Activation Exercises Don't Change Movement PatternsMay 27, 2022
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.
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.
Bottom Line: Strength Training + Skill Training = Improved Motor Pattern
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