In the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle, we often find ourselves grappling with the challenges of muscle and joint stress. These daily struggles can hinder our overall well-being and limit our physical capabilities. However, there is a way to overcome these hurdles and achieve optimal functional performance. We will delve into the realm of functional performance assessment and how it can be your key to eliminating muscle and joint stress, repetitive injuries, and performance limitations.

Understanding The Problem to Find The Solution

Muscle/joint stress is never the “first domino.” It is almost always the last domino to fall.  Unfortunately, the majority of insurance dollars, medical expenses, physical therapy treatments, and missed training time is wasted on addressing the last domino.  This means something as simple and fundamental as the way we move is the cause of ongoing muscle and joint stress.  

How can movement be the culprit?  Simple….movement is a complex function that we were never taught.  No one taught us how to move, how to crawl, walk, or run.  We progressively adapted our skill sets to accomplish these tasks.  Here lies the problem.  Movement is a complex combination of nerves, fascia, and muscles working together to perform dynamic motion, coordinated with the ability to perform both static and dynamic stabilization.  The combination is either:

  • Correct and fine-tuned, which results in effective and efficient movement, enhanced performance, and pain-free posture and activities.
  • Incorrect, which results in detrimental and destructive compensations.  Essentially, if the movement starts wrong, everything that follows is a chain reaction that stays wrong.

The vast majority of physical therapy, fitness/sports training, speed & agility progressions, and strengthening programs are based upon changing HOW the athlete moves, runs, and performs.  

Unfortunately, it is impossible to change HOW an athlete moves, runs, or performs until we identify WHY they move and run the way they do.  Attempting to change the “how” by expecting the athlete to do what they do better, faster, and for longer duration is a recipe for disaster resulting in:

  1. Continued pain and related issues.
  2. Increased risk of injuries.
  3. Frustration.
  4. And most importantly, no improvement in performance. 

Functional Performance Assessment

At The FAST Lab, our main objective is to identify the WHY – in other words, the “first domino.” We have developed an exclusive Functional Performance Assessment that is a comprehensive assessment and movement evaluation based upon analyzing structural and muscular symmetry, muscle recruitment synergy, and muscle activation sequencing which tell us WHY the athlete moves or runs the way they do.  

Most traditional fitness assessments focus solely on performing isolated exercises and measuring non-functional parameters like vertical jump. (Hint: The body does not move in isolated patterns, and most individual and team sports are performed horizontally, not vertically!) The FAST Lab’s Functional Performance Assessment, on the other hand, is designed to examine how our nerves, fascia, muscles, and joints work together to perform patterns of movement. Through analyzing these  functional movement assessments, we can determine the underlying “why” regarding an athlete’s movement and running form, compared to how the body “should” move and run.

Identifying Muscle and Joint Stress Triggers

The Functional Performance Assessment provides us valuable insights into the specific triggers that lead to muscle and joint stress by identifying:

  1. Structural asymmetries that negatively impact movement and run form.
  2. Muscle imbalances ( posture / injuries / sport specificity ) that negatively impact movement and run form.
  3. Restricted movement secondary to “active shortening” of muscles due to compensations or overuse resulting in “false tightness.”  ( Stretching will NOT change this.)
  4. Muscle or muscle groups experiencing compensatory muscle inhibition as a victim of “active shortening”  resulting in “false weakness.”  ( Strengthening will NOT change this.)

Designing Your Performance Plan

Armed with data from The FAST Lab’s exclusive Functional Performance Assessment, we can pinpoint the areas that require improvement and create your customized plan to eliminate muscle and joint stress, as well as improve your performance.   

This customized program consists of three phases, or components, each designed to work together in a complementary manner.  The components of your program will be intertwined to produce the optimum results for eliminating muscle and joint stress and achieving your athletic performance goals.

Phase 1:  Initiate Release and Lengthening 

Phase 1 is designed to build the foundation of increasing mobility and flexibility of the shortened muscles.

  • No more smashing on your foam roller and wasting time doing stretches that never worked in the first place.
  • Our FAST Releases and dynamic lengthening will make the necessary change.

Phase 2:  Muscle Recruitment and Activation Retraining 

Retrain those forgotten weakened muscles to ensure that they are now an active part of the correct movement and strengthening pattern.

  • No more valuable time spent on repetitious exercises that have become part of the problem.

Phase 3:  Functional Movement Retraining

  • Stop perfecting your imperfect movements.
  • Implement our FAST specific posture / positioning and full-body functional movement program to retrain how your body should move.

In your journey to conquer muscle and joint stress, The FAST Lab’s  Functional Performance Assessment is your most potent tool. By gaining a deep understanding of your physical capabilities and limitations, we will craft a personalized plan to ensure you achieve optimal functional performance. We can help you eliminate muscle and joint stress, and achieve your performance goals

Ready to eliminate muscle and joint stress and unlock your full potential? Contact us now to schedule your Functional Performance Assessment and embark on your personalized journey towards a healthier, pain-free life. Let’s take the first step together!