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An Old New Definition of Strength and its Relevance to Injury Prevention



You could save yourself the trouble of reading this blog if you went straight on to YouTube and looked up Carl Lewis running, Anderson Silva fighting or a gazelle running.  All 3 a models of athletic perfection and possess very small muscles relative to many other lesser athletes.
If you really didn’t feel like reading you could also go and purchase a whip and a piece of bamboo. If you take a piece of bamboo and lash your flat mate with it they wont enjoy it much but they might let you off.  If you take a whip the same length and the same mass then you swing it with the same force you will tear flesh from bone and the flat mate won’t speak to you again. The reason that the whip was so much harsher is because of it’s flexibility. The whip is much harsher and much harder to break.
So so how is it that the greatest track star of his time or the greatest fighter can be so powerful and yet have way smaller muscles than the competition? The answer lies in the tendons.
Tendons are then elastic straps that attach muscles to bone. If you have very flexible and strong tendons you will be way more explosive and powerful than one with just huge muscles.
Lions are very powerful  but they don’t even bother chasing  adult Gazelles for example. The reason for this is that the gazelle has very long flexible tendons in his legs that make him spring loaded.  Of course if the lion could catch the gazelle brute strength would take over in an instant but the fact is he can’t catch her.
So the practical question is this.. Does weight lifting and muscle development really deliver the strength we often wish to gain from it ? The answer is often no because it doesn’t cultivate the tendons the same way tendon exercises do.
I for one lifted weights for years but never really felt strong as a result. At the height of my weight training my chiropractors  hands were still weak and i had constant niggling injuries around my joints.
My long since vanished  injuries are the reason you are reading a chiropractors blog on strength and conditioning. The principles  behind explosive performance through tendon conditioning can be used to cure and prevent injury.
If you have injuries or pain in your elbow, wrist, shoulder, knee, ankle injuries especially it’s likely to be tendon strength that you need to cultivate and I can help with that if you want.