By: Dr. David Tiberio, Gray Institute
At the Gray Institute as part of our educational content, there is an emphasis on Transformational Zones. Transformational Zones (TZs) are related to the Applied Functional Science (AFS) principle of “Load and Explode”. This principle describes the characteristic of functional movement whereby we load the Neuro-Musculo-Skeletal system by moving in the opposite direction of the intended goal. To jump up, we go down. To throw a ball forward, we reach back. To hit a golf ball towards the target, we rotate back.
Transformational Zones are the section of the total movement where the motions of the bones change from the loading direction to the exploding direction. The energy absorbed during the load is TRANSFORMED into the energy of the explode. The change in direction of the bone motions is not simultaneous. Effective and efficient movements demonstrate a particular sequence of the motion reversal that maximizes the load on the body tissues. This sequence into the load and out into the explode defines the TZ. The reversal of motion and the generation of energy are the magic of the Transformational Zone.
Human movement is very complex, but the Transformational Zones offer the best opportunity to analyze and train movements. For this reason, practitioners of AFS utilize both general and activity-specific TZ movements to challenge the body and observe how the body handles the challenge. The 3D Movement Analysis and Performance System was created to simplify movement assessment by leveraging six Vital Transformational Zone movements. These six movements, tweaked to analyze both mobility and stability, empower the movement practitioner to quickly learn important information how the body integrates motions from individual joints into a total body movement task.
Armed with this knowledge, the practitioner then designs additional Transformational Zone movements that are specific to the activities performed by that individual. Left-Right comparisons of the relative success of the movements are used to create a logical strategy for training and/or rehabilitation. The Transformational Zones are so important, AFS practitioners not only assess in the TZs, but train in the TZs. Successful movements are tweaked to increase the challenge, and as a result transform previously unsuccessful movements into success. The tweaking strategies are part of the Performance System of 3DMAPS and also can be learned through the Certification in Applied Functional Science (CAFS).
Whenever a new “resource” is added to the body (flexibility, strength, balance, power), programs designed by practitioners of AFS will utilize Transformational Zone movement to ensure that the new resource is integrated by the body into the execution of tasks. Assess, train, challenge, progressions, and re-assess: all in the Transformational Zones.