How we effect our horse in our balance and riding style

This is a great video that shows the same horse being ridden in the same year by 4 different riders, all get a different response out of him.  The riders experience levels vary as do their techniques, age, weight, balance and way of motivating.  The video shows the different ways we influence.

Advertisements
The importance of “Recoil”

The importance of “Recoil”

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 plan 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.

Screen Shot 2018-05-22 at 13.33.33

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.

Straightness

It is all very well to correct our straightness and our posture in a controlled gym environment but what we really need to be doing is correct it in al the actions and things we do in life.  This is where a static biomechanics assessment is invaluable – take a look from head to toe at the body and look at alignment, tightness, locked up areas and work out where the issues are and work out how to release and strengthen.

The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar

The Benefits of apple cider vinegar are many.  But the main reason for taking a table spoon before every meal is to realign the pH level of the gut.  ACV is alkali and as most of the common ailments are due to too much acidity this is an incredibly good way to neutralise this imbalance.  Acidity essentially is degeneration, directly in the stomach one can develop ulcers, acid reflux etc; it causes muscle wastage due to the buffering necessary regain an equilibrium, it causes bone decay due to the fact that the calcium its stripped as a form of alkali; it causes tooth decay for the same reason as bone decay.

A small amount of ACV can reverse this acidity.

Acidity comes from the modern diet, preservatives, toxins etc, high stress levels and adrenalin levels, intense exercise produces lactic acid, alcohol and drugs, prescription drugs such as antibiotics.

Think we get prescribed ant-acid to combat stomach issues. antibiotics are known to have side effect – acid reflux, ulcers etc.

For more see the link here – www.gerson.org

 

Is inequality right? Andy Murray defends Women in tennis

We are in a world where men and women are trying as hard as each other to succeed and win championships, participate in sports, and be part of teams.

The same experience has to be reached, the same desire and determination, the same sacrifices and choices made, and the same heart felt disappointment when things don’t go right.  Why is this respect not there?  Andy Murray brings this up in a recent interview – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tennis/2017/07/14/serena-williams-love-andy-murray-defending-womens-issues/

Andy Murray and Serena Williams.png

Inequality is so unfair because it is hugely disrespectful.  What are the reasons for choosing men in teams over women, reasons paying men more in job scenarios than women – we are seeing recently with the BBC.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39502872.    Is this the world we want to bring our children in to.  Many of these decisions are made by men, and many men have children who are girls.  Do they want this road to continue for the daughters/ nieces/ cousins?

Ignorance in communication is incredible – we have the Volvo Ocean Race openly trying to engage women and encouraging teams to take them, then they go and allow sexist comments to be printed by male competitors implying that the inclusion of women is a “social experiment”  how is this acceptable?!!

What is the world afraid of?  What is going to happen – other than it becoming a happier place.  And I am not even talking as deep as the suppression that is still going on in the middle and far east.  That is simply a disgrace.

It is time to make a change for the kids of the future – educate the sons and daughters of the future.  There are blatent issues on our doorstep and there are issues in the Far and Middle East ….. what are we going to do about it?  Dad’s and Mum’s look at your kids and work out a plan.

There are some great initiatives out there – This Girl Can

THINK ABOUT IT – TIME TO CHANGE

Ankle strength and stability

If your ankles do not have the same range of motion or strength – will that affect your body?

Maybe there is no pain – but if you do not move and stabilise the same on each side you will compensate at your knee or at your hip or at your lower back in order to produce the action.  You will possibly not travel the hip through straight and will swing more on one side – this will create a shortening of muscles in one of your hip flexors.  Which will then effect your performance in your sport – either the power of your stride at take off or in the stability at the landing,  at any rate the balance will be affected because of the asymmetry of the action.

This will have an effect on all sports – cycling – there will be a twist in the lower back as the foot is pushed into the down stroke.

Cycling from behind - straightness

In running as the leg travels behind the body and then through – in the image below see James in the middle his hip twists to his left and his shoulders to his right, and he is bending to the left at the waist, with an inward collapse of his knee – he is loosing energy in the movement of his body.  Merritt on the other hand is solid – his shoulders and hips are square.  His limbs are powering him forwards.

Merritt may not be quicker – because he is heavier – but he will sustain less injury and have a longevity in his sport through lack of discomfort.

running style -hip twisting

In horse riding where one is “sitting”  but one needs to be straight.

Screen Shot 2017-06-12 at 18.03.53

If you see pictures of yourself crooked – it may not be due to your “tool” or your ability – it may be due to your internal/intrinsic biomechanics.  So get it checked out.

 

The part “STABILITY” plays in speed and powerful actions.

If you slam the door of a room with a wobbly plywood wall as you slam the door the wall will wobble and much of the energy will be lost here rather than in the door actually slamming shut versus slamming the door on a brick wall, which will swing on a firm hinge and will then be directly translated into being shut.

shutting-doorAction is the same.  How do we expect to run when our body crumbles above us?  Or hit a ball in tennis or throw a ball when the trunk is not holding still for the arm to move against.  Running is about our legs moving at pace from the hip joint – and the torso remaining strong and stable.  The upper body can move but it is rotating around the straight spindle of the spine.  The legs are gliding backwards and forwards under the hip which is really quite static – held in place by the core and the trunk muscles to the spine and upper body.

screen-shot-2017-01-25-at-23-02-49

Go out and look at the average person running on the street.  Bent forwards, lifting the knee up and pushing it backwards.

 

 

Knees rolling in and out, ankles wobbling around, lower back flexing.

There is so much energy lost in the wobbling and moving of the rest of the body, it is not surprising that there is a loss in speed, and inability to improve.  It is not surprising that injury is prevalent and often occurs in the knee, ankle and lower back for the instability.

Versus Olympic runners – running tall and vertical, with strong powerful stomach muscles and pelvis held taught to the lower spine, not an ounce of energy lost in unstable knee movement or lower back buckling or ankle rolling around.  Every bit of energy and push is converted directly into motion forwards.

Pilates is a very good basis for learning how to keep the trunk still and move the limbs around it, however pilates does not address any underlying issues immediately.

If the leg/pelvis (hip) joint is stiff in these people then the ability to perform the full range of motion of the leg from the pelvis will not be there and so the person will compromise and bend at the pelvis to spine joint – causing the lower back or if this is stiff causing the upper back to arch and eventually causing a muscular irritation in the over active area, or a discomfort in the sacroiliac joint if we are talking lower back.  Eventually this causes wear and tear and degeneration of the discs and before we know where we are we are being scanned and operated on for degenerative discs.

Biomechanics Coaching approaches all this – even when there is wear and tear.  I have a passive way of testing and looking at the ability of the body to move around certain joints, whether there are restrictions anywhere, if so what are the effects of these restrictions – are they blocking movement and causing a change in how another joint/area should move and if so – what do we do about the block/route cause of the problem.

This is essential to improve performance and power in sport to be moving from a stable correct base, it is essential for recovery form pain and injury and also in order to avoid further injury.  The body can exist with a fair amount of degeneration, but it needs to be working evenly.

We address all of this at Biospheric Performance – we break down the body and its ability to perform at each joint.  Break down the movement required for the sport and the build it back up to create correct action in a stronger, agile, more balanced way.