When it comes to assessment in the movement industry, there is a saying: “If you are not assessing, then you are guessing.”

We at Gray Institute would push this statement a little further down the road by saying: “If you are not assessing using 3DMAPS, you are not functionally assessing the individual.”

3DMAPS (3D Movement Analysis & Performance System) should be any movement professional’s go-to movement screen, assessment, and fitness test analysis tool. However, if you’re not familiar with 3DMAPS, you might be wondering how 3DMAPS differs from other movement assessments.

The answer is simple (and important): 3DMAPS takes into account all vital joint motions of the body as they happen in real life. Where conventional and traditional movement assessments fall short, 3DMAPS delivers.

Keep reading to learn more.

Effective Assessments Consider the Body as a Whole

Many widely accepted movement assessments and fitness tests don’t consider the body as a Chain Reaction®. This leads to one-dimensional, isolated, and arbitrary movements that don’t resemble how people move in real life.

To guide your assessment process, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are we assessing all 66 vital primary joint motions of the body?
  • Are we assessing the body as a Chain Reaction?
  • Are we assessing both mobility and stability?

The only fitness test in the industry that answers “yes” to all of the above questions is 3DMAPS. This certification can truly empower movement professionals further in assessment, performance, rehabilitation, and prevention.

Applying 3DMAPS Principles to a Real-Life Scenario: A Torn ACL

Further differentiation of 3DMAPS can be shown through muscle function. The biological sciences prove that muscles react to joint motion. Furthermore, muscles get lengthened in all three planes of motion. Since 3DMAPS allows the primary joints of the body to move in all three planes, then the body’s many muscles naturally react and lengthen in all three planes. This further separates 3DMAPS for all the other assessments in the industry.

Let’s take a moment and make this information come to life through application. Tearing the ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) is an all-too-common injury. At a surface level, the ACL can get torn when the leg experiences an external force, when the body lands from a jump or hop, when the body simply tries to slow down, or when the body changes direction during a physical activity.

At a biomechanical level, the ACL gets torn when the knee goes through abnormal motion in all three planes of motion. These motions are:

  • Flexion
  • Abduction
  • Internal rotation

Here’s the thing: The knee is supposed to go through these motions. The body is supposed to assist in these motions by absorbing the movement at the knee by motions at these other vital joints—primarily the subtalar ankle complex, the hip, and the thoracic spine. In other words, the knee is only as flexible and strong as the subtalar ankle, hip, and thoracic spine.

Let’s now take a moment to look at the subtalar and ankle complex with relationship to the knee going through flexion, abduction, and internal rotation.

In order to protect the knee from abnormal flexion during a physical activity (as well as how to decelerate the knee flexing), the ankle needs adequate dorsiflexion. In order to protect the knee from abnormal abduction, as well as how to decelerate the knee abducting, the subtalar joint needs adequate eversion. And in order to protect the knee from abnormal internal rotation, as well as how to decelerate the knee internally rotating, the subtalar joint needs adequate abduction. All these elements require mobility and stability.

So how do you assess the mobility of the subtalar and ankle complex on the above motions? 3DMAPS. Specifically, three of the six 3DMAPS Mobility Movements facilitate:

  • Ankle dorsiflexion (Anterior Chain Reaction)
  • Subtalar eversion (Opposite Side Lateral Chain Reaction)
  • Subtalar abduction (Same Side Rotational Chain Reaction).

Assessing the stability of the subtalar and ankle complex on the above motions surface in three of the six Stability Movements. For more information on how this happens naturally, functionally, and safely during a physical activity, please take a look at the corresponding vlog.

Your Fitness Test Should Resemble Real Life—Just Like 3DMAPS

Does your go-to movement assessment or fitness tests facilitate these motions? Does your go-to movement assessment facilitate these motions successfully for both mobility and stability? Does your go-to movement assessment give your patients, clients, and athletes the most optimal opportunity to not tear their ACL? Does your go-to movement assessment look like movements in real life? If not, then 3DMAPS needs to be your go-to movement assessment.

3DMAPS leverages movements that are authentic to everyday life by using all three planes of motion. Using 3DMAPS, you can examine, evaluate, and treat patients or clients based on the knowledge that one part of the body effects another, helping your patients and clients heal more effectively and efficiently.

Become the Go-To Movement Professional With Gray Institute

If you’re looking for an assessment tool based on scientific principles that are true to life, you’re in the right place. In addition to 3DMAPS, Gray Institute offers a robust courses catalog, so you’re sure to find the educational materials you need to take your career to the next level. To learn more, view our courses, or contact us directly. We love speaking with passionate professionals and are ready to hear from you!