More on Anatomy Trains and Guru Voodoo


This quote came to me vial email:

Dr. McGill believes that the only time the hamstrings should be stretched is with an asymmetry. This is something I’ve been practicing for close to a year now with outstanding results; the tighter my hamstrings have gotten, the stronger and faster I’ve become.

Over the last few years the book Anatomy Trains has received much attention. Now it seems every powerpoint at various performance conferences toss out slides on the superficial back line in order to look hip and trendy. My favorite is the tennis ball on the plantar fascia that releases hamstring range of motion. Any controlled studies? After one prominent guru claims that his own speed and strength improved from not stretching the hamstrings what are we to believe when the a few seminars later they are showing three point band/rope hamstring stretches? How is our training getting better because of gears and trains? I enjoy Stu’s information but cite his research and not cut and paste information that may be taken out of context.

The above picture is an example of how to make connections in throwing. While the illustration is nearly 80 years old, it gets the basic concept how we need to train movements and exploit the fascia/tendon/muscle connections. I strongly disagree with some of the overhead medicine ball throws I see on youtube. They are not tricep throws they are full body throws that require the athlete to exploit the connections from anatomical systems. Stable spine? Sure, but people are so robotic they can get into any extension (upperback/spine) to load the abdominal wall. The eccentric loading of a lunge with good timing will block the landing and load the spine so it’s a whole body throw vs an arm throw. Look at Steve Backley below for an example of this in action. The key is to balance the sling shot effect without wrenching your back. Easier said than done.

Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

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