I was watching my son Tom doing his drills for javelin throwing yesterday.
I do a lot of the time anyway, but it just made me think a bit more than usual.
He was going through specific hip rotational movements and then throwing a weighted ball at the wall, exactly as he would the javelin in the open field.
He’s thrown thousands of times before, so why keep drilling that same pattern of movement, over and over?
Its to ensure the pattern of movement is engrained at a later date, especially under the pressure of competition.
This is called an engram.
By practicing movements in a controlled environment and gradually increasing forces, we are increasing our likelihood that in time of need, you perform optimally.
Now, obviously we are not all doing elite sport, but knowing this can help us with everyday life!
We take patterns of movement for granted. Like for instance you get home, get out the key, and seemingly without looking, put the key in the front door.
Or when you get in your car, you don’t have to check where to put the key, you just put if there.
Contrast that to a new or different car/door and it gets a lot trickier!
These patterns are learnt but when you stop and think about it, it’s really very clever how the body learns how to move, in this very specific way.
So what relevance does this have to you in your own life?
That is, to be careful of what patterns of movements you are engraining into your regular lifestyle.
If you drive a lot or are sat at a desk with compromised posture ie. classically forward head, rounded upper back, closed chest, etc your body will go into that pattern naturally.
That if you don’t keep good form during exercise then you could set up unwanted patterns of movement, that could cause harm either then or at a later date.
All of these can impact negatively and put forces through the body that biomechanically can cause issues.
Such a simple concept, but one to definitely be conscious of. Think about this, as you and your body undertake many complex tasks throughout your day!