Injury performance and stability training


Fortunately it is still possible to improve naturally and further research continues to suggest that neural and stability training along with “superset” interval training can lead to all of us getting faster.

Regular readers of this column may recall that sports scientists had established that one of the key differences among top athletes was the ability to engage muscles more efficiently.


The key to this has been identified as the way that the body’s neural system works. Research has confirmed that the world’s greatest athletes have a markedly superior method of sending messages to the muscles they want to engage.


All of this has mostly been interesting theory as far as I was concerned until my wife’s long-term injury was diagnosed as being caused by neural misfiring. Put simply her muscles were engaging in the wrong sequence leading to injury and pain. Now that this has been identified a programme has been established to get her back racing again.


Stability training in another extremely important area of work that runs the risk of being dismissed as being a fad given the number of stability balls that seem to crop up everywhere. But stability training is vital for all of us and recent research is suggesting that a lack of stability maybe as much a cause of over-use injuries as more traditional sources.


The theory here seems intuitively correct: that in any sport involving running you will spend much of your time on one leg. Therefore if you are not stable on one leg every stride must be causing impact forces to go through the body incorrectly.


Here’s one to try at home. Stand on one leg, close your eyes and do a deep knee dip without wobbling. Apparently if you can’t do 50 you’ve got an issue that needs working on.


I’ll let you know when I get past 2. In the meantime I’m doing the deep one legged lunges that are supposed to help.