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Benefits of assessing movement patterns

We are active beings, who are in constant movement. Each time that we move, our bodies do so based on an intention or purpose, that is to say, a function.

For this reason, when conducting a movement assessment, we must understand that the concept of functionality will be the result of the interaction of our muscles, tendons, joints, etc., with the purpose to cause a given movement in our daily activities or when performing sports.

The brain’s function is to create “Movement Patterns”. This action is responsible for integrating a series of sequential movements, onto a single fragment of information. Thanks to this process, we are able to be more efficient when we move, because the information is organized and managed in a better way and brain processing times are reduced.

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Some examples of basic movement patterns are: pushing movements (push-ups); traction (pull-ups); squats (when you bend down to pick up something or to garden); rotation movements (when you turn around to wave to someone who’s located behind your), among others. These patterns derive from early rudimentary basic movements.

So, why is it important to assess our movement patterns?

If the movement is dysfunctional, our mobility, stability and motor control may be failing, thus increasing the risk of injury to our muscles or joints, even if our sports performance is currently high.

A movement assessment will identify any altered components and, once completed, it will be necessary to focus on the weakest ones or those which generate the greatest limitations, in order to work on them and generate improvements, decreasing the risk of injuries.

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Even though deficient movement patterns could result in increasing the risk of injuries during physical activity, we should not forget that “good” movement patterns do not 100% guarantee that no injuries will occur, since other factors – such as strength, endurance, coordination, agility, and the acquisition of abilities – also play a significant role. However, movement is the basis to generate efficient and harmonious patterns.

It is very important that our movement patterns be periodically evaluated, because, throughout time, these patterns can change, depending on context, the type of activity (or inactivity), the type of sports that you perform, the required skills, and the discomfort or pain that you could feel. Whenever our body faces pain, it carries out a compensatory movement to maintain some degree of functionality, regardless of the quality of the movement.

If you are able to identify your limitations and asymmetries, you will be able to work on them and then enhance that new pattern, and thus improve your sports performance and decrease the risk of injury.

Author

Igal Rovner

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