JC's Musings

Moving Backwards for Forward Strengthening

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I’m a big fan of having a healthy dose of moving backwards in your days, some of the acute benefits to backward motion (BM) listed on the slide. One of the things I’ve found most fascinating is that there is very little elastic storage and utilisation in BM. So, if you want to preferentially target the contractile component and minimise the contribution of the passive (mysial) and series (tendon) elastic components during dynamic cyclic movement, then this should be part of your exercise menu.
This article by Flynn (1993) compared forward running (FR) and backward running (BR) from a mechanical power and muscle [vastus lateralis(VL) and vastus medialis oblique (VMO)] perspective. In support of the above, they concluded that BR is a “good method for achieving isometric and concentric muscle action of the VMO and VL and may be useful in clinical conditions that require an increase in knee extensor strength.”
If you want to understand BR from physiology to programming, then head to this resource, it took three years to put together and it is complete with some of the latest research in this area.