Even though Movement Coaching has been around for a really long time in one form or another (like yoga), there is certainly a new breed of functional Movement Coaching on the block.
Returning the focus to the ‘right type’ of functional movement, there is a shift back toward quality movement rather than focussing on load or quantity.
Although recently popularised by UFC Fighter Conor McGregor, movement coaching is not just for elite athletes. With movements designed to teach your body to function as a unit, rebalance and coordinate, movement coaching can be beneficial to everyone!
I spoke with Movement Coach and all round fitness expert (check out that long list of credentials in his bio!) Matt Waterton, to learn more about why Movement is the fundamental, yet forgotten form of exercise.
What is Movement Coaching and why is it important?
Movement coaches are a growing breed of trainers, who are fascinated and inspired by improving and challenging their clients movement biomechanics. As exercise science evolves and our understanding of the human body improves, it’s becoming even more apparent that regular efficient movement is as important as eating, sleeping and breathing.
The old school mindset of strength, endurance, flexibility and cardio being totally separate is gone. To be fit we need to seamlessly blend these principles alongside efficient movement in 3 planes and at all of the major joints.
In recent years, ‘fitness’ has become increasingly focused on how hard you train, celebrating the latest high intensity classes and celebrity fat loss workouts. When in reality, due to the demands of work and the increasing sedentary lifestyle habits that technology promotes, we really need to be paying attention to the quality and right amounts of ‘movement’.
As children we learn and adapt from new movement challenges as we grow, learning new motor skills, becoming more efficient and resilient. Then one day, we just stop. We don’t challenge ourselves to move in different ways efficiently and tend to stick to cookie cutter programs that exist in 1 plane of motion with the same 5 or 6 exercises that everyone else does.
The human body is a remarkable piece of equipment that performs amazing feats. When we play sports we are developing and practising skills, that combine; coordination, balance, strength, speed, momentum and power all together. Too often when we go to the gym, we go through the same 1 dimensional program with the focus of trying to burn calories or just build muscles. There is definite room for improvement! We can train to be efficient and strong through movement. Training doesn’t always have to be intense or draining.
What can I expect from Movement Coaching?
Movement coaching aims to correct movement dysfunction that can lead to injury. It also aims to tie the body together as a functional unit, so it can co-ordinate and balance itself by learning through a number of movement challenges.
Often coming from a more corrective exercise background, a good coach will first conduct an in depth movement assessment to understand your strengths and limitations. Improving these movement patterns is an essential element of any fitness program.
The first goal is movement quality, then quantity with quality, then we load the movements.
Good movement and good posture go hand in hand. When we sit in front of workstations and computers for long hours our posture declines and we then fall into bad lazy slumped positions. As movement coaches we design programs that not only strengthen you and make you fitter, but we look at the demands of your work, sport and life to build smarter programs that help you succeed in all areas.
We want to design training programs that teach your body to move efficiently, so you can continue to do the things you love for as long as possible. We don’t believe in waiting until you are injured to focus on the weak links, we believe in assessing your movement and building strategies specific for you to avoid common injuries.
What are the key advantages of Movement training?
- Addressing weak links and may prevent injuries
- Creating a learning environment for your body in every session
- Developing a balanced and functionally strong body
- Combating stress and boost energy levels
- Increasing performance in sport and at work
Have you tried movement coaching?
Matt Waterton is the founder of Strength in Motion and Waveblade.
He is a Movement Coach who specialises in ’training smarter’ and he has over 12 years of experience as an athletic trainer and corrective exercise specialist. After a major knee injury and a stint in rehab, Matt became committed to finding a way to get back to optimal fitness. Since then, Matt has designed a series of intricate movements that athletes can use to improve performance and prevent injury.
- Functional Movement Screen Professional (FMS) level 1 and 2
- Functional Training Specialist, Faster Global
- Diploma of Remedial Massage
- Diploma of Fitness, FIA
- Kettlebell Training Academy Advanced Instructor
- National Association of Sports Medicine NASM Corrective Exercise
- Paul Chek Core Conditioning and Program Design
- Australian Institute of Fitness, Cert 3 & 4 in Fitness
- 10+ years experience, London and Sydney
- Worked with professional soccer teams in the UK
- Coached Winter sports In US, Japan, UK, Europe and New Zealand