The Benefits of Understanding Biomechanics for the Fitness Professional & their Clients

Operating an engine beyond its limits is readily observable by the red line displayed on the tachometer of most cars.

Similarly, the human body may be loaded beyond the limits of the skeletal system and muscles that act on the moving human frame.

Unfortunately, most people are not aware of the mechanical risks of physical activity until an injury has resulted.

Biomechanics views the human body as a mechanical system of movable parts put in motion by the application of forces.

The educated fitness professional understands the consequences of physical exercise related to potential injury due to improperly imposed forces.

An understanding of biomechanics provides a great advantage to the fitness professional, beyond the ability to predict possible injuries.

Biomechanics can be used to maximise the benefits of physical performance in sports, work, and activities of daily diving as well as and for increases in physical strength or muscle size (hypertrophy).

This link between an understanding of biomechanical concepts and maximal training effect can be seen with the overload principle of physical training.

The overload principle states that in order for a training adaptation to take place (an increase in muscular strength or muscle size), a greater than normal stress (force or load) must be applied to produce this adaptation.

This may seem to imply that one simply needs to use progressively heavier weights to produce increasing strength gains; however, a better understanding of biomechanical principles will reveal that the amount of weight used to exercise is only one of many factors that results in the stress placed on the muscles.

A lack of understanding of these biomechanical principles can often lead to inferior results, and to acute or chronic injury resulting in significant lost training time.

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