At the Gray Institute, there is a maxim that is invoked often: Movement Is Driven.  But that begs the question: What are the Drivers of human movement?  One way to categorize the Drivers of movement (that provides insight) is in three “buckets”(physical, biological, behavioral). The physical drivers include forces in the environment such as gravity, ground reaction force, and momentum.  These affect the initiation and execution of movements.  Biological Drivers include all the bone segments, the muscles, and connective tissue in the body.  Behavioral Drivers are harder to quantify, but no less impactful.  They include pain and fear, as well as the psychological effects of previous injuries and movement difficulties.

The Driven Principle leads to many different Strategies that consider all three categories of Drivers.  This blog will focus on Strategies based on AUTHENTICITY with the desired task or activity.  Authenticity means designing test and training movements that mimic closely the actual activity.  Unless there are other considerations (these will be discussed in the next blog), task authenticity is the primary basis for selecting the Strategy to be used.  Authenticity starts with the orientation of the body relative to gravity.  If the activity is performed upright, the majority of the testing and training should be upright.  This allows the body’s mechanoreceptors the opportunity to “measure” gravitational torques, which is essential for efficient movement.  Authenticity also encompasses the initial position of the body segments relative to each other (joint positions).  Also critical is the speed of movement required.  Speed alters the momentum of the body and its individual segments.  If the desired movement is fast, then authentic training must include tweaking up the speed in order to create the proprioceptive inputs required to activate the muscles. 

Authentic Strategies take advantage of the body drivers that are used during the actual activity.  Activities are Driven by the hands and arms, feet and legs, the pelvis, and the head.  The legs are the main drivers in walking.  So any training Strategies for walking would involve a lot of lunges and leg swings, as well as hops and jumps if appropriate.  Activities that involve reaching, throwing, or wielding implements would require training that uses the hands to create authentic Chain Reaction movements.  Often activities such as bending and lifting objects involve both hands and feet drivers (as well as the head/eyes driver).  If we want our training programs to have a great degree of authenticity, these body drivers must be considered when designing programs for training, injury prevention, and rehabilitation.

 Let’s use the example of training a client required lift boxes at his job in a business that sells and repairs outdoor power equipment.  The boxes need to be lifted from the floor onto shelves once they arrive at his workplace.  He complained of general fatigue, but not any specific joint pain.  His training program needed be based on his current level of success.  3DMAPS is a simple and efficient assessment tool that utilizes lunges with arm swings/reaches and includes the head as an additional driver.  During the 6 Analysis Movements, no specific deficits were identified.  The Performance System of 3DMAPS was utilized to create a specific training program for this client.  The Analysis movements were used as his warm-up. Then the anterior lunge was combined with a posterior at ankle arm swing based on an “out of chain” strategy of the Performance System (with gradually increasing loads).  Once this sagittal plane movement was successful, lunges in the frontal and transverse plane were combined with the arm swing (plane feet strategy).  This was complemented with different arm swings combined with the anterior lunge (plane hands strategy).  All movements were performed with different loads.  Eventually the various planes of lunges and swings were combined to build a lifting ability that was authentic to not only the body drivers, but also the variability of the position of the boxes in the workplace.

Understanding the biomechanics of the desired activity and designing programs that take advantage of the Performance System utilizing authentic body part Drivers provides the Principled Strategies to create a roadmap to success.