The Movement Signature™

The Short Version: 

A Movement Signature™ is the visual representation of how an individual moves as measured by the Jump Scan. The variables Load, Explode, and Drive represent how an individual Creates, Transfers, and Applies force in their movement. Because we all live on the Earth, we are all bound by the forces of gravity. Our ability to move is best measured by assessing these forces in a simple, repeatable, dynamic movement: the Jump Scan.


The Long Version:

Improving our efficiency is at the core of human existence and happiness. In human movement, the path begins with the analysis of an individual's Movement Signature™.

A Movement Signature™ is the ground reaction force (GRF) profile used by any individual as their neuromuscular solution to movement. GRFs are the forces exerted by the ground on a body in contact with it. For example, a person standing motionless on the ground exerts a contact force on it (equal to the person’s weight) and at the same time, an equal and opposite ground reaction force is exerted by the ground on the person.

Because we all live on the Earth, we are all bound by the forces of gravity. Our ability to move is best described using physics and the fundamental laws derived by Sir Isaac Newton. The Movement Signature™ evaluates the three key variables of Load, Explode, and Drive which represent how an individual creates, transfers, and applies force in their movement. These three phases occur in all human movement. A vertical jump assessment (the Jump Scan) is utilized to create an individual's Movement Signature as it is the most reliable, practical, and simple dynamic human movement we can use to evaluate the neuromuscular system.

The brain controls the movements of skeletal (voluntary) muscles via specialized nerves. The combination of the nervous system and muscles, working together to permit movement, is known as the neuromuscular system.

Dynamic movements are best to assess the efficiency of the neuromuscular system because they can assess both of these systems together. The brain dictates an individual's ability to actually express things such as muscle size, strength, or flexibility inefficiently in movement. Moving efficiently is the ultimate goal of any human being.

Efficient movers are:

  1. Less susceptible to fatigue because each movement costs less energy.
  2. At lower injury risk because joint and muscle stress is dispersed appropriately.
  3. Higher performers, because the body can produce and express more force.

In contrast, inefficient movers are:

  1. More susceptible to fatigue because of a higher energy cost for each movement.
  2. At higher risk of injury because of the inability to absorb, withstand, or disperse stress appropriately.
  3. Lower performers because the body can express less force because of interference.

Each individual's Movement Signature™ can be thought of as a snapshot of HOW they are moving at that time. This is influenced and dictated by:

  1. Movement History - backgrounds in certain sports or training modalities (strength training vs endurance training), lifestyle and activity levels (sedentary vs active), as well as previous injuries and surgeries can all have an effect on how an individual moves.
  2. Genetics - different non-modifiable characteristics such as height and limb lengths (anthropometrics), as well as muscle fiber types, joint laxity, and other genetic traits will affect an individual's Movement Signature™.
  3. "Readiness" - in this context readiness is best thought of as an individual's current physiological state. Sleep, nutrition, stress, soreness, and hydration are all examples of factors that can absolutely change how an individual is moving, and thus have an impact on their Movement Signature™.

Utilizing 10+ years of data and analysis, Sparta Science is able to utilize each individual's Movement Signature™ to identify potential areas of injury risk, and provide recommendations to reduce that risk. Each individual's Movement Signature™ is a measure of their unique movement strategy, and while there will never be one "best" Movement Signature™, the goal is to use this objective measure to optimize each human's movement and improve their health outcomes.