| Article written on November 13th, 2015 at 4:53pm | Follow Garrett on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram |
While driving down the road, how often do you see kids outside playing? When I was young, kids were outdoors constantly, riding bikes, playing tag, or even playing a game of good ol’ fashioned baseball.
With movement quality undoubtedly declining, it makes one wonder if it is the lack of unstructured play throughout the early developmental years that is causing the problem. Or, is it the increased number of hours spent sitting, instead of moving? This question can point to several different areas that need to be improved. But for this article, instead of pointing fingers at the problem, what is the solution?
What is an Athletic Trainer (AT)?
Athletic Trainers, as defined by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, are “health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.”
However, it is often assumed that it is a profession that trains athletes. Being that I only took one strength and conditioning class in undergrad, this assumption is obviously false. Although many ATs work in the fitness industry, it is NOT a fitness profession.
A Maximized Approach
As aforementioned, movement quality is rapidly declining. Therefore, having each individual complete a thorough movement screen is essential to uncover asymmetries, imbalances, and dysfunctional movement patterns. Those that move above a specific standard are able to dive head first into their fitness goals. But, this is rarely the case… Everyone has something going on that needs intervention.
This is where dual credentials as an Athletic Trainer and Performance Coach can have a large impact in the fitness industry. Combining an exercise program with Active Release Techniques (ART) provides tremendous value from a functional movement standpoint. Alone, Exercise or ART are only pieces of the puzzle. But, combining them together can provide the lasting success you deserve to move more efficiently.
What is Active Release Techniques (ART)?
Active Release Techniques is a patented, soft-tissue manual therapy evaluation and treatment system. During an ART session, the provider evaluates soft-tissue quality, movement, tension, and function, to determine which tissues are problematic. They are then effectively treated using specific, hands-on protocols. In addition to a thorough evaluation, ART can help improve movement quality, flexibility, relative motion between tissues, and enhance function. All of these things are essential in restoring proper movement patterns while maximizing performance.
Next time you are looking to get the best bang for your buck, find an Athletic Trainer, or someone certified in ART. In addition to exercise training, this expertise can prove to be valuable when looking to improve movement quality or exercising with an injury or previous injuries that have left you limited. Don’t be satisfied working around an injury, but attack it head on while achieving your fitness goals.
By: Garrett McLaughlin, MS, ATC, CSCS, ART