We’ve all had that feeling, when training is going really well, then all of a sudden you have a period of time when you seem to be hit by one injury after another, or your training just doesn’t seem to be going well, no matter what you do.
Well, there’s a simple and very little-known explanation for these issues. I call them the Secret Performance Gremlins (SPGs) because they are pain-free and often barely noticeable – unless you know what you’re looking for.
There are three of these little pests and between them they can explain pretty much ALL of the injuries, technique issues and performance problems you may be having.
Secret Performance Gremlin #1: Internal Rotation of the Femur
This rotation of the thigh bone towards the centre of your body causes all sorts of problems. Created by tightness of the adductors (inside thigh muscles) and hip flexors (those in the crease of the hip), this rotation causes the head of the thigh bone to sit differently in the hip socket and the knee joint to have a sustained twist in it.
While the adductors and hip flexors will shorten with this increased tightness (creating the rotation of the bone), the muscles attached to the outside of the thigh are pulled into a sustained lengthened position, which, over time, will lead to injury problems such as Lower Back Pain, IT Band Syndrome, Runner’s Knee, Sciatica, Piriformis Syndrome, Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendinitis, and persistently tight calves and hamstrings, eventually leading to issues such as Osteoarthritis, and joint replacements.
In the meantime, this rotation of the femur can create technique issues such as reduced hip extension, limited shock absorption through the ankles and knees, poor landing position, and limited ankle flexion/extension.
If we use running as an example, this one issue of internal rotation can lead to technique problems like short stride length, heel striking, poor push-off power, landing on the outside of the foot and much more.
Performance suffers as the muscle fibers cannot move sufficiently to pump large amounts of blood and therefore oxygen around the muscles, leading to early fatigue, severe muscle soreness after training and muscle cramps.
Other issues like restless leg syndrome and poor sleep quality can also be directly linked to this one rotational issue.
Since this issue is not painful in itself, it is rarely seen as causal factor in the issues described above, so methods such as foam rolling, deep tissue massage, compression clothing, meditation and the like are employed to deal with each one of the symptoms individually, which leads to extensive additional activities to support your training.
All these activities take time and therefore are often disregarded in favour of more training.
Fortunately, by focusing on this one issue, we can deal with ALL these problems at once, simply by removing the one problem that’s causing them all.
Dealing with these issues takes only a couple of minutes each day using entirely pain-free, ridiculously simple movements.
You can give them a go yourself for FREE with my 5 video Low Back Solution Playlist.
Let me know in the comments how you got on!