Saturday, January 27, 2007

Kinesiology/Biomechanics/EMG equals the most Effective!

You read and hear from your local pro about the perfect pedal stroke? How to get the most energy from each revolution? What about being the most effective? What gets you to the finish line first?

We agree that the stroke is very complex and we agree that mastering it can make a difference.

Aristotle was the first to analyze and describe the complex process of walking, in which rotatory motion is transformed into translatory motion. This guy had a better understanding of Newton's three laws of motion and he could "demonstrate" the roles of gravity, the laws of motion, and leverage.

That is what we do, we show you! You watch and learn what you need to do!

Let it be understood, there is not one perfect stroke. Even on flat terrain, tt, you can change the timing of your muscles by changing your positions! This was the very problem w/ the top World Cup coaches and their skiers. Each team/coach would just copy what the others are doing during a given season? There is no "Sliver Bullet". Bike fitting pros claim where the greatest muscle activity is, how do they know that w/o EMG?

There are claims of hamstrings vs. quads, etc... At a certain degree e.g. 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock, etc... Does everyone have the timing of Rectus femoris
spot on?

Physical characteristics of the body of a human is the first important step in analyzing its movements. How one grew and their structure of the bones, joints, and their muscles can be used to determine appropriate or inappropriate movement activities for a variety of age groups.

Our anthropometrics, or the measurements of the body's physical characteristics is what makes a difference. The mechanical aspect of any system is called mechanics, and that is divided into two categories statics and dynamics.

To go deeper in study, is to look at the time and space factors of a system, and kinetics, the study of the forces acting on a body that influence its movement.

One may attempt to perform a static analysis e.g. KOPS knee over pedal spindle, however, dynamic analysis is required because total body or segmental movement takes place. Bone mass makes a difference.

Watch anyone who becomes a student on how to perform the perfect ski turn and you will more than likely see poor performance. They look good, but how effective are the moves? When I lived in Jackson Hole, WY I would watch the full cert PSIA guys & gals attempt to use what they learned on a less steep hill and attempt to use it, only to get carried off the mountain by the pro patrol. This is not a joke, this is real!!!

How can a person who has spent years to become a full cert PSIA/coach come to Jackson Hole, WY, to tear up Teton Village and use moves that don't work? Immediate comment poor"timing"., wrong moves on the wrong play ground! Their best turns at home are not "effective" on that mountain.

Efficiency and effectiveness of performance are not the same. If one is to consider the efficiency of movement, one must incorporate the concepts of work and energy. An efficient movement is one in which a given amount of work (movement) is done w/ a minimum of energy expenditure. This is a definite advantage to performers as in a marathon to limit their amount of energy for repetitive tasks for hours. Is this true for the long haul on the bike? Not in all cases.

For most sports activities, however, the primary concern is not only w/ saving energy to prolong performance. That energy might come from ones efforts. Rather, biomechanist's focus on these activities are concerned more w/ the effectiveness of a performance,that is, w/ determining the most appropriate movement options to help the performer successfully accomplish the overall performance objective. If you can't tap into your maximum, don't expect to cross the line first!

The degree of work required by the movement or the amount of energy expended in performing it are not as always the most important. Example, runner in a 100-m run can be performed more efficiently by a runner who runs at half the speed of a more effective runner who arrives at the finish line first.

The same holds true for the athlete being effective (successful) in the mile race if the running speed were minimized to conserve energy. Instead the runner needs to learn how to optimize their speed (and rate of energy expenditure) to accomplish the purpose. If the saddle is set for saving the most energy, making a certain technique, you might not get to the end of the race first.

So if you set the saddle location to allow the user to "LEARN" through practice finding optimal speed, but they can move to conserve energy, then back to maximize performance over the course, that might be a better option.

So all the talk seems to be "optimizing efficiency to maximize effectiveness".

Generally, an effective movement is optimally efficient; however, a maximally efficient movement is "NOT" necessarily bi mechanically effective if the saddle constraint does not allow you to maximized you stroke.

EMG allows objective quantification of the energy of the muscle. You can "see" synergies in the energy patterns that cannot be seen w/ the naked eye or a powermeter.
The observer is allowed to see the muscle energy at rest & changing continuously over the course of a movement. With multiple sensor arrays, it is possible to differentiate how different aspect of muscles do different things.

To state there is a "The Perfect Pedal Stroke" is very misleading!

A better question is does the "muscle fire early or late" in a recruitment pattern? Does a particular exercise actually activate the muscle it is intended to, or is there a substitution pattern present? Does the muscle turn off following a given movement, or does it show irritability following movement? That is a waste!

One thing is for sure, if your saddle is set to minimized the energy, but does not allow for maximize performance you are not going to be the first across the line.

We think you need to learn what is the best of all worlds. Maximize, minimize, and optimize your game.

The "Perfect Pedal Stroke" NAUGHT! A person who is more "effective" and knows how to do it all and who arrives at the finish line first is the focus. The saddle set in a location so you can't optimize your game has no chance.

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