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An athlete’s guide to avoiding the flu.
November 15, 2017
Intro   Getting ill sucks! We’ve all been there, tucked up in bed shivering and feeling sorry for ourselves. Here is my guide to avoiding the flu. Nobody enjoys being ill and it can have a terrible effect on an athlete’s fitness, training and performance. Not only does having a blocked nose reduce performance, it […]
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Structural Integrity

How do I start training?

how to start fitness trainingIn the rush to get results fast and take shortcuts, or to “get to the interesting stuff” young athletes get broken. Improving the structural integrity of the athlete is essential before moving onto other areas of fitness.

Watching Alien Covenant this week prompted me to update this blog as they used the phrase also.

I used to say that Structural Integrity is composed of  4 key components:

  • Posture: Static and dynamic, countering gravity.
  • Balance: Static and dynamic, upper/ lower body, single limbs.
  • Stability: Joints are strong and can support body weight when moving and static.
  • Mobility: How you control limbs over a range of movement.

Structural integrity

But, when presenting at the DAASM symposium in April, I was challenged on the use of “stability” By Dr. Homayun Gharavi MD, PhD, PhD. He suggested that the word “control” is better than stability. Stability has been overused and is vague, the body is designed to move, unlike a table, and so control is more accurate.

This means the new schematic would be this: structural integrity

 

The Foundation of Athletic Development

Most of the athletes I initially encounter have glaring deficiencies in their structure or posture that limits their ability to progress.  Loading athletes like this either through volume, intensity or weight, will lead to breakdowns. Saying someone needs to get fitter and then giving them a running programme, without seeing them run, is poor coaching.

Instead, after their initial musculo skeletal and movement screening, we start to work on their structural integrity. This is the foundation of Athletic Development and then allows the athlete to work on their athletic ability involving spatial awareness, rhythm, movement abilities and timing. This then allows greater ease of skill acquisition. In this video you see an example of work with young gymnnasts.

Only then do we start on our training programmes. The first month of the Sports Training System is designed to enhance structural integrity.

star trek structural integrity

Enterprise hull needs structural integrity

N.B. I thought this was an original term on my part, but then realised that it was inherited from watching too much Star Trek!

The hull has been breached and is losing its Structural Integrity Cap’n” and so on!

Comments

  1. […] lot of work players do in the gym nowadays is actually improving their resistance to injury, so spending time in the gym doing the right things can have a beneficial […]

  2. […] not to say that 100% of training should be focussed on these movements, as all round strength and structural integrity is necessary to maintain athleticism and reduce injuries. In order to ensure all round strength […]

  3. […] exercises which will reinforce good posture, balance, stability and mobility to develop the Structural Integrity of the archers. This could include using exercises during warm ups or encouraging athletes to […]

  4. […] Posture, balance, stability and mobility= foundations of excellent movement. […]

  5. […] We have to put certain exercises and training in first to allow their bodies to get strong and support the speed. This is developing their structural integrity. […]

  6. Nick Ward says:

    Great review of thid. In my option balance is a term which is also misrepresented as a unique ability to certain exercises e.g. stand on a single cushion or bosu, rather than as an integral part of any movement challenge. I am sure walking on or doing a handstand on a balance beam is not just about balance. I feel balance is an integral component of movement rather than a discrete property ?

    • James Marshall says:

      Thanks for the thoughts Nick. Balance is dynamic and static, that requires control and strength too. Our educational gymnastics sessions explore different points, bases and sequences in and out of balance. For example: find a balance, then lower yourself to floor, roll and then move to a different balance.

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Client Testimonials

Blundells School
James has a huge breath and depth of knowledge on fitness issues. He is able to implement this knowledge into a practical course both making the task of fitness and conditioning both different and interesting from other fitness training that most are familiar with. He understands the safety issues when dealing with young adults strength and conditioning programmes. Programmes he sets are tailored to the individual needs of the group. There was a huge amount of progress made with some of these individuals in terms of their understanding of fitness and their own fitness levels.
 
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Educational Gymnastics: 23rd November, Devon.
23 Nov 2017

Educational Gymnastics Children today are physically illiterate. The massive reduction in time spent in free play has led to a generation of people who have yet to experience the joy of movement. Formal gymnastics (as seen at the Olympics) requires the child to strive to perform very specific skills. The end product of the skill […]

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