Monday, May 6, 2013

Strengthening Your Weak Link!

Kinesiology is the study of movement. It is what physical therapists are experts at. In kinesiology, a leg or an arm is often referred to as a "chain." The reason being is that a leg or an arm is comprised of parts with links, those links being joints. Muscles originate on a bone, cross a joint and anchor on another bone so it can stabilize and move a joint. So when we hear the expression, "a chain is only as strong as its weakest link," we could easily apply that idea to a human chain. That's a very important concept especially if you are an athlete. 

Aside from being a Physical Therapist, I have been an avid martial artist for a good 20 years. In that time I have suffered a nice bouquet of injuries; everything from a broken bone, to torn muscles in my mid back. After a four year hiatus, I recently joined a new martial arts school. I wanted to see how well prepared I was physically to go back into this very demanding activity so I had myself evaluated by Renuka Pinto (the supervising PT here at D and B) using the Functional Movement System (FMS). The FMS system, is a movement screen that is often used to assess an athletes' quality of movement by studying each kinetic chain. It can also be used on a non-athlete to evaluate how well they are functioning in their body in terms of movement. The individual scores are added together to create an overall final score. The FMS helps to identify not only the athletes limitations or weakness but also the compensations that cover up those weaknesses. The test takes about 20-30 minutes. It is broken up into subsections that look at very specific movement patterns. What's great about the FMS, is that not only does it identify these weaknesses, with each section, it will also give specific exercises to help improve the areas the athlete is weak in making it a very clear systematic approach.

By the end of the test, I had a good idea of where my weak links were. Renuka and her student (Karen), gave me exercises to improve my weakness and  enlightened me on my compensations. So not only will the FMS help refine whatever game you compete in, but more importantly, will help identify what injuries you are predisposed to. Whether you are a golfer that wants to improve that vital finite control in your swing, or you are an Ironman competitor that is looking to improve your endurance, the FMS will help you improve your practice and prevent injury so you can keep doing the game you love to do... So for all of you athletes out there that are preparing for an event or want to maximize your chances of preventing injuries I would highly recommend the FMS here at Duffy and Bracken. It is one of the many programs we offer to try to maximize how we can help you. If you are interested, ask anyone of us and we'd be happy to answer any questions. 
Happy Training!

1 comment:

  1. FMS was a good way to view the body without the diagnosis ----JUST free movement