Updated: 14 Jul 2019 | Posted in: Therapy
The Neurofit Concept has been developed by specialist neurological physiotherapists alongside personal trainers and musculoskeletal physiotherapists to bring together aspects of strength training and how this can be applied to the neurological population. As the lead physiotherapist at Access to Rehab I took the opportunity to spend a weekend in sunny Brighton with other physiotherapists and personal trainers learning the answer to this very question. Bob Wood has many years experience in treating elite and olympic athletes, over recent years he has worked closely with Nikki Penny a leading neurological physiotherapist to develop the concept of NEUROFIT.
Neurofit uses dynamic movement as a screening tool rather than single muscle groups in isolation. We can gain more information from a dynamic movement, it is multi-directional, multi joint, requires balance reactions, kinetic chain integration, easily reproducible as a test of progression and requires minimal equipment.
Following a neurological event or when living with a neurological condition we are striving to get efficient movement but this can often be a huge challenge as efficient movement requires all aspects of the ‘Functional Continuum’;
Mobility – we need flexibility but not of one muscle, for a chain or sequence of muscles. Muscles need to be mobile to then be able to strengthen. So we need to make stretching and mobilising a ‘dynamic movement’.
Stability/balance – is very task specific and has its own potential pathway. From ‘static balance to reactive balance to dynamic balance’. All of this can be challenged with 3 dimensional functional movements.
Strength – Strengthen first then strengthen according to function, known as ‘Functional strength training’. Strengthen through different planes of movement, full body range, sequencing, with and without load.
Sequencing – means getting the right body parts in the right place at the right time. Strength training in sequence through different movement patterns to maximise effectiveness.
Power is built through progression of simple to complex movement patterns.
Mobility, stability, strength and sequencing are movement foundations to efficient POWERFUL movement!
Following a dynamic movement assessment considering all the above factors we can use functional and corrective exercise techniques to enhance performance. Tailoring these to an individual’s capabilities but at the same time challenging them with meaningful tasks.
Why should the neurological population not challenge their fitness? A progressive training programme can empower people with a neurological condition to challenge their physical fitness. This training programme needs to be dynamic, life is not 2 dimensional but 3 dimensional, so this is what our rehab should be as well!
This course is over 2 weekends, at the end of the first weekend not only did I feel exhausted from challenging my own fitness levels and establishing which parts of the movement continuum i needed to work on, to develop efficient powerful movement! I felt excited about trying these ideas out with my patients and sharing the knowledge with the rest of the Access to Rehab team. Really looking forward to consolidating this learning at the next weekend in Brighton where the principles of exercise prescription will be applied to the concept.