By: Dr. David Tiberio, Gray Institute
One of the important Principles of Applied Functional Science (AFS) is that movement is driven. Movement is driven by our physical environment: gravity, ground reaction force, momentum, etc. Movement is also driven by our body parts that include hands, feet, eyes, and pelvis. Movement is also driven by behavioral factors: pain, fear, and goals.
This blog will focus on the body part drivers that allow movement practitioners to create movements that result in specific joint motions. If a certain motion of the hip, for example, is the goal; then practitioners of AFS will use a strategy of selecting body parts to drive a movement that creates the hip motion. To be more specific, let’s decide the focus is the right hip.
One obvious way to create motion in the right hip is to ask clients to perform lunges with the right leg.
- Anterior lunge creates right hip flexion
- Posterior lunge creates right hip extension
- Same side lateral lunge creates right hip abduction
- Opposite side lateral lunge creates right hip adduction
- Same side rotational lunge creates right hip external rotation
- Opposite side rotational lunge creates right hip internal rotation
But, those same six hip motions can be created by lunging with the left leg.
- Left anterior lunge creates right hip extension
- Left posterior lunge creates right hip extension
- Left same side lateral lunge creates right hip abduction
- Left opposite side lateral lunge creates right hip adduction
- Left same side rotational lunge creates right hip external rotation
- Left opposite side rotational lunge creates right hip internal rotation
Instead of using lunges, swinging / reaching with both arms can create the same motions.
- Swinging both arms backwards overhead will create extension in the right hip
- Swinging both arms backwards down at ground level will create right hip flexion
- Swinging both arms overhead to the right will create right hip abduction
- Swinging both arms overhead to the left will create right hip adduction
- Swinging both arms at shoulder height to the left will create right hip external rotation
- Swinging both arms at shoulder height to the right will create right hip internal rotation
Other body part drivers such as the eyes, pelvis and knees can be used as well. Does it make any difference what driver is used? What driver(s) might be best?
Practitioners of AFS might want to take advantage of many different drivers to create the desired hip motion(s). More often, certain drivers are selected based on the STRATEGY that has been chosen. Principles, like “DRIVEN” create Strategies, that determine the specific movements/techniques that are utilized.
Considerations in selecting the driver(s) include authenticity, pain, and success. If we stay with the right hip in a golfer, here is how these would apply to the backswing.
Authenticity – Using the hands as the primary driver to create hip motion would be the most authentic for the golf swing.
Pain - If the golfer had low back pain caused by a limited hip, using either leg as the driver for lunges, initially, would avoid “driving” through the painful back.
Success – Lunging with the left leg would be more authentic than the right leg since the pelvis moving on the right femur creates the motion in the right hip during the backswing. However during assessment, it may have become clear that the hip responded best to lunges with the right leg.
To learn how to utilize drivers, visit the Gray Institute website, and consider certification in CAFS or 3DMAPS