So Coach Rob, keeps mentioning this thing called motor control, but what the heck is it? Motor control is officially defined as the systematic transmission of nerve impulses from the motor cortex to motor units, resulting in coordinated contractions of muscles. In simple terms, your body is able to take all of the inputs and then output a movement, with the right muscles firing at the right time. Sounds easy enough, right?
Lets break it down to smaller pieces. There are three main inputs to neuromotor development:
- The Vestibular System is the body’s way of relating to gravity, and consequently the speed and direction of movement. If you are jumping on a trampoline, rolling around, or getting upside down it is the vestibular system giving your brain constant information about which direction the body is moving so it can adjust appropriately to avoid falling down.
- The Somatosensory System is a series of neurological receptors in the skin and soft tissue of the body that provide information to the brain about pressure on that tissue. If you are standing the somatosensory receptors in your feet are informing your brain about how much pressure the floor is exerting on you and if your weight is distributed across the foot.
- The Proprioceptive System is a subject of some debate. The formal definition includes multiple types of sensory information originating from deeper structures within the body all of which contribute to postural control and joint stability.
The three systems above contribute to ones body awareness, or awareness of one’s body in space. All this information is required for the brain to figure out what the body should do at a given moment to accomplish a given task. It then sends a message, via the neurological system, to the appropriate muscles to accomplish the desired action. The ability to activate the ideal combination of muscles at the ideal relative intensity is generally known as coordination. All of the above factors combined with actual muscular strength comprise the primary internal constraints on coordination.
So I have thrown a lot of information at you, what do you do with it? Challenge your system to improve body awareness (e.g. getting upside down is a great way to improve your vestibular system and your balance). Focus on drills and techniques to improve your coordination, and having your muscles fire correctly.
Zombie squats for example, are a great way to focus on keeping your chest up in a front squat.
Workout of the Day
15 Minute AMRAP of
6 Pistols (Alt Legs)
9 Ring Push Ups