One of the components assessed during Performance Assessments is muscular balance. When evaluating balance, we are looking for balance in:
Creating balances around the joint is step one for reducing injury potential. If one muscles is pulling harder than the other, the bones may move out of place and tear ligaments especially when moving at high speeds. This is one of the main causes for ACL non-contact injuries.
No matter how much we train and work towards athletic goals, the brain is still in control. Survival instincts make the brain tell the body to protect the brain and spinal cord above anything else. For example, the traps are the Y shaped muscles running across the back of the shoulders and along the spine. If the left side is more than 10% weaker than the right side, the right side will underperform at the strength of the left side to prevent from disrupting the spinal column.
The four muscles in the quadriceps have different sizes with specific goals to create movement. The rectus femoris has the task of hip flexion and the vastus medialis stabilizes the patella and allows for terminal knee extension. Hip and knee extension along with ankle extension combine for the power producing triple extension used by all athletes when running, jumping, or power lifting.
We also assess strength to body weight ratios. It's important that the muscles in each leg be able to handle the weight of the athlete. Running and sprinting are done on one leg at a time. Just by improving strength to body weight ratios of athletes, can improve running speed to further improve athletic performance.