Moving Better is Step One

After recently attending both the FMS Level 1 and Level 2 courses over the last couple months I have a new found respect for movement. Like many, I always thought that improving movement is a worthwhile endeavor, but now more than ever am I convinced that correcting movement dysfunction is the more important thing any strength coach or fitness professional can do.

In case you need any more convincing or even a reminder, here are a handful of reasons as to why movement needs to be focused on in any program.

Performance Enhancement
The best soccer player, hockey player, football player or volleyball player all usually have one thing in common: great movement quality. These athletes have the highest quality of movement, the greatest coordination, and smooth movement quality. What makes LeBron James, Alex Morgan, or Cristiano Ronaldo better then their competition is not that they are necessarily stronger then everyone else, it’s that they move better then everyone else.

The perfect example of this is Kevin Durant who is by no means the strongest player in the NBA, he’s actually far from it. At the NBA combine they ask the potential draft picks to bench press 185lbs for as many reps as possible – Durant was able to manage zero reps, zero! There was a lot of talk about Durant not being strong enough to make it in the NBA, but what people failed to realize was that Durant moved incredibly well. Durant went on to average 20.3 points per game in his rookie year and was named the Rookie of the Year.

KD Movement

Injury Prevention
Great movement quality is also what helps most of these top performers stay healthier then many of their competitors. If you are training hard, whether it be in your sport at practice or in the weight room, you are putting through an incredible amount of mechanical stress on a daily basis. It stands to reason that the better you move, the less mechanical stress you will be putting your body through.

LeBron James is a perfect example of an elite performer that has stayed relatively healthy throughout his entire career. LeBron has played in 987 regular season games in his 13 NBA seasons, an average of 75 games a year. In addition to this, LeBron has played in 196 playoff games over this same time span for an average of 91 games a year – and he’s never had a serious injury in that timeframe.

LeBron Movement

***As a side note, though I am a fan/proponent of the FMS and think there is no better commercial movement screen available, this is by no means a promotion for the system. The point of the photos of both Kevin Durant and LeBron James being screened through the FMS is that their fundamental/functional movement assessed and a baseline established so that measures can be taken to improve their movement if need be. Nothing more, nothing less. I’m not telling you that you need to use the FMS, but I am saying that setting a movement baseline is extremely important. If you have a better system then the FMS, use it.

Improved Daily Life
The way you move can effect the way you feel and how you go through your everyday life. Everyone needs the ability to sit, stand, walk, run, reach, push, pull and many other different movements. Just like an athlete, if you can not perform these movements well you will create more mechanical stress on your body. Just because you aren’t an athlete it doesn’t mean you don’t need to move well. Being able to pick up a child, get in and out of a car or seat, or wrestle with your dog on the floor is something you may take for granted, until you can no longer do it.

Moral of the story; move better. This doesn’t mean we neglect strength training as getting strong makes everything better, just make sure you are getting strong on a solid movement foundation.


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