Learn more about how the Movement Signature™ presents a simple, intuitive view of an individual's movement efficiency, health, and capabilities.
The Short Version:
A Movement Signature™ is the visual representation of how an individual moves, based on analyzing population scale objective movement data. Because we all live on the Earth, we are all bound by the forces of gravity. Our ability to move is best objectively measured by assessing these forces using simple, repeatable movement assessments or Scans.
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 and, with today's technology, can be measured with amazing precision. 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. Measurement devices allow for the accurate assessment of movement, or Scans, and the underlying forces that best describe our abilities to stand, walk, run, and jump. The Movement Signature™ presents a simple and intuitive representation of these forces based on large amounts of data across a variety of populations. Different components of the Movement Signature™ represent different movement qualities and, based upon the values, can represent different strengths and weaknesses that underly an individual's movement efficiency, health, and capabilities.
Movement is often overlooked as a key vital sign for holistic health and is ultimately influenced by every system in the body. While the musculoskeletal system includes the muscles, bones, and joints, it's the brain that dictates an individual's ability to actually express things such as muscle size, strength, or flexibility inefficiently in movement. 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.
Efficient movers are:
- Less susceptible to fatigue because each movement costs less energy.
- At lower injury risk because joint and muscle stress is dispersed appropriately and movement is adaptable.
- Higher performers because the body can produce and express more force more effectively.
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 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:
- 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.
- Genetics - characteristics such as height and limb lengths (anthropometrics), other non-modifiable traits such as age, as well as muscle fiber types, joint laxity, and other genetic traits will affect an individual's Movement Signature™.
- "Readiness" - in this context, readiness is best thought of as an individual's current physiological state. Sleep, nutrition, stress, and acute and chronic impairments are all examples of factors that can absolutely change how an individual is moving and thus have an impact on their Movement Signature™.
Moving efficiently is the ultimate goal of any human being and is an important factor for optimizing Movement Health.