By: Dr. David Tiberio, Gray Institute

One of the great foundational pillars of Applied Functional Science (AFS) is the Functional Nomenclature developed by the Gray Institute.  The Functional Nomenclature is the language of movement. It is comprised of components that allow any human movement to be described and, if desired, to be measured.

Nomenclature Components

  • Environment
  • Beginning Position
  • Driver
  • Action
  • Triangulation – Angle
  • Triangulation – Height
  • Triangulation – Distance
  • Reps, Load, Speed
  • Ending Position

The power of the Functional Nomenclature is not just in being able to describe movements.  The power expands exponentially when the components serve as the basis for tweaking assessment and training movements.  The components of the Functional Nomenclature are leveraged in the Gray Institute’s Certification in Applied Functional Science where they are called the 10 Observational Essentials.

As practitioners of AFS learn the nomenclature and the parallel essentials of CAFS, they are empowered to tweak their programs for each individual person.  The components/essentials are the variables of analysis and training movements that are tweaked to match each client’s capabilities and activities.

The tweaks of movements are not random. Tweaking is done to enhance the client’s movement success.  Depending on the situation, the tweaks may be very subtle changes. Subtle tweaks are used to progress successful movements with increasing challenges (success begets more success). Dramatic tweaks can be used to shift the program emphasis or to when new goals are added. Some tweaks (challenges) would fall somewhere on the spectrum between subtle and dramatic.

Every component / essential can be tweaked in multiple ways. Using environment as an example, let’s start in an open room with a level, firm, rug-covered floor.  A subtle tweak could be switching to a smooth floor or a slightly angled surface.  Moving from a firm to a cushioned surface could range from subtle to dramatic depending on the thickness and density of the material.  Changing from the room to a sand or water environment would be dramatic.

To add the power of tweakology to your skill set, consider certification in CAFS and Functional Nomenclature.