Muscle memory, potential and injury… with a rubber band… Intrigued???
How can such a simple thing like a rubber band be so powerful?
For athletes who have attended a seminar, workshop or individual sessions with me, they would know this.
I use these for demonstrations on muscle memory to show people how amazing our mind is. When we train at 100% our brains remember and create and automatic ‘feel’ for what is right. In times of pressure and stress our minds go back to learnt behaviours. If we have trained consistently, expect consistency when under pressure. If you have shown up to training when you have been at 80%, 45% or 93%, when the pressure is applied… your brain is confused and may perform between 45% and 100%… giving you an inconsistent result.
These rubber bands also highlight potential. You can have, what you think is maximum stretch, the energy it takes to move a little wider is proportionately higher. If you relax the rubber band and apply the same explosive force to that of the ‘muscle memory’ of the past feel… I find that most people are 10-15% greater in reach. And generally this shows up in increased performance when you realise the key is to relax and explode when needed. Yes, results of 8% have been documented in a previous National Champion for the 400m Hurdles.
Given the understanding above, how does this relate to injury? If you are in a stressful situation, applying the same explosive force to a muscle already under pressure can create injury.
For more useful tips and metaphors using stationery, check out this and other articles on my website.