The nuts and bolts of the SQUARE 1 system
This blogpost originally appeared on theresetsytem.com blog on 3.7.16.
Written by: Shawn Sherman
What does SQUARE 1 do?
Motor control is how the body creates and coordinates movement patterns. Movement patterns are comprised of hundreds of coordinated and integrated joint motions. Repetitively practicing movement patterns is called motor learning or exercise. For better or worse, exercise reinforces existing motor control status. Flawless motor control leads to high quality movement patterns. A well designed exercise program that reinforces high quality patterns should result in excellent movement outcomes.
But as our bodies’ are exposed to various forms of stress, we acquire motor control deficits. A motor control deficit is a pattern- and planar- specific joint position that no longer tolerates load. Our nervous system senses that these joint positions cannot be loaded so a different pattern that averts the dysfunctional position is created. This is called a compensatory movement pattern. Once we are compensating, all exercise reinforces compensatory movement. Reinforcing compensation will always lead to sub-optimal movement outcomes.
SQUARE 1 is a motor control restoration system. Identifying and removing motor control deficits immediately impacts the quality of our movement patterns which, in turn, has a positive effect on movement outcomes.
Why did SQUARE 1 need to be developed?
There are currently very few, if any, motor control assessment and correction systems in existence. To date, motor control is an area where relatively little research has been conducted and where incredibly few practical applications have been developed.
Most assessments and interventions in the rehab,fitness, performance field are focused on movement outcomes. Movement outcomes that lend themselves to be quantified receive much attention in the industry and research and practical applications in this area are plentiful. We have many assessments that focus on posture, mobility, stability, strength, power, endurance, balance, coordination and may other movement outcomes.
But again, very little attention has been devoted to assessing and restoring the components or the “raw ingredients” of the human movement system which is motor control. This is the area of movement in which SQUARE 1 has been pioneering since 2008.
How does SQUARE 1 work?
If the goal is to identify and address motor control deficits and motor control deficits are pattern- and planar- specific positions that cannot tolerate load, it becomes necessary to isolate and load specific joint positions and then be able to detect the bodies’ response to this loading.
In a nutshell, here’s how SQUARE 1 works:
By loading different patterns and then using neuro-proprio response muscle testing to detect positive and negative responses, we can reliable identify compensatory and dysfunctional patterns and joint positions that do and do not tolerate loading.
Once motor control deficits are isolated, isometric exercise is utilized to increase motor control function at dysfunctional joint positions.
Once isolated deficiencies are restored to a functional state, practicing movement patterns is encouraged so that these once isolated deficient positions can be fully re-integrated into functional movement patterns.
Who and when should someone be SQUARE 1?
Stress is any stimuli that disrupts homeostasis within the body. Stimuli can be any of, but not limited to, the following: physical, chemical, electro-magnetic, thermal, nutritional, emotional. Since we are in direct contact with many different stimuli it should make sense that some of these stimuli will disrupt the internal homeostasis of our bodies. Our bodies’ must deal with stress every day. As I explained a few sections above, exposure to stress can cause us to acquire motor control deficits. Virtually all human beings are in possession of motor control deficits and these deficits are taking it’s toll on our movement quality and, in turn, the quality of our overall health.
Virtually everyone can receive benefit from having our their motor control assessed and addressed. Compensating with movement means that every physical task a person performs will be more difficult and require more effort than if there was no need to compensate. Rehab patients will receive a benefit because an improved ability to perform therapeutic exercises will lead to better rehab outcomes. Improved motor control will help fitness participants and athletes by minimizing risk associated with sub-par movement execution and by increasing their tolerance to loads. Those who are dealing with chronic aches and pains can often receive very noticeable benefits from being SQUARE 1 because motor control improvement means movement pattern improvement and this leads to better movement outcomes (better mobility, stability, coordination, efficient pattern execution that minimizes wear and tear on joints, etc.).
We believe that every body needs to be SQUARE 1.
Where can I receive SQUARE 1?
SQUARE 1 is fairly new. At this point, there are only about a dozen or so SQUARE 1 certified professionals utilizing this remarkable system. Most of us are based in and around Chicago, IL. There are also a few other MCRS' (Motor Control Restoration Specialists) scattered around the country (PA, IN, MN, WA, and FL).
Where can I learn SQUARE 1?
The SQUARE 1 Education Program has been taught to industry professionals in Western Springs (west suburban Chicago) at P2 Training Systems since 2012. We currently offer the entire education program for $2500.
The other option would be to host a SQUARE 1 Education Program in your area. We require the following:
*4 student minimum.
*$1000 administration/travel expense.
*A suitable space to conduct our educational modules (300+ sf space) for 3 consecutive days (Fri pm, Sat and Sun all day).