Courses > The T.O.S.S.: Applications for the Shoulder and Hip Complexes

T.O.S.S. is a “spine-first” approach, so we assess and address movement in a proximal-to-distal manner on the premise that the kinetic chain follows a pattern of proximal activation before distal movement.  Movement of the upper and lower extremities depends on proper sequencing of their proximal complexes: the shoulder complex for the upper extremity and the hip complex for the lower extremity.  Understanding this kinetic link system is fundamental in establishing an optimal movement.

The shoulder and hip complexes afford more movement than the spine and require appropriate stability to ensure proper movement and sequencing for the extremities.  However, stress, injury, hypofunction, maladaptation are all factors that can cause the complexes to shift to behaviors that limit their mobility in an effort to protect the body and/or conserve energy.  Applying the T.O.S.S. The mobilization-Activation-Integration strategy is meant to address and prevent this.  In this Module, we will take a look at how to assess and address shoulder and hip complex hypofunction.

Of course, the shoulder and hip complexes are part of a kinetic system and as such, it is not likely that you can successfully address them in an independent way.  To optimize movement, we need to address the body as a whole, as we know that movement in one area will affect that in another.  However, by targeting the shoulder and hip complexes and clearing the regions above and below using a T.O.S.S. sequence, they naturally become integrated.