This article provides a high-level overview of one of the five Movement Focus categories from the Jump Scan.
What are Load & Drive?
Load represents how much force you can create and how quickly. It's measured during the eccentric (downward) phase of the jump.
Drive is a measure of force and how long that force is applied. It is measured during the upward phase of the jump.
Generating force quickly and prolonging it requires:
- Ability to move and flex through the ankles, knees, and hips
- Anterior chain strength (front side strength)
- Ability to decelerate force quickly
- Applying forces through extending the ankles, knees, and hips
- Posterior (backside) strength
Individuals with Low Load & Drive signatures tend to be limited by one or more of these qualities.
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Common Characteristics with Low Load & Drive
Those with low Load and Drive (relative to other variables) typically use quick, short movements to compensate for strength in deep ranges of motion, lack of mobility in flexion or extension, or a combination of these things. Ultimately, this leads to an over-utilization of certain joints and muscle groups, causing pain or injury in the hips and core.
We all need general strength and force production qualities to ensure the health and integrity of our joints and soft tissue. Whether running an agility drill or bending to pick up your child, strength in deep ranges of motion is important for protecting our bodies from chronic pain or injury. Not to mention, it can improve overall performance.
The most common injuries for individuals with low Load & Drive are typically to the hip and core due to poor mobility and dispersion of force.
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?
How to Improve Load & Drive
Do More: Mobility, and large range of motion exercise
Bending at the ankle and knee
Improving strength through under-utilized ranges of motion can improve overall movement efficienct
Stretching and mobility training like Yoga
Overall mobility and flexibility is something that generally needs to be improved 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 SquatsOverhead Squats
Do Less: Core strengthening and explosive exercises
Sitting for long periods
- Constantly sitting in a flexed position can, over time, perpetuate hip tightness
Plyometric and explosive exercises
- People with this Movement Focus often move quickly through short ranges of motion. While quickness is generally good, slower and larger range of motion exercises can improve overall movement efficiency
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.