What Does Neural Notching Actually Mean? 


Neural Notching is a term I invented to explain the ranges that people tend to use as a habit.

In a bodybuilder, this would be close ranges in most joints

In a gymnast, this would be longer ranges in most joints

For others, it can be a skill-by-skill or joint-by-joint or both expression that you get to work with

Neural Notching could also be defined as skill development. This is because the research on flexibility appears to be inconclusive when based solely on the tissue structure. Instead, it appears range of motion is the expression of skill, related to the intrinsic and extrinsic feedback the CNS has to base decisions on.

This means that skill development, movement performance, fatigue and pain management alongside movement confidence all come into play when the range of motion is being evaluated.

Using this information to work with clients through to athletes, initially, we have to be able to make these decisions –

1 – Has the client an acute injury. This is important because it is the information that will tell us better what to avoid in exercise selection
2 – Has the client a chronic pain. In this case, we would be leaning towards a safe skill development and movement exploration model of training, to allow the client to find and experience good movement. Although not pain specialists, the link between bravery in movement, expectation of pain and actually moving are all linked to at least improving a client’s coping mechanism when it comes to the pain they have.
3 – Is the client in a position of initially learning a new skill? This will determine how you coach the movement. If they are you can be a little more intrinsic in instruction etc
4 – Is the client in a position of trying to develop their skillset? In which case this will require a more target based approach with a focus on meaningful variability.
5 – Is the client in a performance development stage? This is when focusing on exact movements (found in previous sessions) will be key. Hands-on and loading become very specific at this stage.


We have 2 Live Neural Notching Courses coming in July in London, hosted by FASTER’s good friends at Active 4 Less. Click below to secure your space!

London: Neural Notching Live 16 & 17th July 2016 Active 4 Less Stevenage

London:  Neural Notching Live 30 & 31 July Active 4 Less Luton

Here is what the course will be going through the two days.

Effective Coaching Skills for
– introducing a skill
– developing a skill
– performing a skill

How to develop Exercise Clusters (FASTER’s term for skills aligned with specific variables)

How to develop effective techniques for keeping great skill sequencing through fatigue

How to develop strategies to improve range of motion and power output (either acceleration or capacity)

Although this course seems to be a performance focussed course, it is actually focussed on all people who move.

The aim of the course is to allow trainers and therapists empower their clients with a wide range of skills that can then be used to enhance the client’s life. This is whether the client would like to look better, move better, perform, live a higher standard of life or just learn a new way of moving.

If you are not able to attend the live course we offer Neural Notching Online


Example 1: ‘cluster exercise’ for overhead squatting –


Example 2:  Hands-on technique for squatting sequencing in performance or initial skill development



Example 3: Assisted movement to improve the top speed of the hips through in a squat



I hope this is enough information to help you see just a fraction of the Neural Notching 2 Day Course

If you are not able to attend the live course we offer Neural Notching Online