ATC at a school in Viginia - he taught me a lot back then that has influenced me greatly.
The Movement Screen - is a tremendous tool for any trainer.

Thank you for your post on the DD forum!

Geoff Neupert said...

You were an ATC? How is it that we get along? I've got a TON of ATC horror stories from when I was a S&C Coach at Rutgers...

I like Gray Cook's stuff--in fact I think Mike Clark "borrowed" most of it for his NASM OPT assessment. But, I have some issues with it, namely, are you really going to assessing/discovering asymmetries or are you testing skills? How many people perform overhead squats in their daily routine apart from we oly's? How about lunges?

Just food for thought. Think about your pre-Beast Tamer Assessment...

Franz Snideman said...

Great Post Brett. Most people perform zero type of movement analysis when working with a client so I am always happy when people are getting trainers to evaluate movement. I am not familiar with Gray Cook's work.

When sutdying under Paul Chek for many years I learned his Primal Pattern Assesment which I still use to this day. It sounds somewhat similar although a little different than Cook's methods.

I would tend to agree with Geoff about movement testing and specificity. Most people don't perform what we teach on a daily basis therefore most people will score "negatively" on alot of the tests. Fun discussion and either way I think each coach must find and adapt their movement analysys according to what gives them the best subjective and objective information. I think movement analysis for most trainers is very subjective!

Brett Jones said...

The movement screen is an assesment of gross movement patterns. Squating, Lunging, Single leg stance etc... are basic movement patters that all (with a grain of salt) people can perform. During the screening you are not looking for performance of a skill - you are placing the person in a basic movement pattern and looking for compensations.
Using gait for anaylsis has it's issues - since we perform the skill of walking everyday (hopefully) it is a movement pattern in which we become very skilled at hiding compensations and asymmetries. A force plate and 30' of walking can still hide a lot.
Since the movement screen incorporates testing of right and left sides it actually does a pretty good job of picking up asymmetries.
I am still interested in Z-health but find the ability to screen movement patterns - since we teach movement - to be a very useful tool.
BTW - notice that I am a former ATC! Or ATC in recovery!

thanks Franz - check out the movement screen and see how it compares to the primal movement.


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