Speed And Agility Scientific Anchors and Paper Assignment

27 Jan

This post is a quick review of the four scientific anchors that our Speed and Agility class is built around, and from which you will choose one when writing your paper.  The paper is due by the end of week 9, and should be 1-2 pages in length, double spaced, in which you have attended a varsity event at the University of Oregon and what you observed there that relates to the anchors taught in this class.  I suggest looking at one specific play or movement you witnessed at the game.  Good grammar is also an important aspect to include in your paper.

1.   Gravity and ground reaction force

While these forces are always at work in our daily lives, we may not always embrace their input to enhance our training and conditioning programs.  Proper programming is designed to use both the effects of gravity – (from the top down) – and ground reaction force (GRF) – (from the bottom up) – to distribute energy into our body.

It is with the use of these two forces that our body can become more efficient and ultimately more effective.  Gravity, along with GRF, allows our muscular system an opportunity to up-regulate and down regulate.  Our body first accepts these forces and uses them to move.  Gravity and GRF allow our mass (and the momentum it creates) to move while muscles turn on and off.  Turning muscles on and off is the only way to save the joints for a lifetime of use; we must rely on gravity and GRF to get this done.

2.  Stretch to shorten
Think of a rubber band.  The only way to get it to work is to first stretch it.  It is by stretching a rubber band that we store potential kinetic energy in the most efficient way.  The body is set up in a very similar fashion.  Muscles, fascia, and skin are all visco-elastic – which means that they seek to receive load before they unload.  Stretching before shortening is one way to load the system.  The key to maximizing this is through stretching the human structure before shortening it.  The net effect of this is to increase efficiency and effectiveness in movement.

3.  Multi-directional movement
Many suggest that we should train in a multi-dimensional approach because that is what we do in “real life” or “sport”.  While this is true, there is a much more fundamental reason why it is important to exercise in multi-dimensions.  We have been taught that there are relationships between muscles – synergists, antagonists, neutralizers and so on.   Therefore, multi-dimensional training reinforces the synergistic actions and relationships of our muscular system, making us more efficient. Many exercises in this class are designed to be multi-dimensional to reinforce this notion of synergistic action.

4.  Entire body movement
Muscles need not cross a joint to move a joint. We might consider this statement to understand the far-reaching effects of an “interdependent” body. Our body is completely interconnected.  However, traditional anatomy courses teach that the body is fragmented into different systems.  Yet, the conclusions we draw from a fragmented perspective are not consistent with the body’s true design.

Looking into chain reaction mechanics and longitudinal anatomy reveals a unified body that works interdependently. We must train in accordance with this physical reality. Movement is fostered by a body-wide effort. Building a foundation requires training the whole structure to produce movement efforts.

Summary
Speed and Agility and all exercises in this class were designed to be consistent with these four scientific anchors.  These anchors keep us closer to training movement consistent with the body’s design, enabling us to train for more efficient and effective bodies while reducing occurrence of injury or long-term repetitive movement damage to our muscles bones and joints.  Learned, even at a very basic level will serve you well for many years to come.  Observing them in a sport and writing about them will only help drive home the learning process

-Much credit is due for Michol Dalcourt, inventor or ViPR for bringing these concepts together in an extremely well thought out and comprehensive manner.

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