Hello friends. We began this series by discussing 4 Practices to Improve Performance and Recover Like a Pro:
In this article, we delve into creating and maintaining a successful Functional Biomechanics.
As a functional biomechanical trained chiropractor I have a deep understanding of the efficient and inefficient movement patterns that my athletes present with. The combination of Active Release Technique, Graston Technique, functional movement screens and chiropractic manipulation allows me to optimize an athlete’s potential for proper mobility. Professional athletes 100% of the time have a medical/physical therapy team in their corner to either ensure injuries don’t occur or are managed before becoming a larger problem.
The Modern World vs. Efficient Biomechanics
We live in a world that fights against efficient biomechanics. Whether it’s sitting at a desk, staring down at our phone, over-training without recovery, improper training philosophy or not rehabbing an injury, our musculoskeletal system is constantly under tension. This consistent tension without relief leads to joint structures becoming compromised and soft tissue becoming beef jerky. The problem with initial limits in biomechanics is that we typically don’t feel or notice the inefficiencies. This repetition and strain over time leads to us cringing in pain and wondering what happened. I have numerous patients who come in and say everything has been great and then one day/event brought them to their knees. Outside of traumatic events most athletic injuries are the result of repetition strain that has been developing for awhile.
Longevity should be the athlete’s number one goal in sports. The moment we start to sacrifice mobility and functional biomechanics you start playing with fire. whether you are a runner minimally changing your running gait to mitigate pain or a CrossFitting newbie trying to snatch with poor mobility, you will eventually break down the system that is meant to support you. When you compensates to avoid stress you are in the danger zone of triggering off a cascade of negative effects throughout the body.
So I know the million dollar question is what can I do to try and bulletproof my body? While there is absolutely nothing in the world that can safeguard you against injury. There are a few steps when taken care of can consistently provide you the confidence you’re doing all you can.
Functional Movement Specialist – Finding someone in your community whether it’s a chiropractor, physical therapist, coach or personal trainer who is not only knowledgeable about your sport but holds certifications in functional movement patterns will help you to identify weaknesses you may possess and how to correct them. Prevention is the best treatment, so proper function can ward off many future ailments.
Injury Awareness – I know it’s impossible to avoid injuries as we have all experienced something at some point. What I am trying to sell you on is to not ignore injuries when they arise. If you seek guidance immediately the injuries are easier to get under control. When you push through the injury for a period of time the compensating factors develop and now it’s a cycle of treating the structures from new to old.
Educate Yourself – We live in a world where information is at our fingertips. While I am not saying to take everything you hear or read as the right way to do things there are numerous sources that serve up viable legit information. Anyone can put together a youtube video on proper snatch movements but that doesn’t mean everyone knows what they are talking about. If you’re trying to understand the biomechanics of movement patterns associated to certain sports then jump in deep and educate yourself. Find a coach or specialist in your community, seek out training and shadowing opportunities.
Buddy System – Sometimes it’s hard to find time to make it into the gym to train and we proceed alone. While this reinforces my love for consistency it however loses the ability to have a buddy system to watch your form. Having a training partner who gets the ins and outs of movement patterns can help you to identify weaknesses you might not know are happening. This is also a chance for someone to videotape your movement so you personally have something to watch.
Recover, Recover, Recover, Recover!!!! – Your recovery is your responsibility. Your performance, personal bests, injury rates, overall well being is all tied back to how well you can recover hour to hour, day to day, month to month, year to year and the rest of your life. You can learn more about developing a recovery plan here.
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