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Spine Assessment - Joints independence before interdependence

Updated: Apr 14

by Monica Lita

My client, @shakedatgraffytaffy, is a powerlifting and MMA athlete who came in for a full-body Functional Range Assessment—the best initial approach an athlete should have before starting a strength mobility program for their specific sports. MMA and grappling involve the whole body, requiring specific prerequisites for joints to cope with unpredictable positions during fights.

Observing different hinge points was interesting; his spine prefers to flex/bend more at the T6-T8/T9 area and less above and below this region. Extension presents limitations, with less workspace around T6-T8.

Keeping in mind the spine's architecture and the interconnection of vertebral segments with their small joints and ligaments, it's crucial to acknowledge that this thoracic spine "preference" needs to be corrected with proper training inputs and planning.

Athletes develop the ability to control, coordinate, and feel their bodies in space through regular practice. It will take a short time for my client to correct this spinal behavior and increase overall degrees of freedom. After just three weeks into the program, noticeable differences have been observed.

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