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I first heard the term, mimic the movement, when watching a shoulder lecture presented by Jared Vagy, a brilliant Physical Therapist and rock-climbing rehab expert.  Clinically, I had already been putting this idea in practice throughout my exams and treatments.  But Dr. Vagy’s breakdown of mimicking the movement help define and validate the importance of copying athletic movement postures, intensities, speeds, and rest periods for the most successful return to play or sport outcomes

Watch Serena William, Tiger Woods, and other athletes Mimic the Movement HERE.

Let me provide an example of how mimicking the movement might apply during a knee exam. Let’s say you’re a runner who comes to me with complaints of patella tendon pain while running. Do I test your quadriceps strength in a seated position, foot off the ground? Or do I attempt to mimic the movement (posture, alignment, load), ground you,  and have you perform lunges, forward step ups, or one-legged squats? For the most efficient and effective knee exam (which will eventually lead to your running training roadmap), I would choose the grounded, weight-bearing positions to get the best, most applicable data. Sure, the seated “break test” will give me some info about your quadricep weakness, but not so much about your quadricep muscle’s functional performance during your run.  

If you were a swimmer with back pain, I would test you in prone, with a physioball beneath your stomach. As a  tennis player with a rotator cuff strain, I would have you move in an upright,  “swing” or “serve” position. If you were a Yogi, I would scan for restrictions, instability, and overall movement dysfunctions in yoga positions. 

Watch Serena William, Tiger Woods, and other athletes Mimic the Movement HERE.

And there’s no difference between your exam and your corrective training programming. Once I know the demands of your sport or activity — posture, speed, resistance, rest periods — I can then add these variables to your training program roadmap. When possible, I will ask if you can train in your sport environment  (boxing ring, dojo, turf, CrossFit box) for the best carryover benefits.

Here are 3 reasons why I love mimicking the movement with my clients:

  1. Saves me a significant time in pinpointing primary movement dysfunction during an exam.
  2. Makes programming (training, exercises, correctives) a breeze, using the “failed” movements as a template.
  3. Ensures that your body can meet the demands of your sport with increased movement competence, confidence and control.

Is your body in a state of readiness for your return to play or sport? Have you fixed all the glitches in your body matrix? Are you confident that you can dodge injury bullets? Set up a 5-star Peformance Therapy: Return to Play & Sport exam HERE to better heal, move and evolve. 

Heal. Move. MIMIC. Evolve.