The Performance Matrix

Injury and the movement control spectrum

15th January 2014

How are movement professionals to distinguish where any movement problem or injury risk may lie from the almost infinitely varied code seen within any one client?

Identifying injury risk may seem complex, a multi-factorial process that some may consider beyond any one assessment protocol. Certainly, the body may be summed up as a highly dynamic system, possessing incredible variability in the manner it seeks to solve any movement challenge. The immense range of possibilities open to the individual becomes exponentially vast once the phrase ‘everybody has a body’ in possession of many movement solutions is followed through to its logical conclusion.

The myriad of ways to function distinctly questions any one, prescriptive technical model of movement. Therefore, how are movement professionals to distinguish where any movement problem or injury risk may lie from the almost infinitely varied code seen within any one client?

If there is no ‘perfect’ or right way to move is there not a wrong way? It appears ‘choice matters’; the choices individuals take from the options available to each one of them reveals a state of movement quality, a state of movement health. If this state possesses deficits in quality, evident through limited or poor movement choice an injury risk is seen to be present. This is labelled ‘uncontrolled movement’. Uncontrolled movement, identified as a cognitive inability to control movement to benchmark standards, is considered as a relatively new player at the table of injury risk. Although for some time now it has been apparent the movement system can be tested, just like any other bodily system, many testing protocols have sought to merely expose the presence of restrictions and lack of force production capabilities.

Next generation protocols question individual’s problem solving strategies to meet these deficits. This is seen to more revealing of movement quality and overall movement health. This can be assessed through the use of multi-joint movement screening, a skill that is still emerging within the arsenals’ of movement professionals around the globe. Whilst the rest of the world catches up many elite sports teams have been seen to spearheading this approach for a number of years. Screening supplies a system to reveal the movements that matter, making sense of what you see, revealed in a way that may be then can addressed.




Because the body has so many ways to remain functional state of the art screening does not consider ‘if’ we can function but ‘how’. Injury risks associated with these adopted strategies can then be highlighted and negated. The Performance Matrix suite of matrices pose just such a route of questioning, asking how movement outcomes. Through employment of tests of both force production and deceleration alongside non-fatiguing co-ordination challenges the protocol considers movement quality through the full spectrum of what can be considered as the movement control continuum. 

 The TPM acts as ‘prism’ on the beam of light that is the multi-faceted nature of injury risk. Emerging from this process are the vividly clear factors of site and direction of movement control issue in addition to the intensity at which this problem presented. This may then be interpreted and successfully addressed.

Once addressed reassembly allows for a clarity and precision in movement.   
The ability to screen movement with such exactitude has the additional benefit of improving exercise delivery. Overnight, every part of every exercise acquires a discrete, fully justifiable purpose. All equipment can now be perceived through this enhanced perspective of explicit specificity.  

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