Defining Movement- Part 1 TORQUE
The Strongfit Coaches Julien and Richard were back in Sydney recently, you can check them out here.
Their principles and methods of movement are incredibly eye-opening and make you reassess your own movement patterns, injuries and pain and start to look outside the box.
What if lower back pain can be fixed by fixing the way you hinge?
What if shoulder pain can be fixed by knowing how to engage your lats and pecs?
Why do we continue to spend money on practitioners for years that haven't fixed our problem? Why do we keep going back doing the same thing expecting a different result? Crazy huh!
Let me first explain a little about 'Torque'.
Torque is a force generated through rotation. Think about a boxer throwing a punch. His force is generated from the hip and from the shoulder, with movements creating tension internally (towards the body).
When we go through a movement pattern, a hinge a squat, a push or a pull we must create torque or tension.
This tension is created either internally or externally.
We, therefore, have internal torque and external torque.
How do you apply this to the movements listed above?
The squat is Internal Torque (inside head of hamstring, external obliques and glute max) on the way down and up to parallel on the way up, which it then switches to external torque (Outside head of hamstring, internal obliques and glute med)
The hinge Internal Torque (inside head of hamstring, external obliques and glute max)
The pull External Torque (lats as agonist & pec as antagonist)
The push Internal Torque (pec- as agonist & lats-as antagonist)
The most common problem and which explains the back pain most people feel in deadlifts and shoulder pain in overhead position is creating tension through the wrong torque chain.
An example using the deadlift.
Initiating the pull by driving the knees out, (I have made this mistake in coaching and my own training) thus creating external torque, recruiting the outside head of the hamstring, internal oblique and glute med, what you get is these muscles cramping and pulling on the SI joint. The wrong torque has been created for this movement pattern.
Now try creating internal torque, loading up the inside head of the hamstring, and pushing the obliques out (think toes forward and spread heel out)....what you will feel is a completely different sensation, more load on the hamstrings. Check out this video that explains how to hinge correctly.
Have you got clients or look back at yourself lifting and think how am I getting back pain? This movement pattern looks perfect, I cant' see any problems with the lift.?
The fact is, your movement pattern might look great but the wrong force is being applied and working the wrong chain.
Next article I will discuss how you can fix up your deadlift and your shoulder issues and the exercises to implement into your training to help with this.
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Ella Martyn is a Specialist in Online Female Fitness Coaching, focusing on a balanced approach to health and fitness.
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