Pain and weakness are the major symptoms for the extreme drive signature. Often times we see basketball players display this movement signature after a long career of knee pain. Rather than bend at the knees to LOAD, or even brace with EXPLODE, the athlete swings the upper body backwards in order to move up or forward.
One of the easiest coaching observations is an excessive use of the arms to initiate the movement, rather than the lower body. This swing is followed by an equal over-reliance on the upper body to finish and prolong force production, often times a technique found in volleyball players. This compensation is further worsened by taller athletes, using these larger torques to build momentum.
If pain or this momentum is not present, the simple identification is always just weakness and/or hypermobility. We often see Asians or females display this signature due to greater genetic ligament laxity. This is laxity is pronounced further during the menstrual cycle.
If pain or weakness inhibits the SSC and muscular function, stress is placed on the other soft tissue structures; ligaments and bones. Which ligaments at risk depend on the particular lower variable, both of which are low in extreme drive.
So, extreme DRIVE athletes have a combined risk of ligament/bone injuries at the knee and trunk. Since changing body segment length is unavailable, muscle strength and the elimination of pain are the two keys for Extreme DRIVE. Those goals cannot separate to break the cycle of weakness and discomfort as even performing bodyweight movements to coordinate the right sequencing can help restore and remind the body how to move using more muscular tension.
The 1 Leg Squat is a great example of how to restore LOAD because of the minimal external resistance and increased requirement of controlling momentum, not using it. Upper body movements, when performed correctly, can also really encourage trunk stiffness and control. This leads to less momentum and more use of the lower body.
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