Health & Wellness

Guest Column

Gait Analysis For a More Balanced, Less Injured Athlete

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92751c1b9c2cc613eda3_soccer_photo_from_unsplash.jpg

Whether you're a high school or college athlete or an occasional runner, balance plays a major role in your routine. Core strength and balance allows you to perform at your safest and best potential. Whether running, lifting or performing upper or lower body activities, power in each movement is generated from the core. Gaining enough core strength increases the stability of the pelvis and spine, which improves balance during athletic movements.

Millions of people around the world suffer from lower back pain or postural deficiencies. The reason is lack of balance and core strength. Workouts that focus on balance can limit injuries and correct posture problems. For some people, the imbalances can be obvious and easily noticed by the untrained eye. However, there are many instances, where taking a closer look with the help of a professional is necessary, not only to pinpoint potential problems but also to come up with a game plan to correct them.

Gait analysis is a wonderful way of assessing performance and physical condition of athletes. The proper system should be able to identify any muscular deficiencies and measure tolerance to various workloads, help in developing customized and diversified training and rehabilitation based on the test results and create a database of subjects so that re-assessments can be done to periodically check the athlete's progress.

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As a biomechanist, I love being able to help local athletes and new runners detect mechanical inefficiencies and asymmetries between their two legs, therefore helping them prevent injuries or assisting them in an injury recovery plan. Studies show that balance is the reason why runners and other athletes suffer from movement issues such as strained ankles. The body must change its center of gravity (balance) in order to compensate for any change in terrain.

Vertical leaps are important in sports such as basketball. You may ask, what does that have to do with balance? You see, the better balance an athlete has, the more stability he or she has. The more stability he or she has, the bigger force they can harness for the actual jump. Regardless of whether you're an athlete or not, having good posture means your entire body is aligned properly and therefore you have a lesser risk of injury than a person with bad balance.

The term proprioception refers to a sense of joint position. Proprioception is the training that injured athletes go through, but this method can just as easily be used by perfectly healthy athletes who want to avoid injuries.

For workout videos and to contact Coach Julia about a biomechanical assessment, you can check out her Instagram page www.instagram.com/thepetitefastinista or email her at juliamorel@yahoo.com.
 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

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