Thursday, May 20, 2010
Range of motion checks which are used in Z-Heatlh, and are becoming popular in approaches like Gym Movement (overview) are grand for many things, but they're cognitive: we can push a toe touch a little more or less between efforts; we need to think about whether this last test compares with this current test. That's fine, but sometimes, we might want something where we really don't have to think about it - especially when already pushing ourselves. We want something that's precognitve. Balance testing is one way to get at this nervous-system response.
Now, do the same test with the other foot.
Repeat the whole sequence with eyes closed.
The important thing here is to benchmark performance - if standing on the left foot, ya kinda fall over with your eyes closed when turning right fast, that's ok; just make a note to self of how you performed.
Now go for your sets. (Thanks to tom robinson posing for the above demo)
Ready Ready? If you have a question mark about the next set planned, redo your balance tests right after your last set. If you're wobbly in new ways from the baseline, you know that you are NOT ready to continue another set - well, your nervous system isn't.
The key now is to wait your usual reovery time, and retest. Are you back to at least where you were when you came into the gym? No? wait longer. Retest. if by five minutes you're still unhinged, bag it.
Feedback. I've been using this approach for everything from skipping sets to pressing sets, and the results are better quality sets and better recovery.
Last night my workout said i had two more sets of presses and pistols to go, but my recovery test was still wobbly, so i bagged the sets. On another occaision, between skipping sets i was all over wobbly mid workout; waited to recover, and each time after that i checked balance i was way way more stable, and had some of the best sets i've had. Just from that mid-set breather.
I like this check because it's not debatable: if i've nearly fallen over in a closed eye test where i was stable before, that's telling me something about my sensory-motor capabilities at this moment. Why would i want to add load to that?
Resources for More Like This: This test and many many more are available on a new Z-Health DVD Mini Course: Essentials of Elite Performance. It's an actual course - what they're calling a mini-course, based on their 3day Essentials of Elite Performance workshop (overviewed here).
If you can't get to the workshop (calendar here), or just want to get going now on skills like these now, the DVD course has a whole TON of sensory-motor self-assessments and tune ups.
Please check the site for the full list of Good Things covered on the 3DVD/6.5 hours course.
And here's a cool thing: if you get the DVD, are smitten with the material, so you sign up for the full Essentials workshop or R-phase Z-Health course, you'll get 100 bucks off the tuition of that course. That's nice.
Anyway, i'd be keen to hear from you on how you find the balance test. Talking with some z-health master trainers, i've been reminded that different tests work differently in different contexts. If you're doing something where you're highly experienced, the balance test mayn't show fatigue as well as say a peripheral vision or range of motion test - it depends on the individual. Which is what makes this particualr DVD set cool: it provides a range of self-tests, as well as the rationales behind them, so we have good resources for our self-diagnostic tool box that are clear, unambiguous and repeatable.
But to repeat - please let me know how this one works for you and where you used it in what routine.
- The other Side of the Gym: sensory motor tuning
- How's your Eye Fitness?
- Eye position for Rowing performance
- Efficient Movement - coming back to the Kettlebell Front Squat
- Arthrokinetic Reflex and the KB swing
begin2dig (b2d) on Facebook