Often, the antistructuralist position is misrepresented into the rather annoying assertion “biomechanics don’t matter.” Biomechanics is an important subject for anyone who fancies themselves a student of movement.
I will let Rhys Manchester (not his real name) explain the beauty of biomechanics.
Biomechanics is a scientific discipline. The definition Rhys provides, “the study of forces and their effects on living systems,” is an awesome one. I love this definition because it immediately demonstrates that biomechanics is not about identifying dysfunctions or imbalances or misalignments or correcting posture or some other nonsense.
The importance of the kinesiology section can be boiled down to the following four sentences.
Biomechanics is a useful way to describe injury. My description of injury was essentially a materials science perspective taken right out of a biomechanics textbook.
Additionally, understanding biomechanics let’s you avoid movements that could possibly aggravate a tissue issue while it’s still sensitive.
It’s also important to understand biomechanics for performance purposes. For instance, understanding the concept of moment arm allows you to manipulate force in the way you want to.
This could mean means “redistributing” forces across joints so you can lift the most weight.
Or it could mean “isolating” a muscle and stimulating it. This is useful if you want to induce hypertrophy or you want to specifically load something that may be injured.
Essentially, the principle of specificity is king in any exercise program. Force is the stressor that our body adapts to. By manipulating forces, we can elicit specific adaptations.
Understanding biomechanics is also important to create safe experiences. By understanding the concepts of stability and base of support, we can start out clients in position that feels safer and gradually move them into positions feels riskier. It’s an awesome concept to understand because it allows people to gradually explore movements that may be scary.
It also allows you to make the exercise feel “easier.”
I love this next paragraph.
*Cough* Like “fixing” asymmetries, imbalances, and faulty movement perhaps? This is just our body’s normal adaptation to imposed demands in everyday life. The specific stresses of everyday life occur much more often than those we impose in the gym/rehab, so things most likely won’t change anyway.
I love these next paragraphs:
The second, third, and fourth paragraphs are my main motivations for following Rhys on social media. This is essentially what science has the potential to be: a process of figuring things out while acknowledging gaps in knowledge, and, in so doing, improving the world for others.
I hope this demonstrates that the antistructuralist position does NOT assert that “biomehanics don’t matter.”
That assertion is absurd.