Recoil is an interesting concept. Do we need muscle strength? Maybe our bodies move in fact through stretch and release – through recoil. In golf, cricket, tennis to even handball player would we be able to throw the ball as far if we just had strong arm muscles but no body tension?
Recoil will only work if the trunk is stable and in correct alignment and posture in order to “winde the body up” in rotation or stretch so when released it can spring back to create power and movement.
Animals in the wild do this all the time. Look at the cheetah – he lands with his back feet way under him and then he pushes off and fires his body like a catapult over the top of his legs and stretches out to as long as he can be and then releases the stretch and his feet come back through under him again.
There are hundreds of examples if this with other animals
In order to get the most power out of our bodies we need to do the same. We either stretch in one plane or in rotation. We need to hold the core strong and in good alignment in order to create maximum stretch in length and in tension.
Just like the animals, as the runner’s leg hits the ground and the gluteus muscles pull the body forwards and over the foot, if the core stays strong and straight and the foot remains in contact with the floor creating maximum stretch down the front of the leg, hip and body, then the athlete simply picks the foot off the floor and flicks it up behind and in the process the muscles down the front of the body will contract and pull the leg forwards and through and so running becomes effortless.
When the body is not held strong and hunches over or bends at the waist, then running is an effort and leg strength is needed to push the body forwards through a bending and straightening of the knee, the knee then gets a lot of wear and tear, as does the spine, due to a lot of bending, becoming weakened and loads on the front and back edge of the discs creating more movement which can lead to irritation of the nerves at the facet joints plus due to excessive movement the discs degenerate and wear down causing even more likelihood for irritation of the nerves. When nerves are irritated they cause pain either at the site or along the length of the nerve – sciatic pain is a good example of this.
Other sports such as golf and tennis are great examples of rotation and how if we corkscrew the body around we then can let go of the turn and the torso will spin back to its neutral position creating power. For example the serve in tennis, general shots like forehand, the golf swing etc all demonstrate that when a large back swing is used it will project the ball with more power.
We learn as we grow and develop that if we can really stretch we can be more powerful. Here are some wonderful pictures of Thaïs Brûlé, a young handball player in France – really getting good height and great power as she stretches her hand away from her toes. If she were to simply jump up and then throw she would get no where near the throwing power and accuracy, her play looks light and strong.
For more information on how to work on posture and core strength plus to have an assessment to look at your alignment please contact us on 07748560077.