Activation Exercises Don't Change Movement PatternsMay 27, 2022
How to Change a Movement Pattern
Strength Training + Skill Training = Improved Motor Pattern
Increased capacity to produce force
Improved muscle recruitment and activation
Ex: Calf Raise
Increased corticospinal excitability
Decreased stimulation intensity required to elicit motor evoked potentials (AKA doesn’t take as much signal to produce a movement pattern)
Changes in the primary motor cortex
Ex: Single Limb Hopping with External Cues
So What Does This Mean?
Let’s say we want to change the motor pattern of a sprinter's toe-off gait mechanics. Calf strengthening and big toe extension range of motion may give her the capacity to explode off the block without twisting her foot.
We also need to give some external cues to point the knee and toes forward during single leg hops, broad jumps, and hill sprints if we want her to develop that new motor pattern while she’s running.
Muscle Activation Exercises Produce Very Little Change
Do "X" activation exercise to fix "Y" movement pattern" posts are very popular….. but there’s a large body of evidence suggesting that muscle activation exercises produce very little change in corticospinal excitability, motor evoked potentials, the motor cortices, etc. and need to be paired with skill training.
Botton Line: Strength Training & Skill Training = Improved Motor Pattern
Want access to more educational information & resources from the Movement System? Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter below for updates, exclusive content, and new offers.
Stay connected with news and updates!
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.
We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.