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Gray Cook’s unit tests for body movement quality

 

Debugging and optimizing the movements involved in running and cycling is a constant need that I have, in the quest to enjoy and progress, pain free, with these  sports that I like. Browsing the internet for new perspectives, I found about, while looking at ideas from Tim Ferris and  Stuart McGill, about a inovative guy named Gray Cook. He was warmly recommended for injury prevention strategies. I looked a few videos on youtube, and decided to read his “Movement” book.

His other famous book, “Athletic Body in Balance“, seemed more advanced, I saved it in my “wishlist”.

The ideas in the book impressed me a lot. As a IT person, I was extremely suprised to see an algorithmical and test driven aproach to the general quality of human movement. The book explains  in extraordinary detail the importance of efficient body movement. And it describes so clearly the principles that one can apply when unit testing and then debugging and improving movement quality.

To have a view of the tests (that are very simple, but the philosophy behind them, explained in the book, has many levels and subtilities), I found some examples on youtube:

Functional Movement Screen:

Self Movement Screen:

Selective Functional Movement Assessment – SFMA:

In my case, I took the time to demonstrate my “unit test” to professional people that know my training history, and already started appling a “patch” at current version. It is not time yet to draw any conclusions, but the feeling that I have is that I choose to follow a very promising track to improve myself. The book explais this in depth, the test is just a test, what to do with the results depends on each person specific case and probably requires input and work with skilled profesionals from other “departments” (physical terapists, coaches, kinetoterapeuts, doctors, osteopaths etc.). So I am looking forward to my improved future version :)

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