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The Science of Movement

Knowledge of musculoskeletal anatomy and biomechanics is essential for understanding movements involved in sports. Anatomy encompasses the study of components that make up the musculoskeletal system. But understanding anatomy alone is not adequate. In order to significantly alter human performance one must research biomechanics, a science which elucidates the mechanisms through which the components of the musculoskeletal system generate movement. With specific insight into how body movements are carried out and the stresses that the movements place on the musculoskeletal system, our expert team can methodically design safe and effective training programs. BMT is dedicated to thoroughly understanding how biomechanical principles result in the manifestation of human strength, power, speed, endurance, agility, balance, and flexibility. Rational movement mechanics and corresponding training techniques are determined by three basic aspects of performance: the limited time permitted to apply force or move a certain distance; the need to explosively change direction and speed; and the duration and repetition of effort.

The muscles of the body do not act directly to exert force on the ground or other objects. Instead, they function by pulling on bones that rotate about body joints and transmit force to the environment. Muscles have the capacity only to pull, but not push. By using the bony levers of the skeleton, muscle pulling forces can be manifested as either pulling or pushing forces against external objects. Since most muscles that move the limbs about joints operate at a mechanical disadvantage, internal forces in the muscles and tendons are much greater than the forces exerted by the hands or feet on external objects such as opponents or the ground. BMT studies how to maximize the body’s mechanical advantage using movement analysis and rationally designed exercises, in order to resist injuries to these tissues that result from continual exposure to high forces.

Sport movements involve primarily the synovial joints, whose vital features are minimal friction and large range of motion. Our research examines the amount of torque that can be exerted about a given body joint (torque vs. joint angle), which varies throughout the joint’s range of motion based on the relationship of force versus muscle length. It is critical to understand how muscles work to create forces across joints and cause movement. Understanding the physiology of muscle is basic to developing and implementing training programs. Many systems- including the cardiovascular, nervous, and endocrine systems- affect performance by changing how muscle functions, and multiple factors affect the force of contraction of individual muscle fibers. These factors are relevant to developing a sport-specific training program. Variables that BMT examines in designing these programs include: the speed of the muscle action; is the muscle action concentric, isometric, or eccentric; is the muscle stretched prior to the action; through what range of motion does the action occur; is the muscle preloaded prior to the action. Focusing on these variables enables us to achieve specific training adaptations in short periods of time for our athletes.


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