It pays to see the whole picture before diving in to the details. Otherwise, we wouldn’t know where to look or how to fall back if we hit a dead-end. This is why using a movement assessment as a foundation is so valuable for anyone trying to better their performance. Any movement can be an assessment allowing a test-treatment-retest order to solving the problem at hand. Take a movement you do all the time or not very often at all. A simple lunge, push-up, or throw are great ways to see how your body is functioning. Popular movement assessments often include the squat for many reasons. One, it highlights many biomechanical functions that are important for daily life and optimal movement. Immediately, I can tell if someone has open hips and spine, as well as a stable core and base of support. Right to left imbalances light up here often seeing an asymmetrical weight shift or one knee tracking differently than the other.
It is often too easy to dive right in to the problem using a magnifying glass and forgetting the larger picture. Movement. Sometimes the issue is a lack of movement, or lack of proper movement. In this case, it takes time and practice to re-train the sensorimotor system to move correctly and efficiently. If you only pay attention to the area that hurts or is tight, the real root of the problem is often overlooked. Spot treatment may clear up the issue for awhile, but if the underlying faulty patterns that are creating the problem never cease, the pain returns again. Take a look at this link where Gray Cook gives multiple bullet points summarizing his Functional Movement Screen, one of the best ways to assess overall movement, asymmetries, and imbalances.
The body is great at adapting to what we put it through on a day-to-day basis so we can survive, therefore compensations in movement go unnoticed and begin to feel normal. If you have ever experienced a bad blister on a hike you know what I’m talking about. A small limp turns into a big gait compensation to avoid the pain in your heel. Yes, it’s important to let the blister heal, but striving for better movement will result in a more efficient body with less compensations leading to less pain, tension, fatigue, and blisters over time. You can never go wrong spending more time on enhancing your movement.