Dec 23, 2020
Legendary neuromuscular physiologist, Dr. David Behm, headlines this exploration of neural adaptation. The term is ensconced in the fitness vernacular, but what, exactly, does it mean? Get ready for some true pearls of wisdom, as the team dives into motor control and specificity. They discuss Dr. Behm’s landmark research paper on intention, and wrap up with some suggestions on how trainers and strength coaches can best serve their clients. Prepare for enlightenment!
In this episode, you’ll hear about:
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Action potential - The wavelike conduction of a neural impulse along a motor neuron, after continued stimulation of the cell reaches its firing threshold.
Agonist - The prime mover of an action, typically identified as a muscle, but may instead be an externally applied force, or gravity.
Antagonist - The opposition to the agonist. This may be a muscle, creating tension in the opposite direction of the agonist, an external force, or gravity.
EMG - Electromyography. A process of measuring muscle activity through the use of sensors placed on the skin (surface) or in the muscle (indwelling).
Henneman’s size principle - the principle which states that motor units are recruited sequentially, from small diameter, low tension, slow twitch, to large diameter, high tension, fast twitch.
Inertia - Resistance to change. Newton’s first law of motion states that an object will remain at rest or in uniform motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
Isometric contraction - Tension is generated at a constant muscle length.
Isokinetic contraction - Tension is generated while at a constant velocity.
Neural adaptation - Adaptive changes in the nervous system after exposure to a specific stimulus, allowing for improved muscular activation for the purpose of refining voluntary coordinated movement
Rate of tension development - The rate at which tension is generated in muscles. Higher rates of tension development are associated with enhanced performance.
Recruitment - A term expressing the activation of motor units.
Spatial recruitment - A process whereby multiple motor units are recruited in order to develop graded tension.
Temporal recruitment - A process whereby individual motor units are activated repeatedly, at varying frequencies, in order to develop graded tension.
Triphasic EMG - A pattern of recorded EMG activity in which agonist activity is followed by antagonist activity, and then finally, a repeated agonist burst of activity in order to stabilize a joint or modify motion.
Behm, D.G. and Sale, D.G. (1993). Velocity specificity of resistance training. Sports Medicine. 15(6): 374-388.
Schwendel, P. and Thorland, W. (1992). Effect of traditional vs power resistance training on improvement of baseball batting velocity. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 24(5, Supp) S137.
Szymanski, D.J. et al. (2007). Effect of torso rotational strength on angular hip, angular shoulder, and linear bat velocities of high school baseball players. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 21(4): 1117-1125.
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