If you’re new to Gray Institute® and Applied Functional Science® (AFS), you might be not have heard of Transformational Zones. However, once you understand them, these zones will completely change how you work as a movement professional. But what are they? Why do they matter? And how do we use them in our practices and daily lives?

In this blog, we’ll outline what you need to know about Transformational Zones. Keep reading to learn more.

What Are Transformational Zones?

AFS is based on the truths of human movement. These truths are clear in our daily lives and shape how we treat, train, assess, and move. We understand these truths through principles that describe characteristics of functional movement. Transformational Zones are part of the AFS principle of “Load and Explode.”

Load and Explode describes how the neuro-musculoskeletal system “loads” an action by moving in the opposite direction of the intended goal. To jump up, we go down. To throw a ball forward, we reach back. To hit a golf ball towards the target, we rotate back. We need to “load” movement to “explode.”

Transformational Zones are the section of the total movement where the muscles – reacting to the joints' motions – change from ecdentric loading to the concentric exploding. In the Transformational Zone, the energy absorbed during the load transforms into the energy of the explode.

The change in the direction of the parts of the body is not simultaneous. Effective and efficient movements demonstrate a particular sequence of the motion reversal that maximizes the load on the body tissues. This sequence into the load and out into the explode defines the Transformational Zone. The magic of Transformational Zones is in the reversal of motion and the generation of energy.

Why Are Transformational Zones Important?

Human movement is complex. When you need to understand, analyze, and train movements, Transformational Zones offer movement professionals an incredible opportunity to do so authentically.

You can use general and activity-specific Transformational Zone movements to challenge the body and observe how the body handles the challenge. The 3D Movement Analysis and Performance System (3DMAPS®) simplifies movement assessment by leveraging six vital Transformational Zone movements, which are Chain Reaction® movements driven by the hands and feet. They are:

  • Anterior Chain Reaction
  • Posterior Chain Reaction
  • Same Side Lateral Chain Reaction
  • Opposite Side Lateral Chain Reaction
  • Same Side Rotational Chain Reaction
  • Opposite Side Rotational Chain Reaction

These six movements, tweaked to analyze mobility and stability, empower the movement practitioner to quickly learn important information about how the body integrates motions from individual joints into a total body movement task.

RELATED: What Every Physical Therapist Needs to Know About Transformational Zones

How We Use Transformational Zones at Gray Institute

Once you understand how the body integrates movement from individual joints to total body movement tasks, you can design additional Transformational Zone movements specific to your patient or client and use them to treat and train the person you’re working with.

A great example is tweaking Transformational Zone movements; modify a successful movement to increase the challenge and transform previously unsuccessful movements into success.

Understanding Transformational Zones also allows you to design unique programs to each person you’re working with. Whenever a new “resource” is added to your patient or client’s body (flexibility, strength, balance, power), you can design a program using the Transformational Zone movement to ensure that the body can integrate the new resource into task execution.

Using AFS, we have the tools to assess, train, challenge, progressions, and re-assess, all in the Transformational Zones.

Discover the Power of Transformational Zones With Gray Institute

Applied Functional Science offers a life-changing perspective on the body, how it works, and how it heals. Two of our cornerstone courses / certifications, 3DMAPS and CAFS, give you the tools you need to assess movement and implement corrective exercises that address the root of the dysfunction.

If you’re ready to learn the truth of human movement, it’s time to consider enrolling today. Our courses are CEU-eligible, available online, virtual, and in-person, and certifications last a lifetime.

Transform Your Approach and Your Career Today

If you’re ready to leave the cookie-cutter approach to treatment behind and embrace the truth of human movement, you’re in the right place. We’ve been empowering passionate movement professionals for 40 years and are ready to speak with you about the taking the next step in your educational journey.

For more information about Gray Institute, Applied Functional Science, or 3DMAPS and CAFS, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re happy to speak with you about your goals and how Gray Institute can help. Contact our team today to get started!