Here at Pursuit Athletic Performance (PAP) we regularly use the phrase “authentic movement.” We’ve received a few requests asking us for an articulation of what we mean, so here goes!
“Authentic movement” sums up the movement restoration process we undertake with clients here at PAP through gait analysis and subsequent functional strength training. To reestablish “authentic movement” means to get athletes back to a point of holistic balance within their bodies. We don’t mean balance as in standing on an unstable object or on one leg, but rather, balance of muscle length, mobility, and stability.
In fact, authentic movement and balance is something we all possessed at one time. It refers back to the way we moved as children. It’s the way we moved before we suffered that first minor, soon to be chronic, injury (however minor it may have seemed at the time). Authentic movement is what we see when we watch elementary school children run around the playground, developing speed and power seemingly effortlessly.
As we age, however, issues associated with too much sitting, commuting, working hunched over a computer, or chronic microtrauma from our “healthy” exercise habits greatly impacts our bodies. It changes our movement from “‘authentic” (and thus correct), to compensated. Compensation is the exact opposite of authentic movement. Some degree of compensation is inevitable in every adult. If your goal is to get faster, and be better as an athlete, the training loads you’ll be putting on your body will expose the compensation, and will surely lead to dysfunctional movement.
Dysfunctional movement is an extreme dream crusher, responsible for reduced power and speed, diminished performance, and increased risk of injury and frustration. From the first ache or pain, you see your dream slipping away. You sense this activity, which you love to do, is going to be taken from you. You get so anxious and so concerned, that you become willing to try and train right through the pain, and ignore it in the process. You try to wish it away. You pray that some kind of “quick fix” will work. But it rarely ever does. The only path to injury-free, faster performances, over the long haul, is authentic quality movement, FIRST!
We hope this clarifies for you what we mean by authentic movement. It sounds like a theoretical way to move, but is, in actuality, truly attainable. You CAN recapture that place of free, easy movement that allows you to train–and enjoy life–to your ultimate potential.