At Gray Institute®, a process serves as the foundation of Applied Functional Science® (AFS). Specifically, this is called the Principles-Strategies-Techniques (PST) Process. The Techniques (movements / exercises) that are used for examination and treatment are derived from a specific Strategy. The Strategies emanate from one or more Principles (or truths) of human movement. This blog will describe how the Techniques are designed based on a Strategy that emanates from the Principle that human movement is three-dimensional (3D).

The Principle of 3D embodies not only the fact that humans move in three planes, but also that the planes cannot be completely separated. Although body movements and joint motions can occur predominantly in one plane, there will always be components of motion from the other two planes. This truth can be leveraged to use successful movement in one plane to create success in another plane.

Let’s assume we assess a patient / client with 3DMAPS® (3D Movement Analysis & Performance System). The results indicate limited extension of the right hip that was discovered during the Left Anterior Chain Reaction® movement. However, the Frontal Plane Mobility Analysis Movements, both Left Same Side Lateral Chain Reaction® and Left Opposite Side Lateral Chain Reaction®, showed no deficit. Using the Principle of 3D and the Performance System of 3DMAPS®, the Strategy will be to use the successful Left Same Side Lateral Chain Reaction® to improve right hip extension. The reason the Left Same Side Lateral Chain Reaction® is probably the best choice is because it creates right hip abduction. Right hip abduction is intimately connected to right hip extension due to the anatomical tissues of the anterior-medial hip and the functional relationship between extension and abduction during activities such as walking and running.

It is possible that utilizing the Left Same Side Lateral Chain Reaction® as an exercise will lengthen the anterior-medial hip structures, resulting in an immediate improvement of the Left Anterior Chain Reaction® (specifically the mobility). Using a Strategy of gradually tweaking the movement from the Frontal Plane into the Sagittal Plane will dramatically increase the chances of restoring the right hip extension. One Strategy would be to tweak the direction (angle) of the left foot lunge, while keeping the bilateral hand swing consistent. Gradually changing the direction from exactly left lateral to slightly anterior will gradually introduce extension into the abduction in the right hip. In Gray Institute’s AFS Nomenclature, the lunge would progress from L90° to L80° to L70° and so on. Based on successful execution of the movement, the lunge progression would eventually create more hip extension than abduction. This is a modification of the Plane (Foot) Mobility progression / strategy in the 3DMAPS® Performance System. (For more information on 3DMAPS®, please click on 

The same 3D Principled Strategy can be utilized by tweaking the direction of the bilateral hand swing, while keeping the lunge direction consistent. The “Bilateral Hand, Right Lateral @ Overhead, Swing” produces right hip abduction. The Bilateral Hand, Posterior @ Overhead, Swing” produces extension of the right hip. By tweaking the direction, the movement will incorporate some extension into the successful abduction of the right hip. The posterior direction is 180 degrees in AFS Nomenclature. Sequencing the bilateral hand swings from R90° to R100°, and then to R110°, begins to create extension in the right hip. This is one of many possible tweaks in the Plane (Hands) Mobility progression / strategy in the Performance System of 3DMAPS®.

The Principle of 3D provides the opportunity to devise many Strategies to eliminate motion restrictions at a joint by using global movements. Leveraging successful movement in one plane, through the gradual sequencing of tweaks, is a very effective Strategy. The Mobility Analysis Movements of 3DMAPS® provides an effective means to identify specific joint motion restrictions. These same Movements properly tweaked become the basis of utilizing successful movements to create more 3D success.