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Movement Preparation For Training

The movement preparation phase should prepare the individual for the specific demands of the days training session or competition.  Ideally the movement prep phase can be applied to individuals or large groups and require minimal equipment so that it can be efficient and performed across multiple training environments.

The main aims of the movement preparation phase / warm up should be to:

  • Raise ones body temperature
  • Optimise neuromuscular function
  • Activate stabiliser and prime movers
  • Stimulate proprioception and motor skills
  • Focus the mind
  • Movement skill practice

There are many different systems one can adopt as part of their movement preparation.  Recently I was discussion with Melbourne Storm Strength and Conditioning Coach Daniel DiPasqua who outlined a simple but effective movement preparation system that can be adopted to help prepare the individual for their training. This has been borrowed from renowned strength and conditioning coach Mike Boyle.

The system focuses on the following:

  1. Myofascial release of soft tissue structures i.e. foam roller, lacrosse ball work to key areas.
  2. Address flexibility and mobility through stretching, dynamic mobility drills.
  3. Neuromuscular activation through movement exercises that may progress from isolated to integrated, simple to complex, floor to functional positions.
  4. Prime and potentiate the body for training through the application of exercises/drills focusing on movements that prepare the body for training or competition that may include similar movement patterns or look at power (speed or force curve).

As manual therapists (osteopaths, physiotherapists, chiropractors, myotherapists) I believe we often address points 1 and 2 very good in clinical practice.  However often this is where many manual therapists may start to feel out of depth with taking the client through the rest of the movement preparation phase.  This is where it is integral that we look to develop professional working relationships with strength and conditioning coaches, personal trainers or exercise physiologists who have an interest in return to play so that we can work together on helping the client get back to doing what they love doing.  For those manual therapists (osteopaths, physiotherapists, chiropractors, myotherapists) who do have an interest and background in exercise as well, it is important to find a movement preparation system that you understand, makes sense and will ultimately help the client prepare themselves for training and or competition.

This blog post was written by osteopath Heath Williams of Principle Four Osteopathy.  At Principle Four Osteopathy we have an interest in strength and conditioning, exercise prescription and rehabilitation.  Services currently offered at our clinics include:  Osteopathy, Functional Movement Screening, Clinical Pilates, Strength and Conditioning Technique Assessments, Exercise Prescription and Rehabilitation consultations.

Principle Four Osteopathy is located across two locations within Melbourne.  Our clinics are located in the Melbourne City CBD near the corner of Little Bourke St and Elizabeth St as well as Melbourne Docklands on Bourke St. 

Find out more about our clinic or book an appointment at www.principlefourosteopathy.com.