Whether the undertaking is a business presentation or wanting to get in shape to tone up and lose a few pounds, knowing where to begin is paramount in ensuring the success of that new venture.
A saying from one of my favorite teachers in my early academic career that has stuck with me through the years has been, “Well begun is half done”. A great beginning creates the foundation for our success and having the fortune of knowing that starting point is what makes a great coach, trainer or medical professional.
Throughout my professional career I have tried various approaches and different theoretical models in my quest to assist clients with better functioning and less pain. I was fortunate to find manual therapy (specifically Myofascial Release) early in my career and found a “home” there with its whole body approach. I have never understood the long standing “standard of care” in our industry that uses modalities like ultrasound to treat symptoms for the majority of the treatment time while actual time with a licensed therapist is less than 15 minutes.
The other theoretical model I use that integrates seamlessly with MFR is the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA). I was first introduced to the SFMA through Titleist Performance Institute’s co-founder Greg Rose D.C. The SFMA is a brilliant tool that assesses movement patterns common almost all sports and assists the medical practitioner in quickly and accurately assessing the cause of pain and/or dysfunction.
So where do I begin? …. I begin every session with a postural and movement assessment. From that starting point I look at joint and soft tissue mobility. I cannot stress enough the importance of resetting the soft tissue. Efficient movement requires the ability of the soft tissue to fully relax and lengthen in order to fully shorten and contract. Power and optimal performance can be measured in the coefficient from relaxation to contraction. Without resetting the soft tissue we need to recruit other muscles to achieve the same results. Recruiting other muscle groups usually lessens efficiency and changes proper biomechanics and muscle sequencing. Remember, the most efficient movement uses the least amount of muscle power and energy to achieve the desired activity.
Once mobility is restored I then look at stability and motor control. So many of my clients have developed compensations in their movement patterns but lack the true stability to perform the pure and efficient movement. The SFMA correction to stability/motor control is to find where the activity can be performed purely and start at that point with exercise progressions. Many times exercise progressions start from prone or supine and build up from there until the pure movement can be performed in standing.
Some other considerations seldom discussed but equally important is the temperament and actual body type and structure of the individual, habit patterns and daily routines. Ideally all considerations need to “sync up” to ensure success. Sometimes our egos take over at our own expense. I recently had a 78 year old express frustration with his golf game because he was not able to play competitively from the Tour Player Tee Box and refused to move up to the shorter Member’s tee box though he complained of increased pain following a round of golf.
At the Performance Center at Seven Canyons – Sedona, swing coaches, fitness and medical professionals are on the same page and we train the whole person for optimal success. We begin where you are able to be pure in your biomechanics and sequencing and build from that point one success after another.
Michael Rende, OTR, TPI-MP3/ Dave Bisbee, Director of Golf Seven Canyons – Sedona