This week was an introduction to more incredible new information. We had Gary Gray do a very realistic impersonation of a baby, to educate us on the Iliotibial band or Itty Titty Baby, as he calls it. This is a special band which is influenced by motion at the hip, knee and foot. The Tensor Fascia Lata, attached to the ITB, is eccentrically loaded in the front leg of gait. It is then stretched with hip extension in the back leg of gait, to assist with knee extension and tibial external rotation. There are many ways to stretch the TFL, Glute Max, and ITB complex. It is best to simulate the stretch required in your clients function.
In the webcasts there were Functional Manual Reaction techniques for the front and back knee of gait, Translation and rotation of the pelvis, and using hand drivers to influence Chain Reaction Biomechanics (CRB). We are starting to integrate the upper body motion and pelvis with lower limb CRB.
There was a recap of GG1 lectures on proprioceptors. It is key to know about proprioceptors, to choose exercises which enhance proprioceptor stimulation, to improve movement throughout the body and allow the body to become a more robust system. The proprioceptors discussed were the Pacinian Corpuscles, Golgi- Mazzoni, Ruffini, Golgi Tendon Organs, Free nerve endings, Muscle spindle, Fascia, Golgi ligaments.
Doug Gray introduced 3D hopping matrices. The choice of movement is limitless.
Finally, the learning opportunity looked at the stress on the Medical Collateral Ligament when the buttock was tweaked out (reduce support) during different lunge patterns. By learning what happened in this LOP, the clinician is able to choose which lunge is safe for the MCL.
It is great to work up the body and start looking at how the pelvis and spine move. Week 14 starts tomorrow.
Week 6 has completed and it was great to learn more about the hip joints and muscles. This region has some of the biggest muscles in the body and is the powerhouse for movement. The way the body moves from the feet to head, or the head to the feet, loads the hip joints (eccentric) in preparation for an explosive (concentric) unload. The triplane motion of this joint and, in particular the transverse plane internal rotation in gait, enables the buttock muscles to perform ecocentrically. This means the muscle uses its eccentric lengthening to perform concentric shortening, both at the same time.
The primary movement assessed this week was gait. We looked at the front hip and back hip in gait. We took our knowledge of what happens at the foot in gait and learnt the chain reaction up to the pelvis. It was clear that the movements through the chain reaction prepare the buttock muscles to load and then unload powerfully. We also looked at golf and how both hips are loaded in the back swing, in preparation for an unloading powerful stroke.
The webcasts on 3D squat looked at the various combinations of bilateral squat movements using combinations of saggital, frontal and transverse plane positions. (There are 27 possible combinations).
We also added in arm motions and also did triplane motion using single leg balance positions.
We grew our understanding of nomenclature using the SaFTey syntax. The key to assessment is to make the tweaks small at the start and see the clients response and then make the tweaks bigger later. We know the most powerful tweaks can be those planes of motion which are not the primary plane of motion of the joint.
We increased out understanding of nomenclature by learning how to describe exercise movements and how movements are done in reference to a common point called a Tripost.
In AFS Strategies we learnt about the desire of the body for success, to have fun, to be avoid pain. If we can have all these elements in our approach the body will unconsciously want to do the movement.
We finished the Sign language alphabet. It was not that difficult to learn and I look forward to learning some great new phrases.
Overall this week took the concepts of AFS and put it into the function of gait. Great week to consolidate some key principles in tweaking for success
GIFT week 5 was a week of further development of what AFS represents and the progression of bone and joint motion to the function of the calf complex.
This week there was a strong emphasis on what makes an AFS exercise an AFS exercise. Specific points were made on drivers,3D motion, unconscious chain reaction, path of least resistance, Authentic movement and uniqueness of environment. I can see each week these concepts are continually emphasised, in various ways, to embed them firmly in our minds. I can see these will create the framework from which we will diagnose, prescribe exercises and tweak exercises. The Litmus test has been described in the DVD series called Chain Reaction. These tests are those points described above.
In the webcasts this week the focus was on the calf complex. What it does and how it works econcentrically. The joint motion was described for the transformation zones of gait. The function of the calf muscles were described at the foot, ankle, and knee levels. It was refreshing to get a true functional understanding of the calf complex. It makes sense that muscle does not work in one plane of motion or is purely a concentric or eccentric muscle contraction.
The webcasts further expanded on lunge matrices. This week it was description of how Lunge matrices can be used to enhance balance. The key point is balance needs to be trained dynamically and not statically. It can also be trained in 3 planes of motion. I think clients will enjoy how balance training can be so variable.
Gift is about communication and this week we expanded our sign language learning to include letters M to R. It is empowering to learn sign language and I hope by week 40 I will be able to sign simple expressions.
The learning this week has taken a step up, and is testing our knowledge, to make decisions on what is happening to joint motion with different tweaks and drivers. The knowledge builds.
Week 4 was a week of building on our understanding of what AFS is about and enhancing our understanding of 3 Dimensionality. AFS is more than 3D motion of the body. It is a look at the Mind, body, and spirit as 3D and the Physical, Biological and Behavioural sciences as 3D. When one dimension is changed it will change the other two dimensions. This concept is important when considering not only our own lives but the lives of those we treat e.g. If we alter the body of a client it will also influence the mind and spirit of that person.
This week wanted to build on the introduction to Nomenclature and also the biomechanics of bone and joint motion in the extremeties and the spine. A new concept called”Pivot” was explained and how it can be linked with lunge matrices.
The Foot was discussed in detail and how it functioned in gait. A key point is the Subtalar joint and how it operates as a torque converter i.e. converting frontal plane motion of the calcaneus into transverse plane motion up the chain.
A bit of fun was had with Gary doing a surfin joe talus to remind us of the free Talus and how it goes with the flow.
I think a key analysis skill I have learnt from the learning opportunity and learning about real and relative joint motion is, to look at the motion being performed, see the drivers and how they are influencing the bones of the joint, identify the speed and the direction the bones are moving and then describe the joint motion. I think seeing and feeling what is happening in any situation is realistic.
In the Matters that Matter documents GI highlighted the importance of spending time on what was important and not urgent. Also, true hospitality is when the host becomes the servant and the stranger becomes the guest.
Finally the Transcending truths create an umbrella over all other truths and they are the rule of 3D, everything is driven, every person is unique, create a chain reaction, encourage the transformation of others.
This blog will follow the Journey of Rhys Chong, from Physical Edge, through his 10 month training in GIFT, with Gary Gray and the Gray Institute. GIFT is a course designed to encourage the transformation of others, through unique environments, using drivers to create biomechanical chain reactions. The course will achieve faster and functional results in Physical Therapy.
There will be a weekly update for those clinicians or clients interested in following the journey.
In the first three weeks of GIFT we were introduced to the concept of Principles, Strategies and Techniques. There was an emphasis on the Scientific truths from Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences and Behavioural Sciences. From these Principles (Truths), Strategies were formed and then Techniques created.
GIFT involved an understanding of the Mind, Body and Spirit. When one was altered, the other two would also be altered. This 3 Dimensional relationship was taken into treatment to create an encouraging transformational environment.
We were shown Lunge Matrices (logical 3D sequencing of movements) which opened up the possibility of assessing two sides of the body at once in a weight bearing position. To understand what to was happening at each joint in the body we were taught about bone motion and relative joint motion.
There were some European clinicians on the course, but mainly American clinicians. The team at the Gray Institute pride themselves on giving the best possible course and service. They are all very approachable and easily contacted. They respond to emails quickly.
The training is on webcasts with three trips to the USA to study. The webcasts had issues initially, but now a working with Vimeo.
So far the training is excellent and I look forward to the weekly training which starts each Thursday of the week.
In professional sport the ‘off season’ offers an athlete the opportunity to rest, recover and mentally prepare for the following season. In the off season an athlete will do strength training and fitness training so that they are in peak condition when the new season starts. In tennis the fitness and strengthening will carry them through the season, and allows them to focus more on match play and technique.
In the amateur we can see that the off season either never occurs, or that the athlete decides to increase the intensity of their training – and injuries occur. The off season needs to be structured to maximise the benefits for the following season.
The off season also offers an opportunity for injuries to be treated sensibly and for the body to be rested to allow natural healing processes to occur. The powers of rest cannot be underestimated. This will include having plenty of sleep; it will also include having ‘active recovery’ whereby the body continues to exercise, but in a much lower intensity so that injuries can respond to treatment and heal.
Structure your year to peak for your events and also to have an off season. Your physiotherapist and trainer can work closely together to design an off season which will help heal your injuries and also maximise your potential for the following season OR for achieving an extra goal.
Some athletes are bloody minded and will do anything to win. Some clients only see the goal at the end but don’t think about the process of getting there. In physiotherapy I see many people who have trained incorrectly because they focus only on the event they are racing and not on how to train to get there.
Having a personal trainer and a physiotherapist work with you can vastly improve your chances of reaching your goal, with minimal to no injuries. The training process can be designed specifically for the goal and the exercises required to achieve the goal can be taught correctly.
When designing a training programme there are many variables to consider such as: exercise technique, timing of training, intensity of training, the environment of training, progressions of training, and even what is happening in an individual’s life. Having a team to work with you takes away the need to think. The professionals also have the experience and the knowledge to give you the best training advice.
When working with a physiotherapist and trainer you can contact them at any time. They can talk to you when you get injured, when you have questions about your training, and when you want to know what to do if you get injured. Having this team is like being a professional athlete, and provides the greatest chance of success.
I have seen amateur athletes start training, and progress doing extremely well without any help; then they reach a certain mileage in training and their body starts to break down. At this point it is too late to change technique and training regime because the race is within a few weeks. Treatment is then about first aid care – doing everything possible to keep that person training despite the risk of increased injury, and the fact that the race is now in jeopardy. There are many emotions which accompany being in a position of unknown at race time. A person with injuries does not know how the body will react during the race; the target or goals in that race no longer apply; and all those weeks / months of training have been put at risk. To cross the finish line is often the goal after an injury has occurred. A plan then needs to be made to race the following year with correct training principles, guided by the personal trainer and physiotherapist.
It helps to get the right advice to train. Speak to your physiotherapist – who works closely with a personal trainer – to create a winning team.