The big hit at the Chicago Perform Better seminar was no other than Thomas Myers. He is the author of Anatomy Trains, arguably one of the best anatomy, myofascial, human performance books on the market, and have been practicing for about 35 years.
One of the take home messages I took away from everything was looking at how the body moves as a core unit. I think it is very easy to look at the body and think merely of the prime movers but rather we his point was looking at the fascia and understanding that fascia covers different muscles and draw upon other muscles during movement.The current buzz right now is whether we are to train muscles or train movements. I would argue that we need to train movements. When we're on the field, the court, or the turf, it's not muscles that drive athletic performance, it's movement. You could argue with me and say that muscles drive movement that then influence athletic performance, and I would agree with that.
What I'm saying is that as strength coaches, it's important to look primarily at movement and understand that there is a lot determining how we move. We have to understand that structural indifferences are common. We must look into understanding differences in biomechanics. Lastly, we have to understand that movement is primarily are most immediate concern. Grey Cook said it best by saying "we can build strength on top of dysfunction". I agree wholehearted with him on that statement. If I can successfully make an athlete's squat go from 315lbs to 405lb, tell me how good that is if his knee falls in on a forward lunge. Tell me what difference that extra strength does when his chest collapses forward on an over head squat. Is the glute medius firing properly? Does he have the thoracic mobility to keep his chest up during these squats?
Movement has to come first. This is why I'm such a fan of the Functional Movement Screen. You can insert your favorite movement assessment, go right ahead, I don't mind. I do, however, believe we need to look at how our athletes move and work towards correcting movement dysfunction before we add strength to that particular movement. There is no sense adding to a dysfunction, and perpetuating the errors, if we can take the time to work corrective exercises and interventions.
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