px-r-F5cPQX9ZxUrwgORsMGDGwU Kuhnesiology: November 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


This being my first blog, I thought I'd take just a little time to lay the foundation for what I hope to accomplish with this specific mode of expression.  First, I humbly admit that I do not know everything.  Though I often joke about being able to fix anyone with any specific athletic or movement pattern discrepancy, the fact is I am still learning.  I hope to be a leader in the field of strength and conditioning as well as corrective exercise, and I genuinely believe this can only come about as a result of a hunger and drive to avoid "academic" complacency.  Second, I do not want this to be a platform to berate or belittle aspects of the industry I don't agree with.  Though no point of view can be entirely unbiased, I hope to present what I believe to be facts or principles based on 2 specific sources:   Legitimate research, and experience I have gained on my own or while working with individuals I know to be credible sources of "physiological" wisdom.  That being said, I do not wish to argue back and forth over specific topics.  I will guarantee that if you think I am incorrect in my view of something, and you gracefully and appropriately tell me so, I will do my best to listen and then dive into the research and literature to better understand it.  So...I hope that is adequate.  Here we go.

The first topic I'd like to discuss is one of the major themes that continually moves around in my brain both while I train and while I prepare to develop training for a client.  It is this:  What must I do to advance this person towards "athletic wholeness"?

This was not always the case.  When I was exposed to "functional" training by authors such as Mike Boyle, Mark Verstegen, and Gray Cook, I really only paid attention to the "sport-specific" movements and patterns that are associated with each sport or activity discussed.  I now regret not paying more attention to the holistic approach to training each of these authors provided.  The assumption I made at that time was that as long as I replicated the "sport-specific" movements (let's say unilateral triple extension necessary for running) in the weight room (let's say with a rear elevated split squat), then I was adequately and appropriately training my client to excel at his or her sport.

(Please keep in mind, most of my examples will deal with running, because it ranks the highest on the list of sports I am passionate about.)

Anyway...if this idea were all that is necessary for successful training, there would be no real need for formal education once one "earned" a weekend personal training certification... and just about anyone could be considered an "expert".  Thank goodness I was incorrect in this early assumption.

I now know that in order maximize athletic potential, especially that of a runner, I must do more to "balance" him or her before I can strengthen and improve the movement patterns their sport demands of them.  So...even though strengthening unilateral triple extension...or even bilateral triple extension...to improve running stride length and frequency...I first have to, for example, improve hip extension range of motion, lateral movements and abduction/adduction roles, and "correct" huge discrepancies with the entire posterior chain (specifically the hamstrings and glutes) before "sport-specific" training is even beneficial.  The theory being...the more physiologically "balanced" an individual...the greater overall athletic potential, and thus a bigger window for adaptation and improvement with a simultaneous smaller window of injury risk.  

I think I'll wrap things up there.  So much of this topic has not been discussed, but I am eager to hear some feedback.  

Thanks for reading!