The Mobility - Motor Control Continuum
The Mobility - Motor Control Continuum is a framework that helps us progress or regress any exercise in a logical manner using some basic rules of motor control development. Any and every exercise in rehab and physical training has a place on this continuum.
We are defining mobility as "Controlled Mobility" or the ability to control a joint through its range of motion both actively and passively (someone else doing it for you). This involves any mobility drill that asks you to mobilize and then actively move a given joint with control.
Static Motor Control is basically holding a certain joint position or posture still while someone or something (band or weight) tries to move you out of position or posture. This category would also incorporate isometric exercises, where you're contracting muscles without joint movement. During static motor control drills your base of support (BOS) and your center of mass (COM) are fixed and not moving.
Dynamic Motor Control starts to introduce movement while still demanding postural control. This can be broken down into 2 different categories:
- Dynamic Postural Control: A moving COM over a fixed BOS. Split stance one arm row exercise
- Static-Dynamic Control: A moving COM and a moving BOS. This requires a weight shift to bring the COM over a new BOS in order to free a limb for stepping function. In terms of a motor control challenge this would be more difficult compared to dynamic postural control. An example of static - dynamic control would be a reverse lunge, which is a progression of a split squat. A reverse lunge first requires you to shift your weight from 2 legs to one leg (moving BOS) and then have enough balance and control to step back with one leg to reverse lunge then up again to the 2 legs start position.
Take note that in one rehab or training session you could go through the entire mobility - motor control continuum. You could even bounce back and forth within the continuum using one exercise making the transitions seamless while also getting a solid training session in.