Posts Tagged ‘Movement’

“Stability is the ability to hold a position in the presence of full range of motion. If you don’t have full range of motion, you will have some type of skewed stability. If your end ranges are not clear or have pain/restriction, your entire sense of proprioception through the whole span of motion will be skewed in some way with muscles not doing what they’re supposed to be doing.” – Gray Cook

This is absolutely imperative and true for exercising and performing effectively in any setting. It makes obvious sense that without full range of motion you will have some sort of skewed stability that cannot be seen by the naked eye. If you have pain then the instability may be more noticeable. For example, if you have pain in your right shoulder, then while lifting external loads with your right arm/hand you will likely be unable to generate as much strength and power as you are truly capable of. In addition, you may display an “awkward lift” due to the lack of range of motion. Therefore, an important point to understand is that during the entirety of your lift there will be varying levels of compensations happening all over your body; which is an indication that you are fighting against your body in order to complete the lift as satisfactory as possible. In other words, your other muscles will be doing things they “should not be doing” while the main muscles involved in the lift will be ill-activated or not doing what they are suppose to do.

Try to correct yourself and achieve the proper range of motion for your whole body before attempting to exercise seriously. This will in turn decrease your risks for injuries in the future.

~Open Our Minds


FMS (Functional Movement Screen Tests): From by Gray Cook and Lee Burton’s FMS:

1) The Active Straight Leg Raise is a simple test that has the patient supine on the ground and identifies active mobility of the flexed hip and  initial and continuous core stability while the opposite hip remains extended and flat on the ground.  Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this test as it also demonstrates the ability to disassociate the lower extremities while maintaining stability in the pelvis and core.

2) The Deep Overhead Squat Movement Pattern demonstrates fully coordinated ankle, hip and thoracic spine mobility and core stability with the hips and shoulders functioning in symmetrical positions. By the way, this test is critical especially for your golfers!

3) The In-Line Lunge provides a quick appraisal of left and right function in a basic pattern and is intended to place the body in a position that will focus on the stresses as simulated during rotation, deceleration and lateral type movements.  This one is done balancing on a 2x 6 inch board with feet in line and maintaining perfect posture. This test also demonstrates how well and athlete stabilizes during deceleration.

4) The Hurdle Step is designed to challenge the body’s proper stepping and stride mechanics as well as stability and control in single leg stance.  This is really helpful in determining symmetry left and right side while assessing hip mobility and balance.  This test also determines how well we can stabilize during acceleration.

5) The Trunk Stability Push-Up Movement Pattern Test (Core-Reflex Push-up) is used as a basic observation of reflex core stabilization and is not used as a measure of strength since only one repetition is required.  The goal is to initiate movement with the upper extremity without allowing movement of the hips or pelvis.

6) The Shoulder Mobility “Reaching” Movement Pattern Test (Scapular-Stability) test demonstrates the natural complimentary rhythm of the scapular-thoracic region, thoracic spine and rib cage with reciprocal upper extremity shoulder movements. In other words, you are really testing thoracic spine mobility in addition to gleno-humeral  movement and scapular stability.

7) The Rotary Stability is a complex movement requiring proper neuromuscular coordination and energy transfer from one segment of the body to another through the torso.  It has roots in the basic creeping pattern that follows the crawling pattern in the developmental sequence of normal human growth and locomotion. It looks like a birddog, horse stance or whatever you want to call getting on all fours!

As mentioned in the previous posts, the purpose of the FMS is to find the weak links in your patients and alleviate them with specific corrective exercise strategies. When this occurs, the individual or athlete will have greater movement efficiency which will lead to  improved performance and a decrease in injury potential.

~Open Our Minds

What is Exercise?

Is it to build bulky muscles? Is it to build muscle tone and look good? Is it to lose weight? Is it to increase fitness and participate in sports? Or is it just something you should do to gain some health benefits?

Most people would agree with the majority of points I have mentioned above, if not all. But how and what is the safest and most fundamental yet most beneficial way to exercise? In my opinion, it is a basic prerequisite we have driven away from or simply choose not to acknowledge any more for various reasons. This aspect resides in our functional movement patterns. It is the foundation of exercise itself. This makes sense because even if we go to see our family doctors and physicians and they rule out every danger relating to our vitals such as cardiovascular, respiratory, neurological problems etc, they will most likely never give you a movement analysis or assessment on how you move. This is essential to exercising effectively and efficiently. So we need to rule out our vitals and also create a stable yet mobile foundation for us to safely participate in training and activity. We need to focus on how to appropriately “re-learn” (because we all have movement skills and capacities already when we were born) this forgotten foundation, understand the importance of having it, and how and why it can and will reduce the risk of injuries.
~Open Our Minds

Alright, for people who have been keeping up with my posts from the very beginning, it has been a mixture of opinionated philosophy, movement, rehabilitation, barefoot walking/running, ethics in a healthcare setting, and more! However, now I will switch topics a little bit into an increased focus on philosophy in functional movement and rehabilitation. As a heads up for now, the following posts will be more specifically about the Functional Movement Systems founded by Gray Cook and Lee Burton.

Here is my first introduction post to get things started. Enjoy 🙂

Functional Movement Systems was developed in order to provide an efficient and effective way to evaluate and assess the body’s current movement patterns engineered by simple and complex philosophies. Based on the results of various tests, appropriate corrective exercises can be implemented in order to reduce and hopefully prevent injuries. The screening process is evaluated by seven movement patterns that only takes about 10-15 minutes to complete, making it highly efficient. The more specific purpose of the FMS is to screen a human body and look for yellow and red flags which are limiting our movement capacities. These include asymmetries, muscle imbalances, motor control, alignment/out of alignment, and stiffness/tightness.

As Gray Cook puts it, “we must move well, before we move often.” 


~Open Our Minds

There are so many acts of “care, kindness, and loving gestures” about people being a good person to elderly individuals, but one particular act I wish to shed light on. I don’t know if you will agree with me as of now but I will state it as something for you to think about before quickly jumping to these acts of kind gestures. However, I am ABSOLUTELY not telling anybody to “not” care for the elderly. I just have an opinionated idea.

We all know that when we are young we are able to move really well because our bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons are at its optimum; but as we age the majority of our body structures will inevitably decline. Now you probably know I am speaking from a physiological and anatomical perspective. This is the main topic of my statement. A perfect portrayal is when everybody shows kindness whether reluctantly or wholeheartedly offering seats on the bus to elderly individuals. Not only is this offering of kindness but the “designated” seats for elderly individuals prompts everybody to feel the need to offer it or get up and move.

This doesn’t mean that if elderly individuals have a medical problem or disability you decide not to offer your seat, of course these people are loving exceptions. Now people may argue that “if we don’t offer our seats we look like a really bad person.” This is of course true in society’s eyes. But I am simply looking at this interesting act of service from another perspective and hope that it can change a bit with education.

What I am trying to say is that people who offer seats to elderly individuals all the time may actually be indirectly contributing detrimental effects to their overall preservation of health. It has a very minute effect in the eyes of one particular individual, but over time you can imagine that it will add up. And if you think about it, a bus ride for elderly’s is probably one of the most beneficial balance related workouts they will have throughout an entire day; because if they stand then the movement of the bus will provide them rich sensory feedback to maintain the balance that is slowly eroding. Another example is that in Asian cultures we tend to be “so” good towards our seniors, especially loved ones, to the point of telling them to not do any kind of duties and just rest and “sit down.” Usually this is due to our PERSPECTIVE of them being of old age now and have “earned” their rest. But if you think about it, by giving them the opportunity to help out with even small tasks (increases dexterity) it can preserve the longevity of their physical and physiological function.

So many “seniors” end up in senior homes could be because of a lack of physical and physiological stimulation as they enter old age. Dementia is one of the leading reasons for senior homes and continuous activity and stimulation may slow down this process. So I strongly suggest that we need to find a balance between “being kind and overly kind/loving with our elderly.”

We should educate elderly individuals to continue to “move” as much as they can so they do not lose the sensory feedback that they “need” in order to function throughout the rest of their years! Of course we should also educate their families and immediate loved ones as well as they serve the needed platform and support.

We were born to move so we should keep moving for the rest of our lives.

We can retire from old age but we must keep moving while we still can.

Cliche quote: “If we don’t use it, we’ll lose it.”

~Open Our Minds

Are we trying to say that we are smarter than our innate nervous system (brain) that naturally gave us everything we had?

To ice or not to ice? And I mean that in the most literal sense. I have recently acquired information about the biggest and most popular analgesic (pain reliever) controversy. Ice, the popular go to pain reliever may not be the best modality in treating our musculoskeletal injuries that we suffer throughout our lives. In “fact,” it absolutely goes against our body’s innate healing system. Now you may wonder why that is? Before you disapprove of this claim and fact and move on, I am going to explain what I have learned.

What do you use “ice” for? Or to give you some control, what do you “want” to use ice for? In other words, what are some of the main reasons you want to use ice. Do you want to use it to relieve the Pain? Or do you want to use it to Heal? I believe that these two simple questions  and the reasons behind them are extremely important to answer because the difference between them are physiologically enormous.

To shortly breakdown one physiological aspect, the pain we feel is the response that our brain or nervous system sends to the injured area to tell us to avoid the use of that area in order to protect us from further harm. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that we have this pain response. Now you should think about whether we should use “ice” to numb the area and block this signal? The obvious outcome from blocking the pain signal is that we may not know whether the area has suffered any further damage.

There are three phases during healing: The first phase is the inflammation phase (which is the phase I will be focusing on), the second is the proliferation phase, and the final phase is the remodelling phase.

We all more or less use ice as a treatment modality in order to “slow down” inflammation in hopes of decreasing pain, and congestion or swelling in the injured area. Did you pick up on it? Good. Because the first phase of “healing” is the inflammation phase and it may also be the most important phase. This means we need the inflammation which is accompanied by redness, swelling, pain, and heat, in order to heal. But instead, we use ice to try to slow this process down. So now you may ask what do you do or which side do you pick? This depends on the two main questions and the reasons behind why you want to use ice.

If you just want to relieve pain then you have no reason not to use ice. However, if you want to “heal” or increase the healing process, then ice may not be the best modality to use. If I haven’t lost you yet then it is time to get straight to the point. The pain is actually due to the “swelling and congestion” which is the pocket of fluid that accumulates in the injured area. This congested area is caused by fluids and our bodies healing systems which immediately sends macrophages and other cells to battle foreign matter and digest dead tissues in order to clean out the mess and set an ideal “platform” for the second and third phases of healing. This is what I call “positive congestion.” Of course, when there’s a positive there has to be a negative and that is the digested dead tissue and other foreign matter which tends to pool in the injured area “if” we do not clear it. Now can you guess what ice does? Yes, by icing and also “resting” too much, the congestion and swelling will stay in the area which may cause more damage. In other words, ice attempts to slow down inflammation by freezing the surround nerves and tissues; but luckily it does not. Because if it did, then we would not heal. We may be smart but we can never trump our brains in a battle of innate intelligence.

So how do you get rid of this congestion? There are 3 main ways and it does not include ice. The three simple ways are “movement, massage, and isometric contractions (contracting muscles with out changing in length at the joints).” Treatment modalities such as Intramuscular stimulation and transcutaneous nerve stimulation may assist in these contractions. Now this is where the “lymphatic system” plays the biggest role. Since this system only goes one way (up), it is the main pump and pathway for “waste and garbage” to leave the damaged area; and this is the only way to decrease the congestion and in turn lead to a decrease in pain. If the waste is not pumped out then the brain will think there is still foreign matter in the area and will fight and in turn cause more inflammation. Movement, massage, and isometric contractions effectively and efficiently get rid of this waste. Think of all three like mechanisms that squeeze on the lymphatic vessels to pump the waste through its “one way” pathway.

However, all that I have said is not set in stone or absolute because everything in life requires a balance and people possess different behaviours. In other words, I understand that some people may need the ice to relieve the pain and then slowly work on the 3 ways to eliminate the congestion. That is fine as well. As long as we know the reasons behind using cold therapy. We are all human beings and our similarities make our lives, but our differences balance it.

Thanks for reading. I just wanted to spread this information because it makes sense to me nad there are evidence to support it. Now we are left with a choice instead of an automatic response (ice) to treating an injury.

P.S.: Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) “may” also be controversial as it may not only slow down but also “prevent” the inflammation phase during healing.

Here is a video of Gary and Kelly discussing about “ice”:

Here is an article to support why we should not use ice to “heal”:

Credits to: Gary Reinl (Author of “ICED: The Illusionary Treatment Option) and Kelly Starrett (MobilityWOD).

~Open Our Minds


I just wanted to let everybody know that I have recently created a new page next to “About” tab about Functional Movement Integrity. It is dedicated to some of the most in-depth experts in their field and knowledgeI have gained from following them. In case you did not know, even though I write a lot about philosophy, motivation, and inspiration, I also have a passion for Rehabilitation, Prevention, and Treatment of problems etc. Also, the beginning first half of this blog actually started out as an online course for Professional Ethics in Physiotherapy in which I posted various videos about movement, rehabilitation and exercise. So please check out the new page and provide feedback and hopefully it will help you solve many of the growing health and musculoskeletal problems we all face today (especially chronic problems).

So far I have posted a series (still continuing) from correcttoes youtube channel about how to fix foot mechanics from wearing bad shoes and what are techniques and type of shoes we should be doing and wearing respectively. I will continue to post more videos and possibly articles.

“Move well before Moving often.” – Gray Cook (Functional Movement Systems)


~Open Our Minds