January 06, 2014

Suspension Exercises For Motor Control With Dr. Santo Riva

Suspension Exercises For Motor Control With Dr. Santo Riva

Any great training program is going to address strength, flexibility, and motor control.  While motor control generally gets the least amount of buzz, it is the most important component and is critical to any safe and effective workout routine. 

What is motor control? 
Motor control is our brain telling our body the proper way to move.  Our body then must carry out the sequencing correctly.  Our brain controls which muscles to flex, and which to relax.  A break in this pathway is associated with poor movement mechanics.  This leads to compensatory movements and ultimately injury.  When you are on the disabled list, you are either out of the game, or can't train with the same intensity - making it difficult to reach your health and fitness goals.

How do you train motor control?  
Initially, you may want to perform your exercise routine in front of a mirror so you can see that you are moving correctly (ie. squatting without your knees knocking, or doing a push-up without your waist sagging to the floor).  When you have the basic movement patterns down, the next component is to introduce instability to your routine.  

Instability adds a three dimensional component to your workout that forces additional muscle contraction by the smaller stabilizing muscle groups in addition to the prime movers.  A lack of strength in the stabilizer muscles has been correlated to increased injuries.


Suspension Exercises Are Great For Motor Control!

How do you introduce instability into your workout?
The  MostFit™ Suspension Strap is an excellent tool to train motor control, as well as strength and flexibility.  The ease of use in virtually any setting, increases adherence, giving you no excuse not to get your workout in.  The amount of resistance and degrees of instability can be easily adjusted to accommodate every user.

The  MostFit™ SYN Rings are another excellent tool that will test your strength, endurance, and motor control like nothing you have ever used before.  What sets these apart from any other piece of equipment is that the instability is completely unpredictable, and both your brain and body have to be able to react quickly.  Faster reaction times have positive implications for everyone from the athlete trying to make the winning catch to those who are just trying to prevent a fall.

These are excellent pieces of equipment that anyone can incorporate into their training program to improve strength, flexibility and motor control. The ways that they can be used are limitless, allowing for full body workout routines with minimal equipment.  Most importantly, they are fun to use, and help break up the monotony of a stale work out routine!


Dr. Santo Riva, DPT, OCS, NASM-CPT is a doctor of physical therapy and board certified orthopedic specialist at Evolution Physical Therapy and Fitness in Los Angeles, California.  He uses instability training to get his patients and clients back into the game and into the best shape of their lives.


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