How To Zero In On Perfect Biomechanics To Minimize Injury And Optimize Performance


Hi folks,

After years of training, plenty of injuries, and extensive (but always incomplete) study of the way my body works with respect to locomotion, I think I finally get it. Unless you are one of those rare people who naturally have perfect biomechanics, if such a person exists, which I doubt, you will struggle with tight muscles, sore tendons and ligaments, and repetitive injuries from training (or lack of training). Having gone around this block many times, I finally realized the best sequence to follow. Success depends on identifying a number of variables correctly, and going around and around until you get it right, as follows:

  1. Symptoms – you must identify your symptoms carefully and correctly, which usually means identifying the location of pain. This is not always easy, as a tight IT band, for instance, can induce knee pain, but the source of the pain isn’t in your knee. So, don’t look for the wrong things in the wrong places, and each pain is unique so there is a lot to learn.
  2. Work to reduce the severity of symptoms, or the tension will spread to other parts of your body. You can use rollers, stretching, Rolfing, whatever, for this phase – your call!
  3. Find the source or cause of the problem, such as tight calves inducing plantar fasciitis.
  4. Find out what induces the cause (e.g. tight calves) that induces the painful symptoms (plantar fasciitis), which is usually suboptimal biomechanics. In my case of plantar fasciitis the biomechanical error was a tendency to constantly lean forward when I stand, which was spotted by my Continuum instructor, Rebecca.
  5. Appropriately modify your biomechanics, which in my case involved letting my heels take more weight than I was used to, giving me a sense of falling backwards until it became my new norm. Modifying your biomechanics may induce other minor stresses and strains that will go away, or you have to fix using the same approach.
  6. RESULT -> in my example the tight calves dissolved, and I have gone from rolling them several times a day to almost never, with the exception of a residual soleus tightness that is induced by cycling, for which I am returning to 3 above (I already suspect that the cause behind this tightness, which comes with tight left glutes on the run, is associated with tension in my right QL – so a new round of work begins, each being easier than the last).

FitOldDog’s advice is that you patiently go around this circle, as a result of which you will probably fix almost all training-induced muscle strains eventually. That’s my guess based on experience.¬†Eventually things start to work with much less effort, and little or no injury, and then you can just get on with your sport. As you push back the envelope of speed you will encounter more challenges, and you just deal with them in the same way.

Have fun!

-k @FitOldDog


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.