Monday, September 5, 2011

Breaking The Body Down

Working Smarter, NOT harder.

I am not going to lecture on Crossfit Training, mixed martial arts training, or any other kind of training that you can think of that absolutely can leave an athlete hanging on their knees.

Everyone wants to work smarter, not harder. The body is no different. The body will take the path of least resistance or pain. If the body does this too long, it will develop a movement deficiency. I am going to break the body down into segment s. A joint should be either mobile or stable. If a mobile joint acts as if it is stable, the body is not going to move efficiently. As well as a stable joint that becomes mobile, more serious issues will occur.

Joint by joint from the ground up (unless you are gifted enough to walk on your hands):

Ankle – Mobile
Knee – Stable
Hips – Mobile
Low Back (Lumbar Spine) – Stable
Thoracic Spine – Mobile
Scapular – (Stable - relatively)
Shoulder – Mobile
Elbow – Stable
Wrist – Mobile

Just taking a quick look at the list you will notice that over other joint is mobile. Having adequate mobility in these joints will allow for the body to move more efficiently. When it comes to throwing and hitting a baseball, moving efficiently can aid in the longevity of an athlete.

If the scapula is not stable, then the rotator cuff will not function properly (the rotator cuff comes off the scapula). If the shoulder is not mobile, it won’t be able to handle the demands that are placed on it during the late cocking and acceleration phases of throwing. I could go on and on how one joint can have a negative effect on another.

As an athlete you want to get the most out of your body. It is your own responsibility to know what your body is intended to do or not to do. When your body is not in line with its design, there are reasons for concern. Bottom line, know your body and how it should operate. If you know how it works and shouldn’t work, then you will know when to be concerned.

Chris Ham, MSA, ATC, CES
Athletic Trainer
Vanderbilt University Baseball

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