Movement analysis is centuries old. The earliest attempt to create a classification system was started in the 18th century by King Louis XIV with the idea of preserving dances. Another lurch forward occurred during World War II, as engineers sought to improve worker’s contributions to the rapidly growing industrial economy. This evolution of movement analysis is like any great coach or general; their approaches improved efficiency, reduced fatigue, and increased quality of life. Improving this efficiency is at the core of our existence and happiness, and the path begins with analysis of your movement signature™.
A movement signature™ is the ground reaction force (GRF) profile used by an athlete as a neuromuscular solution to move more efficiently.
• GRF is the force exerted by the ground on a body in contact with it. For example, a person standing motionless on the ground exerts a contact force on it (equal to the person’s weight) and at the same time an equal and opposite ground reaction force is exerted by the ground on the person.
• The brain controls the movements of skeletal (voluntary) muscles via specialized nerves. The combination of the nervous system and muscles, working together to permit movement, is known as the neuromuscular system.
Moving efficiently is the ultimate goal of any human being.
• less susceptible to fatigue because each movement costs less energy
• lower injury risk because joint and muscle stress are dispersed appropriately
• higher performance, because the body is able to produce more power, usually by less interference from opposing muscle groups, called antagonists (see Sparta Point)
This movement signature™ is dictated by your history, genetics, and regeneration strategies.
• Training and sport history both affect your GRF profile. For example quick, short movements like soccer, or heavy, abbreviated strength movements create abrupt curves on a force plate
• Genetics play a role, best classified by ethnic findings such as African Americans producing higher rates of force, and Asians possessing higher levels of flexibility.
• Regeneration strategies have a host of effects on the signature, generally due to the resulting body mass which obviously influences GRF.
We use a force plate to diagnose, improve, and maintain every individual’s movement signature™. This signature can provide insight into injury risk, the preferential success in certain skills/sports, and your body’s sensitivity to adaptations.
Sometimes it is necessary to take a step back and decide that our ultimate goal as athletes is to bring joy to yourself and others. Fortunately, this gift is best accomplished through movement efficiency, which begins with a better understanding that your signature goes far beyond your name.