Isolation = Effectiveness

Thoughts from: Jarred Boyd, PT, DPT, MSAT, SCS, CSCS  | Director of Rehab, Memphis Grizzlies

Isolated means of loading can be effective at fulfilling the intention of increasing the probability of the stimulus reaching the target – like using bumpers when bowling; we are increasing the confidence of more pins being hit

Sometimes when directing stress to a tissue, especially for, but certainly not regulated to, post – surgical cases, limiting noise via constrained movements will improve the signal and confer the specific neurophysiological + tissue material adaptations one is seeking

However, just because a movement is isolated/ “constrained” does not mean coaching is null and void. Ensuring impulse is derived from the intended tissues obligates satisficing kinematics. Otherwise, we may fall short on supplying the stimulus

An example can be observed during standing calf raises where individuals may demonstrate a marked external knee flexion moment during the eccentric action and subsequently a marked internal knee extension moment during the concentric action. This may be an expression of synergistic accommodation (perhaps common in those with Achilles Tendon Rupture, symptomatic Achilles tendinopathy or residual muscular deficits as a result of chronicity)

Synergistic accommodation allows for motor abundance, which can be great at times. However, when intentionally attempting to pursue specific adaptations it may act as a road block (i.e. the knee torque blocking/lessening the demand for ankle torque)

TLDR : Watch out for the knee bending and extending during calf raises – constrained/isolated movements don’t take the place of coaching

Be on the look out for more Thoughts, Blogs and Posts from Dr. Jarred Boyd & the Academy Staff, and make sure to follow Jarred on  LinkedIn and Instagram 


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