Movement Journal: Andy Stoler

Written by FMS FMS

Andy Stoler, Director of Media and IT at FMS, is a 41 year old former collegiate baseball athlete and current youth volleyball and basketball coach. Andy's goals are to combat some of the asymmetries he acquired as college baseball pitcher and correct for the work environment. Because Andy is not in rehab and is not experiencing pain, the Screen is his starting point. Follow Andy’s movement journey here as we kick off with the Functional Movement Screen (also known as the FMS or the Screen).

First up: the Functional Movement Screen


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Because of Andy's sports background, we expected to see some asymmetries and limitations and they presented in shoulder mobility and the leg raise (ASLR). There was also an asymmetry in Andy's In Line Lunge, but that is not the #1 focus right now. Instead, we are going to home in on Andy's upper body restrictions and his mobility. Remember, the goal of the FMS is no pain, no 1's and no major asymmetries.

We also checked Andy's breathing function, which indicated we had an issue to work on here. The Breathing Screen takes about five minutes and provides another layer of information that is extremely helpful for professionals in their initial consultation with a client, patient or athlete. We know that breathing affects movement quality and when breathing is the primary issue and is corrected, movement improves. Therefore, we want to first correct Andy's breathing dysfunction and then recheck his movement quality. Since this was Andy's initial consultation, we conducted all screens and tests to collect comprehensive information about him and this additional layer of testing gave us more information about how to move forward with Andy's programming.

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90/90 Breathing and Assisted Leg Lowering

The first focus is to work on Andy's breathing, mobility and leg raise limitations.  One of the main purposes of corrective exercise is to establish a sense of self awareness in our clients.  Therefore, we are giving Andy these correctives to practice at home, but reminding him of important cues to focus on while he is independently performing these exercises off the training floor. We can address several of Andy's restrictions -- or, as we should consider, opportunities -- within a couple of correctives.  The first corrective is 90/90 breathing that focuses on diaphragmatic breathing with his hand on his chest and the other on his belly to cycle his breaths for a minute or two.  With the 90/90 position, we can transition directly to working on Andy's leg raise with assisted leg lowering. We want to get Andy's hips at 90 degrees with the chair placed under his legs for support. If extra support is needed, add a disk or towel under the sacrum to for better positioning. Remove the chair so the legs can be lowered during this exercise (4-5 deep breaths on each side) and repeat the set again beginning with the 90/90 breathing.  

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Rib Grab

To focus on breathing in another position, Andy will move into a side-lined rib grab. Be careful not to hyperextend the neck during this exercise. The rib grab is an excellent way to not only create an awareness about breathing, but also to work on Andy's thoracic and shoulder restrictions with a controlled rotation.

Andy will perform both correctives twice per week, along with some additional training exercises that will play to his strengths we identified in the Screen. We will check-in with Andy next week recheck for feedback to guide us in what to do next.

Week 2

Corrective Update

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Week 3

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Week 4


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Gray Cook and Lee Burton are teaming up with Andy to ensure that he's on the right path to move well for the long haul.  And, considering the movement dysfunctions that the Screen revealed in Andy, it is important for him to focus on the ABC's:  Awareness, Breathing and Control. 

Therefore, we're dialing back our plan with Andy and having him first explore his range of motion both left and right in a happy baby yoga move.  We want Andy to be aware of his movements by FEELING them before he begins to apply anything new.  Instead of advancing into something more challenging, now that he has reached awareness, Andy will move into improving his breathing through a rotation in a simplified Bretzel stretch. 

After displaying competency in awareness and breathing, it's time to transition Andy into the control phase with the toe touch progression on a half foam roll.  Check out how Andy gets what he needs in balance from a toes up position on the half foam roll.  Again, we make sure Andy's breathing is synced up during this exercise.

Andy is a classic case of why breathing is essential to consider in movement evaluation and why looking at parts vs. patterns is a mistake we make as pros that short changes the client and their movement snapshot.

Gray takes Andy through additional stances on the half foam roll.  Check out how these slight variations affect Andy's balance, and how the ABC's impact his movement awareness, breathing quality and ability to progress through his exercises.



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