Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bone Rhythm

Another thing from the weekend is the idea of bone rhythm.

This is explained a bit in this video

The idea as I understand it relates to thinking about the femur as a lever. There is a hinge at the knee and hip. To move efficiently you want both ends of the lever to be moving as the same speed. For example in a squat your knee and hip should start moving and finish moving at the same time. That makes the lever more efficient? If the knee locks but the hip keeps going for example or vice versa then the lever is not operating as efficiently as it could do with matched speeds.

mc explains it thus:

Bone rhythm effectively means that one gets the top and bottom of a prime mover bone move at the same speed in an action. In a push up, we see this when the shoulder and the elbow finish the move together - both in the press up and in the descent. This move tune alone is worth the price of admission. In the DVD both upper and lower body drills are taught, as well as how to cue another person to get the ryhthm.

I wonder.

I am pondering how /if this fits with Bill DeSimone's approach in Moment Arm Exercise. Bill uses some limited ranges of motion to address the levers, focussing on matching maximum moment arm with the position of the muscles maximum strength. I wonder if you could see the limited range of motion as facilitating better bone rhythm?

Levers.....moment arms


mc said...

Hi Chris,

you write "That makes the lever more efficient? If the knee locks but the hip keeps going for example or vice versa then the lever is not operating as efficiently as it could do with matched speeds."

yes sure. so for instance in the deadlift, the knees don't move much at all, so the hip is doing the main action, and the knees, fixed are moving around that point, right?

But, BR kinda asks, can we *improve* performance by coordinating energy so that as much as possible is working together for combined advantage?

In the squat we do have the knee moving forward and the hip going down. If we coordinate these actions, can we reap more efficiency?

Let's look at it this way:
if the knees are push/pulling up on their end of the femur at the same time as the hip is going up,
1) there's a single motion occurring in the system
2) there's also more cumulative action working on that movement.

I looked at this in an application with the viking push press, too, likening it to a sea saw, and what happens when both the person pushing down and the one pushing up coordinate their energies; and what happens to the movement when they don't.

So indeed, the moment arm stuff (i love that work!) is very apt.
Of course the moment arm is a particular distance relative to line of force about an axis generating torque, so BR might be seen as how best to optimize the energy around that action for maximum efficiency.

I'd encourage anyone to play with this - using a mirror or a partner - to see if that coordination produces greater advantage - a sense of greater smoothness for one, and ease of effort in whatever movement to which this technique is applied.


BCR said...

As a coaching cue, this is interesting. Yes, movements should be fluid, smooth and co-ordinated. As the video states, "you can facilitate the speed and precision of your movement by trying to focus on moving both ends of the bone at the same time". That seems like a great coaching cue.

Everything else about this seems like nonsense. As someone with a masters in engineering, the discussion of levers, "speeds" and efficiency just drives me up the wall...What speed? Angular velocity? What reference frame? What do you mean by "locking" a joint? Do you mean fixing it in space? Fixing it's angle?

Could you perhaps explain how it might be possible to perform a push up without having your elbows finishing moving at the same time as your shoulders? It's a fixed, rigid system. A pin jointed structure...It is impossible to move one end of the bone without moving the other unless you break it. So every movement will end with both ends of the bone finishing at the same time.

If that sounds too pedantic, i'm sorry. I'm just trying to make sense of the vague (to me) terms being used. If you only mean movement along the x,y,z axis then please explain why the demo clearly shows the knee "stopping" before the hips have finished moving?

(I also love the irony at the 15 second mark as the statement about quality of movement is tied with a guys knees collapsing inward.)

Sifter said...

That's..... interesting.

I was much more impressed by going to www.pauliezink.com and watching Zink perform his 'Stump' pose,(taken from 'Tao' or Yin' yoga) basically a squat with feet together, flat-footed, down to the ground with arms wrapped around his shins. Took me a few tries before I got it. Do that a few times and the benefit feels superior to Z squats and other type of (free) squatting motion. Even better than Dan John's very good Goblet Squat. Just my opinion.

Mike T Nelson said...

Efficient is the name of the game and Bone Rhythm is one way to increase movement efficiency.

Eric Franklin talks about this in his books also and much is probably based on the much earlier practice of ideokinesis.

Rock on!
Mike T Nelson PhD(c)
Extreme Human Performance