Reactive Neuromuscular Training (RNT)

Reactive Neuromuscular Training is exaggerating dysfunction so the body can acknowledge it as dysfunction and act against it.  Popularized by Gray Cook, it is based on the premise of initiating a feedback loop. (Hey this is wrong. Please correct.)  External resistance is used to trigger an internal response, and the brain adjusts the firing of muscles accordingly.

RNT can be done with almost any joint (i) in any plane of motion (ii).

photo credit:ukrhealth.info (i)
photo credit: mariamaestevens.com (ii)

 

Here Charlie Weingroff uses it in multiple places to fix the overhead squat:

It is used to clean up either a static (maintaining position) or dynamic (changing position) movement pattern, teaching the stabilizers to actively stabilize so the movers can do their moving.
To identify what incorrect looks like you’ll need to practice, but a good rule of thumb is to check for alignment.  Weight bearing joints of the hips, ankles, feet, knees, and pelvis are notorious for shifting, swaying, shifting, or rotating excessively.  Torso leans are also a dead give away a cheat is happening.
photo credit: physiodetective.com

There is typically an override of the core musculature, with the hips being the biggest bully.  When we use our hips to hold us up we rob the stomach of doing it’s job and help everything ‘sit’ correctly.  A similar phenomenon happens with the shoulders and upper back when doing arm movements.  We send a contradictory message to hold us up and move around.  Extremities drive movement moreso than torsos.  There’s tons of ligament love, because it’s easier to hang off tissue then right a systematic flaw.

The value of RNT is in challenging compensations, naturalizing movement for greater efficiency.
Pop Quiz:  In studying the set up, what is this man’s dysfunction?
photo credit: functionalmovement.com

The hips are banded, and they’re pulling him to his right, so his hips must shift right in either a hinge, squat, lunge, or single leg stand.  (The movements are my guesses, as the man is standing and all of these motions test the hips).  He should feel his left butt cheeks, obliques, and/or QL turn on to keep him stationary throughout the pull. 

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