Friday, August 31, 2007

We are monopeds.....

This is from Frank Forencich's excellent book - Play as if your life depends on it. Read an extract here.

This emphasises again why it is so important to be "balanced":

"...contrary to appearances, we do spend an astonishing amount of time on one foot. In normal human gait, stance phase and swing phase alternate in a complementary fashion; when one leg is swinging free from back to front, the other is supporting the body. All of the time that you are swinging one leg forward you are actually standing on one foot.

According to Jacqueline Perry, author of Gait Analysis, single limb support accounts for 80% of the total gait cycle. In other words, you are supported by one leg or the other for 80% of the time you are walking. The other 20% consists of double leg stance at the beginning and end of each phase. When you are running, the situation is even more pronounced: full speed running is conducted entirely on one leg or the other. in other words if you run a marathon you do 13 miles on one leg and 13 on the other. in this sense we are monopeds. And, we cold go so far as to say that the objective of functional training is to build a better monoped.

This is why functional movement coaches spend a lot of time training their athletes and patients on one foot. By building balance and useful strength on one leg at a time, stance phase becomes more stable and gait improves. This has a prehabilitative effect on your ankles, knees and hips. Plus it can be a lot of fun!"

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