Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Notes on Movement Variability by Guido Van Ryssegem

Notes on the lecture:  MV will be movement variability.  If you find some of my notes interesting, I highly recommend this lecture from Movement Lectures.

"Movement is so important, it's the reason we have a brain."
Daniel Wolpert

Movement will change as you age.  3 years old will be different then when you are 9.

Lots of studies have shown that their isn't the exact same patterns in movement.  A person may look the same on a treadmill, but the foot strike is constantly different.  Their is variability and this is very important.

Variability is normal.  "Movement variability is the oil to the central nervous system."
Without variability our central nervous system starts to shut down.

We automatically decrease our freedom of movement to control our MV to optimize our control of the task we decide to do.

Our children are becoming motor morons.  Not playing anymore and sitting at desk, computers, video games.

Sometimes having stiffness is a good thing for an activity.  The example was a discus thrower that needs a stiff hip to throw well.  Sometimes limitation can cause problems.  An obese person or severe scoliotic patient has less MV and will have a higher injury rate if not addressed.

One of the concepts behind MV is that the CNS takes in a lot of chaos and starts to make order out of it.

Applying to coaching.  One was is to coach step by step what should happen.  Example is the squat.  The other way is to allow self organization or Dynamic Systems theory.  Tell a person to squat and let the body figure it out.  If you are in a tug of war contest.  It won't take you long to realize pulling with only your arms will not work.  You start to lean back and use your legs.

Show the pattern and then shut up.

Self organization is found in nature.  Examples of bats, ants, African beetles.  Very interesting.

Two interesting  studies were addressed.  Gait transition, everyone starts to jog from a walk at the same speed without coaching.  Swimming study the arm motion sped up at the same time as well.

"A stable but adaptable body maintains a rich repertoire of movement strategies containing optimum variability. The optimal amount of variability is optimal performance."

Perhaps to much time is spent with attempting to manipulate a form.  Practice on movement over and over again.  Like a squat.  Invariable training is this, perhaps this is actually making the elite athlete worse.

(My take.  Not sure if I totally agree with this.  Sure you can get better at squats, doing assistance work and he gives an example of doing KB swings and breaking through his deadlift plateau, but if you want to get better at squatting (if you are a power lifter, you must squat)  My two cents.)

"Promoting complex variation in human movement allows either motor development or the recovery of function after injury."  Stergiou 2006

Focusing on optimizing degrees of freedom allows the athletes optimal self organization.

Lack of MV leads to changes in the sensory cortex. There are physical changes happening in the brain.

He gives some studies that show lack of MV and injury.

3 Groups of people.
1.  Performers.  Athletes.
2.  Task Driven.  Produce a specific task.
3. Motor challenged.  Injured, Post surgery.

The performers need a complex environment.  Lots of variability
Interesting example of motor challenged was a softball player with lower back pain.  After finding stability, had her squat heavy to reduce her variability.  If the weight had been to light her variability of motion would have been to high.

3 types of restraints.
1. Task
2. Body
3. Environment.

Task.  Example is a squat.  All kinds of modifications can be made to allow the re learning of the squat.

Body.  How to manipulate.  Speed/power/strength/mobility.  Change it up.

Environment.  Perhaps get out into nature.

As a therapist I think one of the things we are doing is increasing degrees of freedom in muscles and joints to allow more movement variability.  My two cents. 

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