Control and stability is a very important concept to understand. It is very important for pain management, injury prevention, and performance potential.
At times, though, it seems as though one side of the body is working harder than the other. This is concerning for some people, specifically those who want to lift heavy weights or those who are constantly requiring quick, sudden change of direction and speed.
Because if the muscles aren't "working", then something else is going to compensate; this could very easily lead to injury. But is your muscle really "inactive" or "turned off"? Should you do activation exercises to turn it on?
So you attempt all of the complex single-leg exercises, functional movement patterns for the upper body, and even tools such as electrical stimulation. But nothing seems to work. That one muscle won't "turn on".
This can be a very frustrating process for the athlete. Which exercises are best? How often do I complete the exercises? Can I do too many? Should I do these exercises on both sides?
Trying to teach someone motor control of a specific muscle is not easy. It gets frustrating because they "need to feel it". But that feedback isn't instantly learned; it's a skill that is taught.
This video details the step-by-step process that I use in the clinic. It is an easier method that helps decrease frustration by setting expectations first.
There are 3 steps
1. External Cuing: Complete the exercise correctly. Go by how it looks not how it feels
2. Hybrid: You see that you're doing it well and you're starting to feel the muscle work.
3. Internal Cuing: You know that you are doing the exercise correctly based on how it feels. You are able to isolate the muscle without hesitation.
Watch the video to see what these steps mean and how you can integrate these steps into your workouts so that you can get better feedback from your muscles.
If you have a specific area that you need to work on and want a customized treatment approach, we can do that! Just schedule a Physiotherapy Evaluation and we will get started on improving your afferent feedback so that you can not only "feel" the muscle, but also have better control over that muscle.