The Utilization of Unstable Environments to Help Better Create Stability
Optimization has been my objective my entire professional career. When I first started, I focused heavily on simply facilitating a baseline:
- Can I create change that elicits immediate results?
- Will thee results beneficially impact me in the future?
- Can I apply this same process to others, and see similar results?
Baselining is pretty easy if you ask the right questions. When you’re willing to skip past the obvious, and step into the unknown, you find yourself void of any restrictions and entirely at the whim of creativity. That’s how I’ve come to this realization about creating stability through instability.
When we look at muscle systems and body mechanics, we see that the body will always deviate to taking an intrinsic approach towards stability and power creation.
- Momentum Strength
- Force Stability
- Momentum Strength: Your body’s ability to decelerate force and mass and displace it optimally to ensure it can be reused to produce force
- Torque: Your body’s ability to take the amount of force absorbed from your Momentum Strength and apply it during s change in your body’s direction
- Force Stability: Your body’s ability to stabilize during Torque production to create peak force in the target’s direction
So how does instability help facilitate these 3 key points?
The body has several muscle structures designed to stabilize. Without going into direct anatomical descriptions, the general name for this “structure” is the core. The reason why the core is the general go-to for stability is due to its proximity to the spine. When we look at things like range of motion, strength, flexibility, speed, power, etc. we see that this is all predicated on your brain’s ability to feel safe. When your brain (let’s call it skull to pelvis) feels that when you bend down to pick something up that that position isn’t safe, it’ll tighten your hamstrings to reduce that motion. If you sit down and spend hours typing on a computer, your brain assumes this position is safe and tightens your pecs and shoulders to keep you forward, but restrict you from going backwards.
We can stretch, roll out, and dig in to these areas all day long, and we’ll see some progress. But once unconscious movement comes in to play, and your brain and body to into positions that they’re familiar with, that tightness and restriction will always bounce back. This is where changing your environment helps to make changes across the body.
So when we make changes, we aim to use tools and systems that place the body in positions that make it uncomfortable or unstable. When this happens, all preconceived notions, thoughts, and feelings become challenged. Through verbal and visual cueing, we strive to push the individual to FEEL and SEE what’s correct and what’s incorrect. By doing this, we are now capable of optimizing performance through Momentum Strength, Torque, and Force Stability.
First comes Awareness.
Second comes Acceptance
Third comes Task Specific Change
Fourth comes the acceptance of a new Feel and Trust
Fifth comes Optimization
Objectively, if we focus on the right questions and make sure there’s a common goal between you and your athlete, we can then elicit change to create a new baseline, and then ultimately optimize that baseline to create a better platform for overall performance.