Practical Science on Movement and Pain

Category Archives: strength

Developmental Movements: Part Three

In the previous two posts, I discussed two basic ideas. First, that the developmental movement patterns learned in infancy are building blocks for the more complex movements that we use in our daily lives as adults. These simple patterns are combined to form complex movements, just as words and letters are combined to make sentences. If someoneRead More

What is Your Movement Style?

Panjabi divided the motor control system for the spine into three distinct subsystems –  passive, active and neural. I like applying this idea to the whole body, partly because I find it an interesting way to distinguish different strategies for movement and posture, based on preferential use of one subsystem over the others. The passiveRead More

Extreme Performance or Optimal Health? Pick One!

Many of my clients will ask my opinion about whether a particular sport or activity promotes movement health. Yoga, running, swimming, weight training, ballet, soccer, gymnastics, crossfit. (People are especially interested in whether these activities will be healthy for their kids.) It’s an interesting question because almost any physical activity you can think of hasRead More

Interview with Rafe Kelley from Parkour Visions

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Rafe Kelley, who owns and operates a parkour gym here in Seattle called Parkour Visions. Rafe is a very knowledgeable movement geek, so we had a great time chatting. (He’s also a real movement stud, see video below for evidence.) He shared so much interesting information that IRead More

The World’s Best Athlete, Part Two

Welcome to part two of my argument for who is the world’s greatest athlete. Here is a brief summary of part one. First, I concede there is no way to arrive at a truly objective answer here, because it necessarily calls into play subjective preferences. However, after starting with some admittedly arbitrary ground rules, IRead More

Flexibility and Sports Performance

In this post I have put together a few semi random thoughts on flexibility and its relationship to sports performance and injury prevention. Flexibility defined Flexibility is basically the range of motion at a particular joint – how far it can move from A to B. I like to think of flexibility as the quantityRead More

Stretching Increases Strength in Contralateral Muscle

I am too busy right now to do any in depth posts, so here’s a quick little review of an interesting study I just read. I’ve written several times before on this blog about how unilateral exercise can have significant effects on the contralateral side. I find this interesting not just because it’s kind ofRead More

The Arthrokinetic Reflex

What is the arthrokinetic reflex and what does it have to do with strength, mobility, flexibility and joint mobility drills? Here is a (very) quick explanation. The arthrokinetic reflex defined Arthro means joint. Kinetic means movement. Reflex means involuntary movement in response to a stimulus. Put them together and you have a term coined byRead More

The Difference Between Motor Learning and Exercise

When you work on your movement or physical function, are you trying to learn how to move better, or are you just exercising and placing a healthy form of stress on the body? Maybe you are doing both at the same time, or maybe you are focused on only one of these elements. Either way,Read More

Jump Therapy

I noticed something in my own training recently that I wanted to share, because it illustrates an interesting way that training can make you perform and feel better. One day last summer at the playground with my five year old, I was watching kids effortlessly land jumps off various structures. I decided that landing aRead More