Strength in Conditioning for Thursday, June 19, 2014
Lifting weights to get stronger is about capacity, whereas the ability to execute fundamental movement patterns is about competency. Fundamental stability exercises like the bird-dog that teach competency, are also great for learning to use a low-threshold strategy of movement.
Low-Threshold Strategy: Slow, tonic, local stabilizer, stabilizing muscle contractions that are for low-load tasks and reflexive postural control. This is necessary for joint centration.
A high-threshold strategy is generally used during strength training when the goal is to increase capacity. A RKC plank that teaches total body tension has a great carry over to the front squat when athletes need to maintain as much tension as possible during the movement – a high threshold strategy.
High-Threshold Strategy: Fast, phasic, prime mover, global mobilizer, mobilizing muscle contractions that are for high-load tasks and force production. This is necessary for strength training.
But what happens when high-threshold strategies are used during basic movements – breathing is dysfunctional, stability is compromised, and mobility is impaired.
Athletes need to be able to switch gears between strategies – creating enough tension during a squat and having the flexibility and stability to perform basic movement patterns with a high level of competency.
The bird-dog is great for learning stabilization, proper breathing, hip extension, shoulder flexion AND learning to stabilize effectively with a low-threshold strategy.
Definitions above are from this great blog by Aaron Swanson. http://www.aaronswansonpt.com/low-vs-high-threshold-strategy/