How to Become a MOVEMENTSMITH!

A movementsmith is someone who owns position and has mastery of motion in every direction. He or she is the epitome of graceful, artistic, and poetic movement which is economical, efficient, and effective.

One of my missions is to be a movementsmith and to help everyone else do the same. When you are a movementsmith, 3 things are going to happen. First, you’ll maximize your performance in not just sports, but all life activities. Second, you’ll eliminate pain because your entire system will work smoothly with minimal wear and tear. And finally, movementsmithing is one of the things which will make you HARD TO KILL!

Think about it. Predators are opportunistic killers. They prey upon the weak, slow, stiff, and fragile creatures because they are easier to kill. Skilled predators single out such quarry and dispatch them accordingly. Life is your predator. Or more specifically, the Grim Reaper. He’s coming and eventually he’ll get us all. But he focuses most on the weak, slow, stiff, and fragile targets who are literally easier to kill. Dysfunction pairs with disease, decline, and death and this is simply a biological fact. 

Movementsmiths are hard to kill (HTK) because they are strong, fast, agile, and durable. They are robust and resilient. How you move says a lot about your vitality, function, and longevity. The Reaper is also an opportunistic predator. He pays less attention to those who are HTK because the risk/reward ratio, or return on investment, is less than when attacking poor movers.

I mentioned earlier that everyone deserves to be an HTK movementsmith. That’s what I help people to do in my online coaching and physiotherapy services. This is not fluffy stuff to be taken lightly. It’s big rock country where optimizing biomechanics treats the root cause of a problem and solves it once and for all. It takes expertise, commitment, and work…on both sides. As a clinician I cut to the chase, identify dysfunction and line out the corrections, providing a progressive structure and appropriate cues. Clients buy in and do the work. Those who really want to kick ass – at, in, and for LIFE – become true movementsmiths.

Right now I’m working on a 3-part series on The Lifetime Athlete YouTube Channel entitled “Understanding Human Movement.” In Part 1 I covered triplanar motion and demonstrated how movement can be broken down into its component parts. In Part 2 I discussed analysis and the paradigm I use to identify the root cause of movement dysfunction. In Part 3 I’ll be going over interventions and optimization with multiple examples. Here are a couple of the principles of movement analysis which you might find useful.

  • Quantitative analysis: Is motion present? How much? How do we measure it? Do those entities meet our expectations of ideal or normal?
  • Qualitative analysis: How is the movement executed or performed? Does it look like the athlete or client manages pressure and tension well? Are force and velocity appropriate? Is there pain or other symptoms? Is it relatively symmetrical in relation to the other side (where indicated)?
  • Deficits: Is mobility the issue? Or does joint stability appear to be compromised? Is there adequate strength present? Could there be a problem with motor control, skill, and coordination? Is the athlete compensating for a problem elsewhere in the system? Are environmental factors impacting the outcome?
  • Directing the Intervention: The information we gather will allow us to know what issues need to be treated. Definitive restrictions will be isolated and addressed. Then, the movement pattern will be retrained, optimized, and integrated into the programming.

As you can see, fixing movement dysfunction is at the core of PT work, but it’s also essential for every Lifetime Athlete. When you are in pain, this is a no-brainer. But sometimes when performance is lacking, it’s highly indicated to examine your movement. And even when things are going well, it doesn’t hurt to check things out once in a while just to make sure you’re getting the best mileage out of your body. This is exactly why I always perform a full body athletic assessment with every athlete I coach. We don’t leave any performance potential on the table.

When I’m providing a collegial consultation or mentorship session with a colleague in physical therapy, coaching, or training I share these methods in great detail. We problem-solve on tough cases. I don’t know everything and I’m still learning (always will be) but I take great satisfaction in sharing what I’ve gleaned over almost 4 decades to help clinicians get better results with their clients. In this day and age, we need to get more efficient, and get the job done (right) with a minimum amount of sessions.

Thanks for joining me in this journey. I really appreciate your commitment to the melding of performance and longevity. If you are interested in these topics, take a look at those videos. Part 3 will be coming out in a few weeks. And if you have any questions, just let me know. 

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