Movement Guided Fitness vs Traditional Fitness

In our office we get asked every week, “I can do these exercises at home, why do I have to do them in the office?”


Recently an article was published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research that looked at this exact question. Three different groups of firefighters were tested:

At the beginning and at the end of 12 weeks of training, the three groups were compared on a variety of factors (body composition, grip strength, aerobic capacity, muscular endurance, lower body power and flexibility) and tested through a range of movements. The goal was to test movements similar to those we have to perform on a daily basis and see how the body responds with various types of training.


So how did they do?

Both exercise groups exhibited similar fitness improvements, but the group with coaching showed much greater control of both spinal motion and frontal knee motion during tasks. Greater spinal control and knee control means less back and knee injuries on the job and with general life.

Good movement coordination prevents injuries above and beyond what just being physically fit does. (Someone who performs 100 squats with good form has a much lower chance of getting hurt than someone who performs 100 squats poorly, even though the amount of work is the same.)

The coached group also had a higher percentage of positive improvements and a lower risk for negative factors/injuries. At the end of the day, this is why we encourage all of our patients to do exercises in the office under proper guidance instead of at home. Greater progress and less risk of injury is a win-win situation.  

Conclusion: Rehab exercise that is guided by a professional is far more effective than non-guided therapy.

Quality training matters.


Source: Frost DM, Beach TA, Callaghan JP, McGill SM. Exercise-Based Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention for Firefighters: Contrasting the Fitness and Movement-Related Adaptations to Two Training Methodologies. J Strength Cond Res. 2015 Sep;29(9):2441-59.


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