Loaded Movement Training with ViPR allows us to play with some of the following variables in training:

  • Movement – how the body moves through space
  • Series – how the ViPR moves through space
  • Hold – the way we interact with ViPR
  • Footprint – what our feet do
  • Handprint – how we move the ViPR

The manipulation of these variables permits us to change the task and how the organism interacts with external forces in the environment.
Contrarily, through the manipulation of the organism or environment, we can influence the way in which the task is performed.
“Changing the task is still the main instrument that coaches use, although it is increasingly clear that explicit instructions have drawbacks.”1
According to the constraints-led approach to motor learning, there are various capabilities and constraints from not only the task, but also the organism and environment, that influence how we move.

This means that, for any given situation in life or sport, there are a limited number of possible movement solutions to achieve the desired goal. These solutions are found in the overlap of the capabilities provided by each determining factor.
Perhaps, through the integration of the constraints-led approach and Loaded Movement Training with ViPR, we can encourage motor learning and consequently develop skillful, effective movement in myriad different situations.

Movement proficiency in sport

Topflight players in open-skill sports usually have the best information filters. They stand out from less talented players in their reactive agility, responding to specific external stimuli2. However, it is not just their quality of perception but their motor solutions that can be planned in light of the information; so, the filter also depends on the capabilities of the body (event coding3).

These two factors are inexplicably linked; simply put, if you don’t have the skill to execute the solution successfully, you won’t be able to perceive how it can be achieved!2

The stability of the movement solution is crucial in sport. At slow speeds, our bodies are capable of moving in many different ways; however, in sport, the body is required to move at a much higher speed. The environment consequently provides greater constraints; “muscles must perform specific work unique to their structure and function in the specialised manner they were designed to”4. This means there are fewer potential movement solutions and the muscles must abide by the higher constraints of the environment by working in the exact way their anatomical structure permits (correct length, timing and co-operation). These constraints are evident in a comparison between yoga and a 100m sprint and can be demonstrated in the phrase, “There are more ways to waltz than run”4.

Loaded Movement Training with ViPR

Rhythmic movement in three-dimensional space with sub-maximal load inherently creates an ideal learning landscape for the body through the integrated stimulation of tissues (neuro, muscle, fascia, bone, skin, cardio, respiratory). It provides the organism with an opportunity to identify the best movement pattern (solution) on its own.

We can intentionally create a specific task-orientated movement pattern by changing the ViPR variables, such as, for example, the series or handprint. Consequently, we effect the manner in which external forces constrain the organism and hence must execute the movement.

Contrarily, through the deliberate addition of constraints from the environment and/or organism, we can manipulate the way the body completes the task and moves with ViPR.
Together, we have myriad potential variables we can play with to foster motor learning.

Applying the Constraints-Led Approach with ViPR

Manipulating the organism, task and environment to achieve same goal:
Example: Step in sagittal plane with anterior ViPR shift (see pics below)
Goal: Decrease knee injury risk when decelerating

Manipulate task – Progress step to a bound
Possible result: Client experiences higher ground reaction force (GRF), learns to stay closer to extended knee/hip to avoid high impinging forces on joints (joint torque) that would otherwise ensue. 

Manipulate environment – Perform barefoot/on hard surface
Possible result: Greater sensibility, thus stronger afference of GRF resulting in smoother movement and softer step (minimised flexion at knee and increased hip flexion), loading hamstrings to prevent anterior tibial translation (protecting ACL).

Manipulate organism – Perform until fatigue
Possible result: Organism understands the changing constraints of the fatigued body from experience and adapts the movement accordingly. Resulting in decreased knee and hip flexion (closer to extension) in line of GRF vector to minimise joint torque and not fatigue muscles eccentrically.


Left: Flexed knee creates large resistance arm and hence greater joint torque from ground reaction force, flexed spine. 

Right: Decreased knee flexion – joint coupling and co-contraction of quads/hamstrings to control ground reaction force. The extended spine allows erector spinae complex to anchor pelvis (ensuring optimal hamstring length/tension) and disperses force across the back fascial line. 

We are able to achieve the desired movement outcome (in this case, sound deceleration biomechanics to protect the knee) through motor learning and manipulation of the task, organism and environment. We can see the effect of this triangulation of constraints and the effect of loading our movement with ViPR.

In conclusion, movement in sport happens in an open, chaotic environment whereby we are required to move efficiently. Teaching good body control depends greatly on processing proprioceptive re-afferent information. This sensory specificity matrix appears to be very strict and requires practice material to have the same environmental context as the competition setting2.

You can’t see what you can’t execute. The movement solution to the constraints and the information filter are inexplicably linked. What this means for movement in sport is that, through the teaching of technique with ViPR in closed scenarios, we may consequently improve observation in open skills! The movement we practice should be found in the overlap of the capabilities from the task, environment and organism and must happen frequently enough in our sport to create specificity and the effective transfer of training adaptation.


1. Wulf G, Shea CH, Understanding the role of augmented feedback, the good, the bad and the ugly. In: Williams AM, Hodges NJ (Eds) (2004), Skill Acquisition in Sport, Research, Theory and Practice, New York: Routledge, 212-245.

2. Bosch F (2020), Anatomy of Agility Movement Analysis in Sport, Publishers (Rotterdam, the Netherlands).

3. Hommel B, Müsseler J, Aschersleben G, Prinz W (2001), The Theory of Event Coding (TEC): A framework for perception and action planning, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 24: 849-937.

4. Bosch F, Klomp R (2001), Running Biomechanics and Exercise Physiology Applied in Practice, Elsevier Churchill Livingstone, 349-350.