It has been an Australian summer of sport characterised by the consistent thread of the value of quality movement.
It was great to see the majestic fluidity of Roger Federer back on centre court at the Australian Open. In his post-match interview after defeating Jo-Wilfred Tsonga he highlighted how much better he is feeling moving around the court and how that allows him to relax and actually compete with the world’s best. Contrast this with the experience of Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal, whose bodies each failed them at critical stages.
Now we have the Winter Olympics. What I have noticed so far is how important quality movement is to so many of the sports. Of course quality movement is important to almost all sports but often movement is a means to a greater end. Aesthetics are influential, if not completely determinant of the final score athletes produce in sports ranging from slope-style skiing and snow-boarding, half-pipe snow-boarding, aerials, moguls and of course, figure skating.
Commentators attempt to enlighten the unenlightened like myself by explaining what a ‘Japan-air’ or a ‘Stale-Fish’ is (this mostly goes over the top of my head) but really, the quality of the jump often is judged by easily observed traits such as smoothness and fluidity.
These traits are common threads in quality movement. We as Professionals can get bogged down in nerdy biomechanical quantification of movement but this is of little practical relevance to you.
Regardless of what you want to do with your body- be it doing “Backside Misty’ flip on a Snow-board half-pipe, running your favorite trails, sweeping your driveway, performing a squat in a gym or playing with your kids in the park, if you can develop the ability to do these things with pleasing aesthetics you will feel good for it.
Quality movement requires adequate joint mobility, good muscle activation patterns, balance and then finally an integration of those three things in movement. This is what we help our clients do.