The Performance Matrix

Find out more about Reading Movement to Change Muscle Synergy Efficiency

25th April 2019

Reading Movement to Change Muscle Synergy Efficiency - 9th November 2019, UK.

Shared perspectives

Uniting current concepts emerging from the world of movement science with movement pattern observation, interpretation and retraining expertise honed with clinical and performance environment, is the focus of this one-day masterclass. For both clinical and performance focussed practitioners, there is often a need to ‘read’ a patient’s/athlete’s/client’s patterns of movement (kinematic signatures); a process then informing our judgement as to whether what is observed is either to be encouraged (the client is moving as we would like) or altered (the client is not moving as we would like) in respect to a desired short- or long-term goal. For all movement focussed practitioners, observation is therefore a fundamental skill, supporting decision making.

Efficient reasoning; matching movements to synergies 

One key focus of this masterclass will be to connect the skills of observation of movement patterns to an evidence-based reasoning framework of movement efficiency; therefore linking ‘what we see’, with a rationale of ‘what we would like to see’ during any individual’s performance of a movement outcome. This judgement of ‘efficient’ or ‘inefficient movement patterns’ will be focussed around the literature and concepts of muscle synergies, motor abundance and the influence of multiple factors on the movement system, as a whole.

Therefore, while the value and application of movement pattern observation and movement retraining will be explored practically, the question of why movement and muscle synergies become less efficient and what factors lead to this outcome will be addressed by Head of Education, Lincoln Blandford as an opening session to this day.

Lincoln explains, ‘the first session of the day will set the scene and supply an underpinning rationale as to how we can employ the observation of movement patterns to make a judgment on movement efficiency. Clearly, the movement system is a complicated entity and any practitioner who is responsible for influencing it for an improved clinical or performance outcome needs many tools and skills. Therefore, this session will discuss the connections between how the movement system appears to rely on different muscle synergy strategies in the presence of pain, fatigue, restriction and previous injury and how these latent changes alter observable movement patterns. Specific muscle synergies appear to present with their own specific ‘kinematic signatures’. If we can read and interpret these, we can make a judgement on what our retraining interventions need to achieve’.

Trying to close the research to practical application gap

Following publications on the interaction between muscles synergies and previous injury (Blandford et al., 2018a), and the targeting of muscle synergists as a means to limit injury recurrence (Blandford et al., 2018b), Lincoln is talking about muscle synergies again at the prestigious Isokinetic Medical Group Conference 2019.

He adds, ‘the Isokinetic talk will focus on the interaction between injury history, muscle length and the hamstring muscle synergists inelite level footballers. The date in November will supply the chance to build on this story and consider how we can close the gap between what we discover within the research and what we can deliver practically to our clients’.

Do you want to attend Reading Movement to Change Muscle Synergy?


We have limited availability for this one day MPS date. To secure your place, please click the button below.




Blandford, L., Theis, N., Charvet, I., & Mahaffey, R. (2018). Is neuromuscular inhibition detectable in elite footballers during the Nordic hamstring exercise? Clinical Biomechanics, 58, 39-43.

Blandford, L., McNeill, W., & Charvet, I. (2018). Can we spread the risk? A demand-share perspective to sustained hamstring health. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 22, 766-779.


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