Core Principle 2: Move Well. Move Often.

          The Movement Pyramid   

          The Movement Pyramid 

"Move Well. Move Often" is the first principle that we adopted from professional training in  The Functional Movement Systems and "The Movement Pyramid" diagram is a helpful visual to refer to as you read on.

We're calling this the "The Movement Pyramid" (versus the original "Performance Pyramid" by Gray Cook, PT) because this principle applies to all humans, regardless of functional goals.

The Movement Pyramid demonstrates how we re-develop movement in both our rehab and wellness services. The Pyramid must always be constructed from the bottom up, with a solid foundation of movement fundementals guiding our exercise selection. 

The foundation - "Movement Competency" 

This focuses on movement fundemental qualities & quatities such as mobility and body weight control. Having these fundamental qualities have been strongly correlated with our bodies' durability. In other words, we are more resilient and less likely to miss work or training because of a non-impact injury. The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) & The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) is a couple of the tools we use to objectively measure movement competency.

Basic movement competency includes:

  • Mobility at our joints & muscles  
  • Ability to control our own joints & muscles, otherwise known as 'Motor Control' 
  • Ability to express fundamental movement patterns, including stepping, squatting, reaching, and lunging before we impose load, volume, and fatigue to your body.

In the first tier we use the FMS to capture an individual's movement quality, then place the pattern into 4 categories:

3- Optimal (Green) 
2- Able (Yellow) 
1- Unable (Red) 
0- Pain with body weight movement (Perform orthopedic evaluation)  

FMS categories.png

To better understand how we categorize movement, think about what we do with blood pressure.

When we screen your blood pressure, you are put into categories: hypertensive (high blood pressure), borderline, or normal. We intervene with those who are hypertensive, keep an eye on and help guide those who are borderline, and tell those who are normal to keep on moving.  

With movement screening we're essentially doing the same thing.

Unlike popular belief, we are not here to "police perfect movement" and keep you from training.  We are here to pull out "movement red flags" or "orthopedic risk factors" before serious problems or injuries arise. The red flags here would be the movements in the "1-unable" or "0-pain" categories.

The movements that fall into the "unable" or "pain" categories are systematically broken down into their individual parts using The SFMA. We then begin to intervene using Core Principle 3: Protect. Correct. Develop

Those who demonstrate "2-acceptable" movement quality & quantity minimums (we are not looking for perfect) should continue to get progress their capacity goals without compromising basic body  weight abilities.

Since the movement screen calls out your weakest links, we can teach you how to address them as well as guide your exercise choices. This will help you minimize risk while optimizing the benefits of physical activity.

"Why Does Our Body Tighten Up? and "Why Controlled Mobility Matters" goes into more detail about why mobility is so important for motor control. 

The next tier in the Movement Pyramid-

"Movement Capacity"

For any specific activity, whether it be sitting at a desk all day or running a marathon, there is a basic level of endurance and strength required to stay well and pain free. Having these movement capacity minimums, on top of a solid movement foundation, enhances our resilience against injuries. 

Based on what the movement screening process tells us about your "movement competency" we can help guide your fitness and strength exercise choices.

The top tier of the Movement Pyramid- "Skill"

Whether we choose to run, swim, or lift weights, there is a basic level of skill and technique required to perform these activities safely. 

The Movement Pyramid and its three tiers represents the essence of the "Move Well. Move often" principle. 

I further discuss our need for an injury prevention service in "Why We Need More Prevention in Orthopedics."

Too often we get stronger and fitter at the expense of basic mobility and fundamental movement abilities.

It is possible to train and feel great without loosing fundamental movement. It might take more work, but this process will help you continue to learn, move, and grow without the frustrations of aches and pains.   

Ramez Antoun