February 11, 2013

    Get Rhythm – New Thoughts on How to Use the Body Blade

    If you have been following our work for a while, then you might remember this post about how the Body Blade is one of our favorite tools for developing stiffness and stability in the shoulder complex.

    As a quick refresher, the concept is called Rhythmic Stabilization, the rapid alternation from reciprocal inhibition to coactivation of the muscles that surround a joint.

    “Reciprocal inhibition refers to the firing of the agonist muscle (the one shortening to produce movement), while simultaneously inhibiting the opposing antagonist muscle. It’s like taking your foot off the brake to drive faster. On the other hand, coactivation occurs when both of these opposing muscle groups fire in an attempt to protect the joint. The central nervous system (CNS) shifts between reciprocal inhibition and coactivation of antagonist muscle, depending on the circumstances.

    While the principles behind the Body Blade are as sound as ever, our application to training has changed. Rather than using the blade through various movement patterns and ranges of motion, we have “regressed” to three key positions. The reason for this comes back to the importance of body position, especially at the thoracic spine and scapulae.

    The Body Blade is just one area where we have evaluated our training methods and made changes based on our understanding of the importance of body position to all movements.  Take the time to evaluate what you are doing as you grow in your understanding of movement.

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