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Chain Reaction Biomechanics (why skinny guys can throw hard)

October 31, 2013


While watching the World Series, you are able to see athletes with different size bodies and weight room measurables show what some think is unexplainable power on the baseball diamond. How can a little guy hit the ball so hard or a skinny guy throw with so much velocity? CHAIN REACTION BIOMECHANICS


At times you see an athlete that tears their ACL and rehabs feverishly to get back on the field. All rehab focused on the knee, the hamstring/quad ratio is perfect. The athlete is the perfect physical therapy patient yet tears their ACL again after they return to play. Why? CHAIN REACTION BIOMECHANICS


Let us take the first example: Baseball players. Make no mistake that every chain reaction starts with the foot on the ground but we will dig a little deeper into what makes MLB players special. They are able to facilitate a chain reaction of power from the pelvis through the trunk to the scapula more explosively than we can. Not bench press or "CORE" strength, efficient and explosive power connecting the Pelvis /Trunk/ Scapula. The more cohesive the Pelvis/Trunk/Scapula are, the more explosive the baseball players are. Every pitcher has a different windup because they are trying to find the best way to get this chain reaction working for their specific body. During the first Transformational Zone (Power Transfer in the Chain Reaction Biomechanics) of pitching the pelvis moves in all three planes of motion in the opposite direction of the pitch. This creates motion at the lumbar spine and even more relative rotation and flexion at the thoracic spine which in turn loads the scapula. During the second Transformational Zone after the foot hits the ground the pelvis is forced to translate toward the plate and is also moving violently in all three planes of motion the opposite direction of TZ1. Because it's the opposite direction a high velocity chain reaction occurs in the lumber spine and becomes explosive by the time it transfers through the thoracic spine thus catapulting the scapula and ZOOM. Now what your thinking is.. what about the shoulder , elbow, wrist? A high percentage of the time problems occurring at the shoulder, elbow, wrist are created by a lack of cohesiveness or power from the Pelvis to the Trunk to the Scapula. Any combination of weakness or imbalance in this chain reaction will surely create abnormal stress on the shoulder or elbow or wrist. As a specific example; this is why we simply cannot operate on a shoulder and only focus on shoulder rehab. We must look at the probable suspects and see why the shoulder broke down. Some friends of mine in my fellowship call this the Peltrunkula phenomenon. We could literally spend 300 pages on this but I will move on to the ACL.


The Knee is stuck between the foot and the hip with little place to go and no where to hide. It's not a smart joint and it has to follow the lead of the foot when driven from bottom up or as we just looked at pitching, top down driven from the hip. With that being said, aside from contact injuries- most knee injuries are a consequence of dysfunction or error at the hip or the foot.  Let us examine walking: In the first Transformational Zone the front foot hits the ground, the Calcaneus everts which creates Subtalar joint inversion. The reaction of the Talus dropping down and in allows the Metatarsal Joint to loosen and creates natural internal rotation of the tibia at the ankle joint. This chain reaction turns on the Peroneus Longus which is on the lateral side of the leg(calf) but attaches to the medial side of the ball of your foot. The Soleus and Calf muscles are all turned on due to tibia rotation and because of the Hamstrings attaching to tibial head; the chain reaction continues with femur internal rotation which combined with movement of the pelvis awakens the Gluteals. The Quads main function is to decelerate knee flexion as the hip is launched past the front foot. From there the chain reaction is the opposite. TZ2 takes every muscle contributing concentrically and harmoniously transitions them to eccentric. The femur of the now back leg externally rotates due to the pelvis moving forward. The Femur which is controlled by the hamstrings and quad which in turn externally rotates the tibia creating an ECC - CONcentric reaction in the calfs. This chain reaction ends with Subtalar eversion, Calcaneus inversion which locks the metatarsal joint allowing the body to get very brief but maximum drive up the chain to the glutes. With all this information one would think that there is plenty of things to look at other than if the knee can bend while sitting or laying on your stomach. An athlete should not be released just because they can sit and extend his knee well, or lay on their stomach and flex his knee well. Squats are great but they are different than Movement and the chain reaction is MUCH different. We must look at what is the REAL problem that created too much stress on the knee. What is not giving you the chain reaction necessary to function in your sport or life?


Chain Reaction Biomechanics are the explanation of why an athlete may not have typical Strength and Conditioning "measurables" but can be the most explosive athlete on the field in any sport. Chain Reaction Biomechanics are evidence why traditionally rehabbing the knee doesn't make knee rehab complete. At APEC we have taken the time to understand and implement training that facilitates Chain Reaction Biomechanics for our athletes. So many things go into success for athletes but if your leaving out CRB, your athletes are not getting the best training or rehab.