There are times when repeating the same pattern or motion is beneficial. Spinning a bunch of laps on the same course helps you really learn every corner and work on specific spots. Taking a lot of swings in golf or baseball helps you get muscle memory on the right swing for you. However, there can come a point where you move past muscle memory and start damaging the body. Repeating the identical motion to the point of damage is called "Pattern Overload". This can happen to pitchers in baseball, tennis players, golf or any athlete. What happens is the body gets too stressed from the same movement done many times. Foam rolling (as discussed in my last article) and stretching as well as other recovery methods can help prevent this.
Another tactic is to break up the patterns. One issue I see with many motorcycle racers is overload on the hip joints. Many are unfortunately working in an office environment during the week to cover the costs of riding. Any free weekend is spent riding as well. For training, riders often cycle or go sit at the gym on a machine. Add on the time spent sitting on a stool wrenching and you see a pattern.....
This repeated motion of the hips being flexed while sitting can lead to serious hip issues. Many riders find their hips are very tight (especially when they first foam roll) and struggle to keep those loose. The tight hip muscles can lead to pulling of the muscles on the back side which can lead to back pain, discomfort and limited mobility. The key is to incorporate not only muscle release but varied motions when possible. here are some tips to break up the pattern.
- Stand more often at work. If you sit for a job make sure to stand every 30 minutes or so. Set an alarm on your computer or every time you take a sip of water stand up. - Stand at the gym. If doing curls or over head presses stand while doing them. For even better bonus add a lunge prior. - Stretch often. Make a point of stretching in the am and the pm. Focus on those tight areas. - Take more walks. If you have a dog give them a 10 minute walk at least twice a day or longer. They will thank you also. Park further away and always take the stairs when possible. - Wear a pedometer. Greg discussed some great items in his last article. This makes you conscious of your steps. - Take a day to review your "normal" routine. If you find a constant pattern make an effort to switch things up where possible.
As always, ride safe and feel free to contact me with any comments, questions, feedback or tips.