Movement Preparation, How do athletes prepare for training?
Recently in the world of sports performance there has been a big shift in how athletes prepare their bodies for training and competition.
As a trainer and coach, it is your responsibility to not only ensure safe training practices and a safe working environment, but to ensure that form and technique is honed and practiced for optimal results. And to achieve these results, clients must be physically ready to take on the appropriate challenges, to progressively overload the body so that they may stride out successfully toward their chosen goal.
This is where movement preparation takes on the role as a multi-faceted tool, and covers key elements like, mobilization, nervous system priming, skills and technique development, raising the core temperature, increasing blood flow, improved joint range of motion, flexibility and developing stability. Because without these qualities, and without an appropriate level of readiness, trying to produce high levels of force and complex forms of loaded movement will only result in an increased chance for injury.
Movement Preparation is paramount for athletes or individuals who want to enhance their biomechanics and lifting potential. A lot of common injuries or pain dysfunctions can be attributed to mechanical problems with one’s body.
What does this mean?
Everything we do puts stress on our bodies, and commonly we will overuse one area vs another. This stress can lead to restrictions in movement and weakness in muscles. The common sites or ankles, hips, thoracic spine and shoulders need greater amounts of mobility, whilst hip, trunk and shoulder stabilisers are the key areas, which need support.
At GW Performance we have developed a preparation sequence to target and address these concerns of our athletes/client’s based on their screen results. You can undertake general prep routines based on the lifting for the session once you have improve your specific restrictions and weaknesses.
SMR (Self Myofascial Release) – SMR aims to manipulate the tissues and muscles in the system, aiming to override muscle tightness, actively stretch out fibers and deactivate the trigger points that can cause issues and problems. SMR can also aid in increasing blood flow in certain areas, mobilize joints and muscles, break up scar tissue and adhesions as well as aid in the recovery process.
Banded Mobility – Banded mobility refers to the use of power bands to assist in improving and taking joints and muscles through fuller and complete ranges of motion.
Movement Integration – Movement integration can also be viewed and seen in two parts, Dynamic Mobility and Movement/Dynamic Drills. Dynamic Mobility refers movements and exercises that aim to lengthen muscles and increase range of motion through the joints and body. Movement/Dynamic Drills takes dynamic mobility one step further, adding even more specificity to the task. Essentially these are movement based skills and drills work, aimed at enhancing activation and body mechanics.
Activation or Corrective Exercise – Activation, as the name suggests, moves into the world of muscular activation for stability and force production. This is the idea of switching on those muscles responsible for ideal alignment and strong posturing and position, ones that are also prone to switching off or lagging behind.
Neural Activation/Skills & General Warm-ups – We build neural activation drills into our Olympic lifting or plyometric exercises, which are commonly the start of every training session for our athletes. This is really important to assist in firing up the CNS. At this point in your prep you can also start to integrate skills or basic warm-up activities such as rowing to enhance body temperature, before your training session starts.
By following a systematic process, you give yourself, clients or athletes the best opportunity to get the most out of each training session, prevent injuries and enhance body mechanics.
Train Hard & Smart
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