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.
Action 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.
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.