Adaptive Strength: What do a Wrench and a Barbell have in Common?

posted in: Adaptive Athlete, The Lab | 0

Riddle me this…

The answer to the question above is…they both need torque to make movement actually happen, and happen well!!

When taking a weight to overhead slowly (think of lifting a baby overhead), is it much easier to stay balanced versus when you add a bit of speed to the movement (a jump shot, a volleyball spike)?

Noticing your positions in the gym provides an easy way to find out where and what goes wrong so you can improve your game on the court, sand, tactical environment, and at home. How does your strict press look, your push press, your push jerk? What do your spine, feet, knees and hips do when you are taking that weight overhead?

In this video you our guest coach, Brian Riley, performs shoulder to overhead movements which can be challenging with increased speed. With increased speed he starts to lose his balance and falls backwards because he has too much of his momentum along the sagittal plane (i.e. forward and back) with little help from his strong legs. Being that he has a below-the-knee-amputation and in this video is wearing his walking leg, this makes his weight disproportionate. He cannot afford to be sagittally dominant or his body will naturally want to use his heavier and stronger side.

To assist Brian and all the adaptive athletes out there, apply the concept of torque (Torque= radius X force; Force= mass X acceleration) that Dr.Kelly Starrett, Mark Bell, Charles Poliquin,Tony Blauer, Brett Contreras, and Diane Fu would say is the key to making the strong man/woman even stronger. It is your secret weapon! In the case of taking weight overhead it is the secret weapon to staying balanced, symmetrical, and lifting heavier more efficiently and faster as well.

In a nerdy way to describe what is going on, applying the concept of torque took the problem of too much sagittal plane dominance and added in the frontal and transverse plan to allow for increased force from a much more stable spine and pelvic girdle.