Wednesday, October 01st, 2014

Men's Health - The Top Athlete's Secret: The Kinetic Chain

by JORDAN D. METZL M.D. (MEN'S HEALTH MAGAZINE)

[A solid understanding of how you can keep your kinetic chain in the best shape possible is essential for achieving optimal athletic movement. Men's Health looks at six ways you can improve the function of your kinetic chain. – The Opedix Editors]

So what’s the big secret? It’s what sports doctors, trainers, and researchers know and use to train better athletes. It’s called the kinetic chain, and it’s basically your entire body from the top of your neck down to your toenails. This is one big, interconnected chain of muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, and so on.

Yes, you have biceps, abs, and quads. But they’re useless if you don’t understand how they function as part of your kinetic chain. And, more importantly, learn how to train your kinetic chain. Here’s how.

1. EXERCISE EVERY DAY. I’m a big proponent of exercising every day. Not many people are willing to do this. Some say they don’t have the time. More accurately, they won’t make time. Some say they want to rest their bodies, let themselves recover from the previous day’s workout. Well, human bodies are designed for everyday use. Our ancestors, from the caves to the farm fields, got their butts out the door early and sweated all day, every day. We can certainly find 30 minutes to an hour to break a sweat, no? The key is to avoid overuse. How do you do this?

Perform your central, sports- specific training however many times a week you need to in order to achieve your competitive goal. On the other days? Change it up. Think of them as workout vacation days, but instead of lying around, do something for fun. I’m a huge fan of yoga for strength and flexibility, and pilates for core strength. An “off day” is a great time for a class. Some other suggestions: Find a pool. Ride a bike. Play Ultimate Frisbee. Or maybe just get out for a brisk walk with your dog.

I look at daily exercise as a healthy addiction. We have such an obesity problem in this country, and so many obesity-related health issues are treated after they happen as opposed to being prevented in the first place. Hypertension and type 2 diabetes often are preventable with daily exercise. Exercise is medicine, preventive medicine, and it needs to be a daily ritual the same way brushing your teeth is. A body that is used sensibly every day grows accustomed to being used and won’t be as prone to injury.

To see Dr. Jordan D. Metzl's five other tips for improving your kinetic chain please [READ THE FULL STORY HERE]

Visit Men's Health and see more articles by Dr. Jordan D. Metzl  HERE