Building Good Movement - Part 1

Performance training is about building movements, not muscles.  By focusing on good movement, you will develop the muscles necessary to stabilize, mobilize, and create power.  However, developing muscles individually doesn't always translate to good movement.  This is a fundamental principal in training athletes and preparing them for the field.  There are no barbells or dumbbells on the field, only space.  Gains in the weight room are great but only if it translates to the field.  

Here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Quality & Quantity.  Traditional training programs only measure movement quantity.  How much weight, how many reps, how far, how fast, how high, etc.  All of these things are surely important.  Equally important is the quality of those reps and the quality of the movement itself.  How well can you squat? How well can you hold your posture? Both quality and quantity are important when training an athlete, one without the other is a disaster.  An athlete with an enormous amount of strength but horrible flexibility and mobility is at a risk of injury.  On the other hand, an extremely flexible athlete, who always moves with great balance but can't produce force quickly enough to meet the demands of competition, is also at a risk of injury.  Both are needed.

2. Saggital, Frontal, and Transverse Planes. Many programs only train muscles to go forward/back or up/down.  Think of your traditional exercises like pushups, pull-ups, squat, and deadlift.  All are in the saggital plane where the body only moves forward/back or up/down.  Building an athlete means that we have to build movement all 3 planes of motion.  Training solely in the saggital plane is outdated.  Even vacuum cleaners can move and turn now!!  Exercises must be done in the frontal plane(lateral movements) and transverse plane (rotational movements) to prepare an athlete.

3. The Movement Matrix.  Break down all movements into an upper push, an upper pull, a hip dominant move, a knee dominant move, or some combination of the 4.  Break down load into two categories: vertical and horizontal.  Break the move down even further into 1 or 2 limbs.  The movement matrix should look like this.