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The Most Dangerous Word in Exercise

When you hear it, ask yourself, “Why? What am I training for?”

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Illustration Credit: Untitled 1 by Hannah Drossman

A Hall of Fame NFL running back I knew once suffered a knee sprain. His trainers, some of the best in the world, set up a training protocol that involved aggressive strengthening for the quadriceps muscle, coupled with increasing the flexibility of the hamstring muscle. The result: The quadriceps remained tight and explosively powerful, but the hamstring was comparatively flexible. Weeks later he was back on the field for the first game since his injury. There was considerable buzz and anticipation: How would he perform? Then, on his first play, on national television, in super slow-mo, he took the ball and exploded out of the backfield, powerful legs churning. No one touched him as he reached peak power and stride. What happened next is that his flexible hamstrings couldn’t counteract their opposition, so his knee hyperextended, tearing his hamstring, and he went down like a sack of bricks. Across America, people cringed in empathetic agony, but hardly anyone got the message. His problem had to do with flexibility: too much of it! Okay, so most of us are not pro football players, yet the point is …

This entry is tagged with:
ExerciseInjuryYogaSelf Awareness

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