Balance is often a misplaced concept in meaning, popularly only limited to a qualitative, quantitative and challenging description of a movement. However balance is based on fundamental sensory information, these regulators are critical and dynamic components for movement. It transcends to optimal biological function. It approach not only relates to qualitative evaluation of how the movement is made, it explains how and why movement is managed. Imbalances or “the lack of relation of corresponding things” have a direct connection with injuries and its prevention. Find out why.
1. A magnificent piece of “integrity” artwork
Our own biological and structural design has the ability, above all, to “keep us in the game” at all costs. Under that survival concept balance or the right relation of proportions applies to health and our ability to move.
The incredible adaptations and mechanisms of the neuromuscular system to maintain body integrity are far beyond one can imagine. Balance truly defines what is seen as well as what remains hidden to the human eye. Adaptations and compensations are “fixings” that lead us to decreased performance and function, discomfort, acute and chronic pain, injury and even disease from a health view. Long story short, instead of treat the cause, lets fix the consequences.
The true mission of our own organism existence is, above all to “keep us in the game”, maintain above all this magnificent piece of biological artwork. But be aware that what we see does not necessarily explain how, through which way it happens nor be sure that stands for what is thought to be unless studied or analyzed. To keep it simple if detrimental consequences and symptoms appear it can be too late.
2. Cause vs consequence
From a locomotion system perspective, often imbalances can not be identified until they show visible consequences and patched motor patterns are consolidated. These motor control dysfunctions can be caused by micro-traumatic, trauma, fatigue, injuries, neurological inhibitions, sedentarism among other factors. Those processes have different and relative time spans, as a matter of fact are not optimized learning processes. Each one has its own timing and learning curve. For example an athlete might trigger early consequences due to increased physical activity and structural demand, meanwhile for a sedentary or low active individual, consequences can appear delayed in time, where chronified or persistent harmful stress is an additional risk. In both scenarios alike the examples are in equal condition relative to its activity, developing imbalance adaptations with potential negative and harmful consequences if no investment towards an outright performance and functional capacity is taken.
3. Finding balance
Find out the cause, prevent the cascade of failure and avoid its negative consequences. Imbalances can be detected on few fronts before consequences appear, a high standard of a Strength & Conditioning program has the ability to assess, test, retest, track and provide the accurate feedback and line of action. Actually this application ain’t new and is a mechanism implanted in almost all information processes, even machines, at all levels. Its a fail safe mechanism, a loop of precise information gathered to find out what needs to be known providing a platform for decision making.
Not everybody will have the skills and success when finding a hidden treasure as well as not everyone has to have deep understanding about exercise science, muscle function and performance. If you are not into Exercise Science, contacting a professional to guide you and assist you is a good option for helping you find out the cause/s and not to fight the consequences. If consequences are already in place, a qualified professional can guide you to regulate and even revert overtime the symptoms, consequences and optimize function.
4. Prevention is efficiency
Strength & Conditioning are programmed interventions and methodologies targeting physical or skill fitness aiming to develop a selected set of attributes. Strength & Conditioning programs are composed by the integration of multiple fitness attributes and its physiological adaptations to serve a purpose. This interventions have as a goal to improve performance and function, Develop systematic interventions, Assess performance and progression and Reduce injury risk.
With in these goals the 5 pillar ATHL S-Core fitness spectrum of Balance, Strength, Metabolism, Endurance and Recovery have an important role. The ultimate goal of reduce injury risk is related to provide within the general program the beneficial, physiological and structural adaptations needed. This approach will help to reduce the risk of injury upon a certain toll or demand with detailed individualized evaluation to control prescription, progression and the tolerance efficacy of the prescribed exercise.
When prevention is applied on larger scale the imbalance concept has wider impact and the lack of relation spreads and affects all body systems which can ultimately lead to health conditions. Preventive Strength and conditioning programs within a prevention scope will focus on health, normal readiness and functional capacity before enhanced performance goals take place. Therefore it is important to assess and find out, if its unknown, whats your performance and functional capacity to adapt a plan to your needs and optimize exercise potential.
About the author:
Albert Piñol – MSc in Physical Activity and Sports Science, MSc in Exercise Physiology, DHE Snowboard Coach, DE Mountain Guide and Mountain Bike Coach. Specialized in exercise physiology, hypoxia, neuromuscular system and motor skill development. IG: @albert_pinol