In the “Movement Approach to Fascia” blog, the strategy to lengthen and load the fascia and other soft tissues was described. This strategy used the authentic body-part drivers of movement: the legs, arms, and head. Combining lunges with arm swings/reaches causes the tissues to be lengthened and loaded. These global movements create two forms of mobility: global mobility of the tissues across multiple muscles, bones, and joints; plus the local mobility of the different tissue layers from the skin down to the bones. Maintaining and restoring both forms of mobility will facilitate symptom-free function.

Loading of the fascia increases when the global movements that create mobility are tweaked to require more internal control. The loading, referred to at the Gray Institute as stability training, creates more tension in the fascia.

More tension can:

1. create local mechanical and electrophysiological signals to improve gliding between tissue layers

2. provide functional tissue forces that produce better strength and proper orientation of the collagen fibers

3. provide neuro-perceptual information from mechanoreceptors that enhance the proprioception used to coordinate the different parts of the body

At the Gray Institute, the 3D Movement Analysis and Performance System (3DMAPS) uses the leg, arm, and head drivers to assess the mobility and stability of the body’s movements. The movements, called Chains, are organized by plane and are named by the direction of the lunging leg. Once the six Chains are used for analysis, a 3DMAPS-certified practitioner can utilize the “movement tweaks” of the Performance System for further analysis and / or performance training and rehabilitation.

The Diagonal movements are built upon the strategies inherent in 3DMAPS. The movements simultaneously lengthen multiple fascial lines, muscle-tendon units, and joint capsules. The Diagonal lunges are hybrids of the sagittal and frontal plane lunges. The angles of the lunges are the 4 diagonals: right anterior-lateral, left anterior-lateral, right posterior-lateral, left posterior-lateral. The tissue lengthening created by these lunges is combined with lengthening that is created by a single-arm rotational reach. In addition to the lunge direction, the Diagonal movements are designed to lengthen and load the fascia along a diagonal line from the toes of one leg to the fingers of the opposite arm.

In order to visualize the “diagonals” within the body, it is beneficial have an image of Michelangelo’s drawing called the Vitruvian Man. With the legs and arms spread apart and fully extended, the Vitruvian position creates an “X” across the body. One diagonal of the “X” runs from the right foot to the left hand. The other diagonal

extends from the left foot to the right hand. The Vitruvian man is an anterior view. But there is also a posterior “X” made up of the same two diagonals. So there are four diagonals but eight Diagonal movements because the stance leg Diagonals address different tissues than the lunge leg Diagonals.

The diagonal lines are fairly easy to see, but appreciating the Diagonal movements requires video demonstration. There will be two vlogs related to this blog: Stance Leg Diagonals and Lunge Leg Diagonals. The Stance Leg Diagonal movements use the same arm as the lunging leg. During these movements the pelvis and trunk rotate in the same direction in the transverse plane. The Lunge Leg Diagonal movements use the arm opposite the lunging leg. The pelvis and the trunk rotate in opposite directions in the transverse plane in these movements.

The Diagonal movements can be tweaked in unlimited ways for the needs of an individual. The movements (and any tweaks) are an expansion of 3DMAPS, and 3DMAPS is built upon the Principles-Strategies-Techniques process of Applied Functional Science.