Joint Health a Key to Movement Longevity
Thomas and I were discussing landing positions after a big jump this morning over breakfast.
We got into the weeds with techniques used in Parkour to land safely repetitively.
Thomas had observed a number of newer practitioners at the gym who were practicing longer jumps at ground level.
He noticed that as they landed they relaxed too much into the landing. Their knees would collapse and they would looses tension in there heels.
Instead of absorbing, they were thumping into the ground.
Our breakfast discussion was about the importance of absorbing a jump and how to coach it.
What We’ve Learned
We have learned through experience that joint injuries take a long time to heal. To prevent this, learn efficient movement patterns and techniques to tip the odds in your favor.
In a lot of sports there is running and jumping, so practicing how to land in a bio-mechanically sound way can be carried over regardless of the activity.
If you have ever hyperextended a joint, you know that it hurts a heck of a lot. When you twist an ankle it’s often hyperextended.
One way to prevent this from happening is to not relax your feet completely.
Since most people run I will use that as an example.
Flopping vs. Striking
When we run we do not flop our feet around. We anticipate that we will be striking the ground.
Keeping a tension in the foot and landing on the balls of the feet then rolling towards the heel, to snap back up as we push off.
To push us forward there needs to be stored energy in the foot.
Think of a spring. A spring does not lose its shape. It extends and contracts but keeps the tension and thus holds its shape. It builds and expends energy.
Using the foot and ankle in this way can help you prevent hyperextending a joint.
Running up stairs or jumping to a rail? Keep the ankle tension as you roll up on an edge from the balls of your feet so you come to rest on the top of the stair or rail.
Not only do you keep your ankle safe, you have stored energy ready to propel you ahead.
During training consider experimenting with easing up or down on the tension. Cheers!