Archive for gait lab

We Are All An Experiment of One: Find Out What YOU Need The Most and Then Get It Done!

TEAM Pursuit Athletes at the 2013 Timberman Half Ironman triathlon!

TEAM Pursuit Athletes at the 2013 Timberman Half Ironman triathlon!

In order to be able to run as fast and as long as you would like to and remain injury-free while doing it, your running body must be BOTH strong and flexible. Think about this fact: approximately 50% of the energy that propels you forward during the running stride comes from elastic and reactive “energy-return” of your muscles! While you’re taking that in, think about this: at the same time that certain muscles are required to be elastic and reactive, others need to be very stiff and strong, to prevent your body turning into a wet-noodle as your feet hit the ground!

Muscles tense and lengthen and release and stretch (helping to facilitate rotation around your joints while doing all of that!) as they prepare to store energy and absorb outside impact forces and turn that stored energy into forward propulsion. There’s a lot more going on during the stride than you could ever imagine!

And while all of these things are happen within each of our bodies while we run, they happen at different rates of speed and relaxation and ease for each of us. We are, at once the same, and yet very different.

Some of us need more STRENGTH and STIFFNESS in our “chain,” while others need more FLEXIBILITY and ELASTICITY and MOBILITY.  We each have our own “limiters” and weaknesses which may be making us either more prone to injury, or limiting our speed and endurance potential.

So given all of that, do YOU know what your weakness is?

For example…

  • Are you prone to calf injuries because your calves are forced to absorb impact forces due to “too tight” hips?
  • Do you lean back on downhills and “hurt,” suffering from painful quadriceps during those downhills because your quads are too weak to absorb those impact forces and prevent your body from collapsing against the forces of gravity?
  • Are you still landing out in front of your center of mass, even though you know you shouldn’t, because your hams and glutes are not “reactive” enough (too slow) and weak to contract quickly, getting your feet UNDER your hips as you touch down?
  • Does your low back hurt during the late stages of your longer runs or rides because its trying to do the work your butt should be doing?
  • Is your stride short and choppy because your hip flexors are so tight they can’t release to allow your pelvis to rotate forward so that your legs can extend behind you as you drive horizontally forward with each stride?

These are the questions and issues we ALL need to consider, and for each of us, it is different. If you take the time to listen to your body and consider what YOUR weakness or limiters are, then you’ll be able to address it and as a result, improve and run to your true potential!

The answers you are seeking are not always found through “harder” training. Sometimes the answers come when we listen within.  Sometimes things like YOGA or revisiting the BASICS and FUNDAMENTALS, are the path to exploding our true potential, rather than another hard track session.

Our unique Pursuit Athletic Performance “Gait Analysis” system was designed to help us help YOU, learn what it is that YOU need the most! To learn more, go here to learn more about our analysis packages.

Check out our testimonials page here to learn more about the success stories of so many athletes who learned what THEY needed to do to truly explode their potential!

Happy Trails!

~Coach Al

15% Off On-Site or Online Gait Analysis Packages NOW Through Marathon Monday, April 16

pursuit athletic performance, gait, gait analysis, online gait analysis, virtual gait analysis, boston marathon, triathlon, cyclingSpring is in the air and that means the Boston Marathon is around the corner! The triathlon, cycling and field sport seasons are heating up too! It’s a great time to get your season off to the best start ever with an in-depth look at how your body is moving.

 

What can our gait/movement analysis tell you? To start….

  • Where are you leaking speed?
  • Why are you stuck in a performance plateau?
  • Do you have hot spots ripe for injury?
  • Injured regularly? We’ll figure out why
  • How will you hold up to training?
  • How will you ultimately perform?
  • You KNOW you can go faster, but nothing is working?

For many athletes, gait analysis provides the missing link to resolving all of those questions.

We can help you start 2012 in the most empowered way possible with a custom gait analysis for yourself or a loved one. On-site and online options available.

True gait analysis is not a generic exercise, but is a scientifically-based and technically precise process. It is highly individualized. At PAP, we systematically attack YOUR weaknesses while enhancing YOUR strengths.

We teach you a specific, precise way to progress that–over time–allows you train in a way that WILL unleash your ultimate potential. Novice or elite; front, middle or back-of-the-pack finisher, we work with all athletes.

You can be a runner, cyclist, swimmer, triathlete — you name it.

If you want to improve your performance, durability, resiliency, and SPEED while enhancing your overall quality of life, and greatly lower your risk for injury, we have the best program of its kind to help you meet your goals–and transcend beyond.

CLICK HERE AND GET STARTED! WE LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH YOU!

Gluteal Amnesia? Here’s Your Rx

Functional strength training activates the gluteal muscles

Gluteus maximus (Anv?ndare:Chrizz, CC BY-SA 3.0)

“Gluteal amnesia” is a great phrase coined by Stuart McGill, PhD, one of the world’s foremost experts on spine biomechanics. And you know what? Based on the athletes we see coming into our Gait Analysis Lab every day, you probably have it. And it’s not a good thing.

So much of athletic performance depends on the optimal functioning of your butt and all the gluteal muscles–maximus, medius and minimus–in concert with the functional integrity of your hips and pelvis. This is the powerhouse that generates propulsive athletic movement, and when functioning properly, is majorly important in helping to prevent injuries.

“Gluteal amnesia” is particularly detrimental to athletes. Many of us in modern society have lost our ability to engage the butt muscles and hips during exercise due to lifestyles that include a great deal of sitting, driving, being hunched over a computer, etc. When the ability to move correctly and with functional integrity is lost, performance is adversely affected for sure, and the risk of injury rises exponentially.

Functional Integity of the Pelvis & Hips: Gluteal Activation Enhances Athleticism and Injury Prevention, published in Dynamic Chiropractic, is a great article that goes in-depth on the importance of the function of the glutes, hips, and pelvis. It’s worth your time to read it for a deeper understanding of how important the issue is to your athletic performance.

We want to make clear, however, that overcoming “gluteal amnesia” is about more than simply strengthening the glutes. We encourage you to revisit our posts on functional strength training and authentic movement to learn more about the importance of establishing and owning a neutral pelvis, achieving muscular balance, and becoming stable. Getting functionally strong, activating your glutes, and strengthening your hips is far more than just throwing a bunch of exercises at your body, especially if you do them with bad form, or if they’re an incorrect exercise for you. We hope to help you put the pieces together to learn how exceptional athleticism is derived, then have you take action. Conquering overall “functional amnesia” is how to unlock your potential, and become the best athlete you can be.

Now My Eyes Are Wide Open! Triathlete Shares Gait Lab Experience

Pursuit Athletic Performance Gait Lab Client Jess Withrow

Client Jess Withrow on the run at Ironman Louisville

A huge thank you to client Jess Withrow for writing Operation Rebuild, a smart, thoughtful, and funny blog post about her recent gait analysis experience here with us. Her post is the kind of feedback that buoys us here at the Gait Lab, and makes our work so gratifying.

Jess writes:
The Doc and The Coach had me figured out and gave me possibly the most eye-opening experience I’ve EVER had. Sure, sure, I know my glutes are weak and my pelvis is anteriorly rotated. BUT! To see it on video…to have the visual of my hip dropping, my lats taking the day off while my traps work overtime, and to combine that with the knowledge from the Functional Movement Screen–NOW my eyes are wide open.

I got to work on my exercise program THAT NIGHT and I’m feeling significant changes already–after just one week.

One thing we know for sure is that Jess and her husband John, who also came in for a gait analysis, are athletes who “get it.” We know they are committed and will do the work to not only become “unbroken,” but to see their performance soar–leaving sub-par outcomes and injury in the rear view mirror.

Jess, thank you so much again for your kind words. Here’s to the VERY BEST 2012 season for both you and John!!