My Movement Focus: Drive

This article provides a high-level overview of one of the five Movement Focus categories from the Jump Scan.




What is Drive?

Drive is measured during the upward phase of the jump and represents force and how long that force is applied.

Prolonging force efficiently requires:

  • Applying forces through extending the ankles, knees, and hips
  • Utilizing momentum to produce force
  • Active mobility
  • Posterior chain (backside) strength

Individuals with Low Drive signatures tend to be limited by one or more of these qualities.


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Common Characteristics with Low Drive

Those with low Drive (relative to other variables) struggle to apply forces created and transferred, effectively wasting that generated force and energy. Another concern with low Drive is a decrease in the dissipation of force, which often contributes to muscle strain injuries.

The ability to apply forces efficiently helps with propulsive movements like straight-line running and overall fluidity of movement. Whether running or simply moving things around your home, applying force through long ranges of motion is important for protecting our bodies from muscular strain. Not to mention, it can improve overall performance in these activities.

The most common injuries for individuals with insufficient Explode are typically to the low back and often due to lack of core strength and stability.


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Benefits to Improving Your Movement Efficiency

Efficient movers are:

  • Less susceptible to fatigue because each movement costs less energy
  • At lower risk of pain or injury because joint and muscle stress is dispersed appropriately (vs. overloading certain joints)
  • Higher performers because the body can produce and express more force with lower energy cost

In contrast, inefficient movers are:

  • More susceptible to fatigue because of a higher energy cost for each movement
  • At higher risk of injury because of the inability to absorb, withstand, balance, or disperse stress appropriately and adapt their movement
  • Lower performers because of competing compensation strategies

Following the Jump Scan, each individual is classified into 1 of 5 Jump Signature™ classifications based on their Movement Focus. Your Movement Focus is determined by the lowest variable(s) in your movement signature and explains your primary limitations or weaknesses, thus identifying your greatest needs and focus for exercise prescription.

No single Movement Signature is "best" or "worst" - they each have unique strengths and limitations, ingrained over time by what we repeatedly do. However, the goal remains the same: to maximize movement efficiency. Think about two race cars, one with poor alignment and suspension and the other in perfect pre-race condition. Which car would you pick to finish at the top of the leaderboard?


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How to Improve Drive

Do More: Stretching, mobility and large range of motion exercises

Walking uphill and upstairs

  • Walking or running uphill forces your body to use your "posterior chain" more. This consists of muscles like your glutes, hamstrings, and calves which are important to strengthen to improve effiency 

Stretching and mobility training like Yoga

  • Overall mobility and flexibility is something that generally needs to be imporved for this type of Movement Signature. Specifically, improving hip and shoulder mobility will allow for better range of motion and more fluid movement

Glute Bridges and Hip Thrusts

Split Squats

Romanian Deadlifts (RDLs)

Click here for the full exercise list

Do Less: Heavy strength training exercises

Sitting for long periods

  • Constantly sitting in a flexed position can over time have a negative effect on hip mobility, preventing the ability to get full extension of the ankles, knees, and hips and reducing movement efficiency

Heavy strength training and explosive exercises

  • Some individuals with this type of Movement Signature are extremely strong and explosive. While strength is generally good, slower and larger ranges of motion exercises are also needed to improve the ability to effectively utilize this strength

Box Jumps

Squats (Front, Back, Quarter)


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Improving Your Movement Health

In human movement, the path to improving efficiency begins with the analysis of an individual's Movement Signature™.  Load, Explode, and Drive are the three main variables measured during the Jump Scan and represent an individual's ability to Create, Transfer, and Apply force efficiently. These three phases capture the nuance of human movement. The more effectively each individual is able to utilize these different phases, the more efficient their movement is.

Load is a measure of how much force and how quickly this force is created. It is measured during the downward phase of the jump.
Explode is a measure of how much force and how efficiently that force is transferred. It is measured through the transitional phase of the jump.

Drive is a measure of how much force and how long that force is applied. It is measured during the upward phase of the jump. 

Load, Explode, and Drive collectively create an individual's Jump Signature, which is the visual representation of their unique movement strategy. Think of it as your movement fingerprint. Load, Explode, and Drive combine into your Sparta Score, a single measure of relative movement efficiency.

For example, imagine a boxer hitting a punching bag; Load would represent how much force and how quickly he accelerates his fist into the bag. Explode would represent the force transferred into the bag at impact, and Drive would refer to his ability to prolong or apply force through the bag. 

Different components of the Movement Signature represent different movement qualities and, based on the values, can represent different strengths and weaknesses that underlie an individual's movement efficiency, health, and physical capabilities. Boxers (and humans in general) have different genetic make-up, training backgrounds, injury history, and abilities, which play a role in what type of mover they are and how they execute this action. You may have two different boxers punch the bag with high force, but use a different strategy. These boxers will have different strengths and limitations shaping their strategies and approach in the ring. Ultimately, the more efficient the boxer is at producing force via their specific strategy, the greater their potential ceiling of performance becomes.


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