DEFINING INTEGRATED CONDITIONING (IC) METHODOLOGY
EAP simplifies Integrated Conditioning (IC) methodology into three distinct areas of focus. They are:
Structural Fitness (SF)
Structural Performance (SP)
Performance Conditioning (PC)
Let’s define each phase of IC.
What is Integrated Conditioning (IC) Structural Fitness (SF)?
Structural Fitness (SF) involves unloaded exercises (i.e. no external load like weights) to demonstrate and succinctly addresses the possible abhorrent developmental movement patterns a.k.a. Primal Global Reflex Locomotor Patterns (PGRLP), which are sometimes the underlying issue to high performance.
What is Integrated Conditioning (IC) Structural Performance (SP)?
Structural Performance (SP) increases tissue malleability (i.e. muscle and bone) by introducing movements that are within reach of the athlete, but are beyond what they will experience during their normal course of their own conditioning. In other words, developing the “Ideal” Global Fascial Tension Patterns to foster a neutral upright position that can also move three dimensionally (i.e. walking – which can be defined as a series of controlled falls). Good or bad repetitive movements strengthen muscles; create tension patterns, which in turn then alter the shape bones.
What is Integrated Conditioning (IC) Performance Conditioning (PC)?
Performance Conditioning (PC) is focused on developing movement performance, first as it related to human movement, then secondly as it pertains to the athletes chosen sport. During this time, there must be constant vigilance w.r.t. maintaining the “Ideal” Global Fascial Tension Patterns, that was developed during the Structural Performance (SP) phase
They key to the application of theses conditioning phases is to identify what state the athlete is in, then apply the appropriate Conditioning methodology to that particular athlete. Sometimes, performance comes from ‘going back to go forward’, that is to say, a seasoned athlete may have to focus on Structural Fitness in order to achieve greater performance, due previous developmental deficiencies.
With respect to Integrated Conditioning (IC) Structural Fitness (SF), it focuses on Primal Global Reflex Locomotor Patterns (PGRLP).
What Are Primal Global Reflex Locomotor Patterns (PGRLP)?
Primal Global Reflex Locomotor Patterns (PGRLP) form the basis of all human movement. They are based upon the laws of ontogenesis or human development. PGRLP begins with breathing, lying on the back to eventually being upright. PGRLP assists in the development of the human locomotor system by the stimulation of the deep core musculature (i.e. deep cervical flexors, spinal extensors, diaphragm, pelvic floor, and the co-ordination between intra and inter abdominal muscles, all of which assist in regulating intra-abdominal pressure and spinal stiffness). These patterns are critical in establishing proper firing and bracing sequences in the body, which form the core or all athletic movement. Deficiency or missing a critical step in this locomotor development can have a profound effect later on in an athlete’s career, w.r.t. athletic performance and injury potential.
How does SF address movement dysfunction and discomfort?
Once the locomotor pattern(s) has been identified, via a series of manual test, SF begins to address them via a combination of Integrated Structural Body Work (ISBW) and specific locomotor patterns. By precisely positioning the athlete into primal locomotor position(s), specific proprioceptive zones are stimulated. This results in a global reflex neuromuscular relaxation of specific muscle firing patterns, an increased sense of proprioception, as well as a potential reduction in pain, thus aiding in soft-tissue release. There is also a release of muscular spasm, a reduction in shearing, decompressing and rotational forces.
Often the improvement equates to an increase in performance, a drop in discomfort, as well as a reduction injury potential (i.e. self-sustained soft tissue injuries).
The end result is improved spinal stability and postural awareness. Through repetition of the primal locomotor position(s), the movement becomes habitual and independent of conscious input (i.e. reflex pathway).
What is the end goal of Structural Fitness (SF) do?
Structural Fitness (SF), involves every component of the locomotor system (i.e. muscles, tendon, ligaments, circulation, lymphatic fluid, joints, discs, nerves and soft tissues), and developmental movements (i.e. lying on the back/stomach/sides, crawling and sitting upright, standing). By stimulating the movement control centers in the brain (i.e. reactivating dormant PGRLP) via activation of ideal inborn developmental movement, it is possible to restore the structural and postural alignment of the body’s neuromuscular system, and ultimately the fascial system. SF takes advantage of the neural-plasticity (malleability) of the brain, to ‘re-boot’ the locomotor system.
Is PGRLP Method can be useful in the management of Concussions (i.e. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?
Yes. By positioning the body in a particular PGRLP, it is possible to release fascial distortion, and ‘re-boot’ the brain into establishing proper neural programs. Moreover, abhorrent involuntary movements, that were sustained during the time of the TBI, are not efficient movement patterns, but are created to esoterically protect the body from further insult, despite not being efficient. These negative movements are largely responsible for generating improper signaling to various parts of the body (i.e. organs and metabolic function etc.…) inclusive of muscles. The constant habituation of these movements, gradually become a ‘normal’ automated [i.e. become embedded in the Central Nervous System (CNS)] part of the person’s life, much like the ‘unconscious’ act of walking or standing or sitting.
How does SF differ from other programs?
Most people condition muscles in isolation. Conditioning weakened muscle(s) in isolation from a unified locomotor system, does not constitute as a recipe for high performance.
Most conditioning programs do not attempt to address nor adjustment the deep core musculature, which properly prepares the brain, spine, visceral organs and 3-D Joint Centration (i.e. a joint that is dynamically stabilized throughout its range of motion, thus allowing the efficient operation of adjacent muscles that surround or are in close proximity to the joint) prior to any conscious movement. A centered joint will experience minimal stress. Chronic injuries and developmental disorders can interfere with this process, thus causing impairments in anticipatory postural control. Improperly prescribed conditioning programs can also interfere with intrinsic global movement patterns.
SF attempts to restore or improve the precise neuromuscular co-ordination and timing of the deep core, which can result in improved the efficiency of movement.
What sort of equipment is used during SF?
These exercises could include the use of Swiss balls, resistive tubing, lightweight plastic Kettlebells and other related equipment. The exercises are used to improve the stability of the spine, increase local and global proprioception via sensory integration, muscle coordination, balance, endurance, elastic properties of the muscle, and strength.
Why Is SF considered to be an ‘Integrated’ or ‘Holistic’ methodology?
SF addresses the origin of locomotor dysfunction and discomfort, via the stimulation and increased awareness of dormant or ‘missing’ motor patterns.
Why does SF focus on breathing?
An abnormal postural activation of the diaphragm can potentially contribute to improper spinal joint centration, resulting in chronic lower back pain.