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A Comparison of Different Commercial Models of Movement Assessment: Part I

One of the most divisive things in the physical preparation and rehabilitation community is the emotional attachment people develop to specific continuing education courses.  The courses that deal with movement analysis tend to be some of the most polarizing despite the fact that they all attempt to answer the same question.  Since there are scores of movement “systems” (the definition of system is a blog post in itself), I will only opine on the ones I’ve experienced firsthand, those from the Postural Restoration Institute®, The Selective Functional Movement Assessment, and Functional Range Conditioning.  I did not review my notes from these courses in preparation for this post because I want to focus on the things that continue to resonate with me years later.  Consequently, my current interpretation of the material might differ from each model’s official stance.  I will review each system in the order that I think makes the most sense.

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Usain Bolt, The Movement Police, and Keyboard Sprinting Experts

Last week, Usain Bolt withdrew from the Jamaican National Track and Field Championships with a grade 1 hamstring strain, a mild but extremely untimely injury with the Olympics approaching. The reaction from some factions in the physical preparation and sports rehabilitation community has been disappointing and speaks to a larger issue in these fields- the propensity to criticize other practitioners without proper context. Many Internet commentators suggested that if Bolt had practiced what they preach he would not have sustained an injury. Hamstring injuries in sprinting are like shoulder injuries in pitchers. They are completely unavoidable at the highest level of sport. Repeatedly running or throwing as fast as humanly possible is not conducive to longevity or health. Elite sport requires one to subject the body to stresses that elicit adaptations at physiological extremes. The relationship between elite performance and health is a tight rope that medicine will never definitively navigate regardless of technological advances, improved surgical procedures, and the emergence of commercial systems of movement analysis. Considering all that Bolt has accomplished in his career, his injury history is actually quite unremarkable.

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