Simplifying the PRI Myokinematic Restoration Seminar

Posted: June 9, 2014 by dannytwoguns in About Me, Articles

Myokinematic who what? I’ll elaborate I promise. Stick with me.

The weekend before the one that we just finished, the Twoguns Training System and LEWIS Fitness & Performance teams headed down to the Postural Restoration Institute (PRI)’s Myokinematic Restoration course/seminar. PRI has many different courses and this was the primary “introductory” course and where they recommend you start.

Pittsburgh Myokin Group Photo

Group Shot of the Attendees

“Introductory” in the PRI world apparently still means “extremely complicated and complex” and this 2 day course was easily one of the most mentally challenging seminars/courses/certifications Ive experienced in my travels. But it was definitely and absolutely a great learning experience and a necessary step of knowledge as we progress to change the way fitness is done in Erie.

Before we get into some of the information and take homes from the course let’s address what the heck even is “Myokinematic Restoration”?

It is the integrative approach to treatment of patterned lumbo-pelvic-femoral pathomechanics.

Say What

Just kidding. Kind of. That is the description they use but not what I expect you or anyone to actually understand.

Myokinematics is a fancy way of saying the study of motion or lack of motion produced by a muscular force. Essentially the study of muscle as it relates to movement.

The fitness profession over the last few years for anyone who has been keeping up has been trying to create symmetry in movement. This is why the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) should be a standard wherever you are working out. We want to see if the body in terms of movement has any gross asymmetries in terms of left to right, upper to lower body, functional movements etc because we need to correct those significant asymmetries for function, health and fat loss purposes.

But as we learn more and more, we see that the body has naturally asymmetries to it just based on how your body is built.

Your movement is primarily dictated by the left side of your brain, which effects the right side of your body.
Your heart is on your left side.
Your liver is located on your right side, weighing 2-3 pounds.
Your spleen is opposite the liver on your left side but is significantly smaller, weighing less than a pound and taking up less space than your liver.
This combination results in the diaphragm (your “breathing muscle”) being bigger on the right side.

All of this results in a natural asymmetry that always leaves us patterned into “sitting into” our right hip regardless of whether we are left or right handed dominant. It usually looks like this…

Left AIC
Photo credit – Cressey Performance

Right hip internally rotated, left hip externally rotated and our hips “shifted.”

It is funny because if you asked a person when is the last time they saw a yellow volkswagon they would say they haven’t. But when they start looking for one, they notice that they see one all the time. The same goes for this stance of people sitting into the right hip. Take notice of how people stand and you will see they are always sitting into the right hip just as in the picture above. Rarely balanced on two legs and very rarely on their left hip, always the right.

I was explaining to three of my clients about some of the things we learned over the weekend and as I was telling them, two of them were completely on their right leg as they were like “oh is that true?” I just told them to look down. The other was doing an exercise on the ground at the time or else they would have likely been in the same position.

So what does this mean?

It means that we never want any gross/large asymmetries in our movement and abilities but there is always going to be an underlying asymmetry and our goal is to work against the natural imbalance and find a “balanced asymmetry and motor control” as our goal.

PRI (and soon Twoguns Training Systems) uses two primary assessments in order to see how a client fits into this pattern. The first is the Adduction Drop Test…

Adduction Drop Test

This tells use how the femur/thigh bone moves in relation to the hip bone/pelvis when it is in extension. A “common” finding would show us the ability to do it on one leg and not the other. Normally when people see this test, the ability to not be able to completely adduct/get your leg down to the table they would say that they “have a tight IT band” but it isn’t the IT band, it is the position of the pelvis (where your thigh bone inserts to your hip bone) and we can do correctives/realignment exercises (not chiropractic adjustments) in order to put the pelvis in a neutral position and completely change the test, no touching of the IT band required and realign the pelvis to an optimal and “balanced” position.

The second test is the Extension Drop Test.


Having the ability to extend the hip and get your leg to the table in this test, while not being able to in the Adduction Drop Test tells us that something in your hip is overstretched and too loose and you are getting mobility from somewhere that you shouldn’t be and we also have an approach of correctives to be able to fix that.

The course this weekend was focused around those philosophies and assessments and how we can better serve clientele by being able to address these. It is a completely different way than the industry looks at things and it has definitely been an eye opening experience. We have been experimenting on ourselves and staff and will be implementing the assessment and specific correctives once we come to the best way of implementing this into our programming.

Your body will try to find stability – one way or the other, for better or for worse movement and we are always striving to optimize movement because when we move optimally we not only burn significantly more calories but we also move more often and feel better for every day activities. This new outlook helps us get to that even quicker than we already have and seems to be a direction the future of fitness is going. This is a lot of new and dense information and we will gladly simplify and break it down for you to bring the absolute best results possible and continue to change the way fitness is done in Erie.

If you have any questions, concerns or curiosities feel free to send me a message on Facebook or leave a comment here.

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