3 Reasons Why Movement Quality Matters
Movement quality is an often talked about component of high performance training. Most coaches understand the importance of movement quality for development, but it is a very difficult subject to engrain in an athlete’s mind. Below I have outlined 3 reasons why movement quality matters.
- Improved Performance
Plain and simple, the better an athlete becomes at foundational movement patterns, the better able they are to adapt to foreign movement demands in their sport. This does not mean that becoming really proficient at squatting will automatically make an athlete a better skater, but learning, and becoming proficient at, foundational movement patterns will go a long way in helping with an athlete’s strength, power, speed, balance and ability to adapt to new movements situations on their field of play.
2. Movement Efficiency
By definition, the more efficient an athlete is with their movement skills, the better conditioned they are. Said differently, the more efficient an athlete is with their movements, the less energy they expend doing the same task. CrossFit, the sport of fitness, is a perfect example of this principle. CrossFit is a sport known for its grueling workouts, but the best Crossfitters in the world rarely look like they are working the hardest and most likely do not have the highest VO2 max, lactate threshold, or any other common measure of fitness, compared to the competition. In addition, when you watch Tia Claire-Toomey or Pat Vellner moving through workouts, they always appear to be in complete control of their bodies and moving with supreme efficiency. Don’t get me wrong, developing capacity is vitally important for performing at a high level, but training for movement efficiency, and becoming very skilled at required movements for the sport, is a great way to become a more enduring athlete.
3. Avoid Injury
When an athlete is cranking through reps with poor movement patterns, there is a really good chance they are working closer to injury. You see, while all of this effort may be helping the athlete gain strength, training with improper technique is most often slowly pushing athletes toward some sort of tissue and/or joint restriction. When our tissue holds inappropriate tone and our joints become improperly aligned, it is usually only a matter of time before dysfunction and/or injury become a factor.
While most athletes love to chase the sweat and burn during training, it is imperative that athletes are aware of the importance of the technical/skill components of training. Developing movement proficiency not only helps an athlete’s performance, it may also help mitigate injury risk and keep them on the field of play.
PS. Next week we will launch our 2022 Spring/Summer training registration! Stay tuned for more information or find the registration page here.
Ross is an exercise and sport enthusiast who is passionate about human performance and development. He has been in the athlete development field for the past 14 years. Ross holds an MSc Kinesiology from AT Still University and a BSc Kinesiology from Dalhousie University.