Tuesday, February 8, 2011

David Weck, Spiraling Fascia and Sprinting Faster

A friend of mine the other day commented on an article in Mens Health magazine, called, The New Science of Speed.   The article was about the BOSU ball creator David Weck and his very interesting ideas on fascia, spiraling and sprinting.

He talks about how when you sprint, the old standby of hips to lips with your arms is not as effective as spiraling your arms with your hand supinating on the upstroke and pronating on the downstroke.  One of the new believers is Tyson Gay.  Gay is the fastest US sprinter and recently the slayer of the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt.  Weck taught Gay how to spiral his arms while sprinting and coincidence or not, Gay beat Bolt in the 100m.



Weck talks about how spiraling the arms tenses the fascia which allows for greater running efficiency and keeps your body aligned with a better gravitational center.  This is taken from the Mens Health Article.


"If you pronate your hand while it's back, you help your hip flex on that side, which is what is happening when your arm is at the back of the swing," says Weck. "It will lead to the internal rotation of the upper arm, and the 'recoil,' for lack of a better term, of your lats, biceps, and pecs as they prepare to help bring the arm forward again."

I found this to be very interesting.  I can remember reading Warren Hammers soft tissue treatment book for the first time and discovering muscles that spiraled or twisted on insertion and the theory was that the twisting allowed for greater energy transfer. The two prominent structures were the latissimus dorsi and sacrotuberous ligament.  I realized all great sprinters have great lat development and hamstring development.  (hamstrings insert fascialy into the sacrotuberous ligament).  Coincidence?  Maybe, maybe not.

Weck is a big believer in what appears to be spiraling training.  Believing it trains the brain to work in more congruency with the body that opens up to better athletic performance.


Scott Sonnan does some interesting things with club bells that involves circular training.  Training in all 3 planes of motions.  I bought a pair of Spaulding Indian clubs when I was in chiropractic school to help rehabilitate a dislocated shoulder from my rugby days.  This spiraling idea brings me back to thinking of this circular type of training.

I'm a big believer in how fascia is a major component to movement and health.  The performance aspect will be a very big field in the next few years and will continue to be an exciting topic.  I think I will try spiraling the next time I run.

11 comments:

Glenn said...

Jason,
Very interesting. If you are interested in fascia, have you read Thomas Meyers Anatomy Trains?

Anonymous said...

The idea of spiral running sounds great but would someone explain in SIMPLE ENGLISH what exactly the technique is!!! I had the same problem with the "Total Immersion" swimming technique. It is a VASTLY SUPERIOR way to swim but the explanation was TO COMPLICACTED!!

Jason Ross said...

Glen, Yea, I've read Anatomy Trains a couple times. I always try to go back and look at it at least once a year. Great Book!

Jason Ross said...

It basically comes down to as you drive your arm forward, your hand goes into a bit of external rotation, palms up. As you drive the arm back, your wrist goes into some flexion. If you slow down the Tyson Gay video at the end, you can see his wrist on the back swing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jason for your reply. I have tried it a few times on my(slow,out of shape)runs.It seems to be quite amazing! It is a little like rubbing your stomach and patting your head because your while your hands are doing the same thing it is at different times.But one thing seems to be happening,the more you move your hands(even if uncoordinately) the faster you go WITH LESS EFFORT!!Of course I have only started to learn,but EVERY runner should give it a try.

Anonymous said...

Me and my brother have been using this to sprint and have seen improvement in our top speed. It works really well

Jason Ross said...

Very cool about the less effort more speed. I talked to a top end speed coach and he thinks the ideas have merit.

Kenneth Hopkins said...

I would really like to see a comparison of Gay before and Gay after, especially since this race was nowhere near his best time.

Jim said...

Just discovered this website...great work! I don't know if this is something that is just "unspoken", but I agree that the concept of spiraling is interesting, but Gay's time was way slower than his PR. Also, this race occurred very early in the Quadrennial cycle and I don't know for sure, but it could be very possible that Bolt wasn't running full out or his training wasn't focused on running fast right now. Just a thought...

Nick said...

www.outlawfit.com
Interesting indeed! Fascia does seem to hold the answers to performance and pain questions. It has been the new craze and doesn't seem to be going away! Thanks for the post!

Coach Barr said...

I know this is an old post but, carl lewis did this when he ran the curve portion of the 200. Jim Hines also did this when he sprinted. There are many examples of this in action being performed by many elite sprinters.