Optimal Performance Pyramid 

"First move well, and then move often."


Before embarking on your New Year's resolutions, it is important to understand the "Performance Pyramid" and how it applies to your fitness routine. Some people think that performance only applies to athletes but really the performance applies to everyone, regardless of sport, age and level of activity. The goal at Movement Physical Therapy is to improve the way you perform with everyday tasks as well as sports and recreational activities. The Performance Pyramid is broken into three levels and illustrated clearly by one of my mentors, Gray Cook. If you can keep your pyramid appropriately balanced, you will not only perform better but be at a much lower risk of injury.


The Performance Pyramid tells us the foundation of human performance is "functional movement," which is the ability to have good range of motion and the ability to have sufficient muscular control/stability through that full motion. An example is the ability to adequately perform a deep squat with just your body weight. Just like when you’re building a house you need to have a solid base to build upon. You wouldn’t consider building your house on sand, would you? Would you then consider adding significant weight to a dysfunctional squat pattern?

The next layer of the pyramid is "functional performance." This is strength, power, muscular endurance and conditioning. Typically this is where most of your conventional workouts live. All these traits are dependent upon how well you control your own body movement (the functional movement base).


This person depicted by the pyramid to the right has plenty of strength, power or endurance. Or perhaps a combination of all of them but their functional movement capacity is poor. A person like this may appear to be in great physical condition but in reality, medical research is showing that they are at a significantly higher risk of injury--a ticking time bomb. Unfortunately, this time of year I see a lot of people whose Performance Pyramid looks this way. If this person were to only re-establish a strong functional movement base, their overall performance would reach new heights.


If you’d like to find out where you are in regard to the Performance Pyramid, please contact us or click here.  This information can make the difference between reaching your goals and being injury-free and not this year.

Movement Physical Therapy in Edwards, Colorado
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