Czech neurologist Vladimir Janda, was affiliated with the Prague School of Physical Medicine in the ’70s and ’80s. He was an early pioneer in promoting clinical evaluation of movement quality as opposed to movement quantity. Whereas, many clinicians use an orthopedic approach to movement assessment quantifying degrees of movement using goniometers, yardsticks and inclinometers, Janda focused on subtle changes in movement that provided better clues to function. He helped us to better understand phasic vs tonic muscles and was able to identify common motor pattern dysfunctions such as the upper
and lower crossed syndromes. His work is echoed in the Joint by Joint approach to training recently popularized in online forums by trainer Mike Boyle and Gray Cook, PT.
A long overdue homage to the Janda methods was published in 2010 by Phil Page, Clare Frank, and Robert Lardner in their Assessment and Treatment of Muscle Imbalance: The Janda Approach. They also have an excellent website dedicated to preserving the teachings of Dr. Janda. Check it out to review the key movement assessments below and the sensorimotor training Janda developed to help correct observed motor program dysfunction.
Janda’s 6 key movement assessments
- Hip extension
- Hip abduction
- Trunk curl up
- Cervical flexion
- Push up
- Shoulder abduction