271219 Making the most of your functional properties part 2 of 2 by Danny M. O’Dell MA., CSCS

271219 Making the most of your functional properties part 2 of 2

By Danny M. O’Dell, M.A.CSCS

The body determines the form of its interactions/reactions while responding to and solving a physical task. This ‘natural response’ solution is based upon the athlete’s genetic fiber type composition, its structural attachment make up, previous experience, and training. Systematic training, not just going to the gym and hitting the weights several times a week is the key phrase.

The body is linked together by the bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles all working or at least striving to work in harmony with one another to move the kinematic pairs, chain, and system in the most effective and efficient manner possible.

Strength developed, per particular joint angle, is typed according to:
Ascending and descending maximal and minimal forces that correspond to the extreme portions of the angular amplitudes of the joint movement.

Ascending and descending minimal and maximal forces that correspond to the extreme portions of the angular amplitudes of the joint movement. Minimal force is developed at the far limits of the joint angle and maximal force is developed at the middle of the movement.

A force/angle graph depiction doesn’t necessarily change the plotting of strength and force development with increases in strength. It does however, give a clear indication of where this strength is expressed.

Increases in strength throughout the joints full range of motion depends on the particular joint angle that was maximally trained during the training period. If this is produced at the point of the greatest muscle length then this strength, which is greatest at the smallest degree of flexion or near the least amount of extension in the joint transfers to the other joint angles in a relatively uniform fashion.

However if this strength is produced while the muscle is in a contracted state the increase in strength is larger. But the strength transfer is expressed as an inverse ratio according to the angle of the joint. The farther away from the original joint angle used during training, the less the training effect will be on the joint. At the training angle there is a larger resultant maximum force developed than in the next nearest joint angles.

Training throughout a wide range of motion in the greatest amplitudes possible within individual limitations produces the largest increases in strength primarily in kinematic pairs-two actively combined and adjacent joints. This applies most frequently to the joints that have multiple planes of motion such as the glenoidhumeral (shoulder) see the training methods that are included in The Ultimate Bench Press Manual for details, talocrural (relating to the interaction of the ankle and bones of the leg), and the iliofemoral (the relationship between the uppermost and widest of the three lateral halves of the pelvis and the femur) joints


Individuals have innate qualities of movement and abilities to express strength and power in a particular form and manner. Perfecting a movement pattern while producing maximal strength and power depends upon the make up of the person, the joint angles at which the training takes place and the amplitude of the movement. Training with this background information in mind will produce benefits to an athlete.

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