How to Run Faster, Jump Higher, and Throw Harder
And we can help you do this–here's how.
One of the things we've always focused on at Therapy Central is not just on pain relief but the elimination of pain.
What we've come to realize is that with pain elimination comes with some really cool side effects. In athletes, we've noticed that when their pain disappears, their speed reappears! When their pain disappears, their vertical leap improves! When their pain disappears, they throw harder, with more accuracy than ever before!
How does this happen? Read on.
Injuries, Pain and the Aging Process
Pain is just a signal that something is wrong. Think about your car's engine warning light–when you fix what is wrong the light goes out, you stop hurting, and any dysfunction that was a result of the pain or imbalance is eliminated!
I wish Michael Jordan had come to see us before he decided to come out of retirement the last time. As great as Michael was, he had been out of basketball for several years and had spent too much time on off the court as a corporate executive.
What happened to him is the same thing that happens to many of us who use our butts as a seat instead of something to push us through space, climb hills, pull loads or lift heavy objects...what it was intended to do.
Specifically, his hip flexors, Illiotibial Band, Hamstrings and Gluts got shorter. As a result when he tried to run and jump like he used to–like he knew he could– he hurt and his knees swelled. Michael 'Air' Jordan became Michael 'Ground' Jordan.
Occasionally though, Michael forgot about the pain because he was angry. During a game in his last season, on his end of the court someone picked Michael's pocket and headed the other way with the ball.
At the other end of the court, the thief was going up for an easy lay up when, out of nowhere somebody was flying over the top of everyone, grabbed the ball off the glass above the rim–with both hands–and came down with the ball!
That someone was Michael Jordan. Unbelievable! Had the clock moved back? Was this the Michael Jordan of old? Was he back?! The truth is he was the same athlete he'd always been but because of the pain in his knees he wouldn't jump like he used to...until adrenaline and anger took over and he forgot he was hurting...until he came down with the ball. He took himself out of the game a few minutes later with swelling knees.
What we could have done for Michael is the same thing we have done for many athletes. We could have fixed the muscle imbalances by lengthening the shortened muscle groups, (and the fascial sheaths that cover them and hold their shapes), and he could have been a pain free 'Air' Jordan through the end of his last season. This probably would have been several years later than it was. An undeniable truth about sports or life...it's no fun when it HURTS!
Here are some more examples
A football player wanting to increase his speed for an NFL tryout was lamenting the fact that his legs felt 'heavy' and he was much slower than he need to be. He had been running in the 4:6 range in the 40 yard dash. This was not good enough for an NFL running back. Was there anything we could do?
After several excruciating sessions where we worked primarily on his quads, he reported that his legs felt like they were "light as feathers" and was timed at 4:3.5 in the 40.
For those of you not in the sports world, a 4:3.5 is 'world class speed–plenty fast enough for an NFL running back. Is he in the NFL? No, he never got to run for the scouts. For those of you not in the sports world, there are politics in the sports world as well as in Washington D.C.
A high school volleyball player came in complaining of tight calves that were borderline starting to hurt when she jumped. After her session, later that day in practice they tested the girls vertical leap. Hers had improved by 6 inches.
A professional pitcher in the minor leagues came in who had never had any work done on his throwing arm about mid-season. His only complaint was his elbow hurt a little bit after he pitched. I worked on his arm from his wrist to his neck and after about an hour and a half of "the worst pain I've ever been in," (his words), he left.
A week later I saw his wife at the ball fields and she informed me that he was throwing 97 mph. "Nice" I said. "Ken, he's throwing 97mph!""What," I asked, "was he throwing before he got worked on?" "88" she said. "Okay, what was the fastest he'd ever thrown before?" "92mph."
For those of you not in the sports world this is impossible, or so I thought...and there are only a handful of pitchers in the major leagues that can throw 97mph.
I had expected someone could gain a few MPH but nothing like this. The cool part, (as if that wasn't cool enough), is that not only did his speed increase, his control and accuracy also improved and his ERA dropped from about 5.5 to around 4.0 by the end of the season.
Not everyone is going to experience this level of improvement...for several reasons.
First and foremost we don't work miracles here, just your soft tissue.
The second thing is that your body has to have the ability to actually do the things that these players achieved.
Most people will never be able to run a 4:3.5 or jump very high or throw 97mph. They are genetically, physically unable to do so. But, just as in the cases listed here, we can maximize the ability of any athlete which is what all athletes, and coaches are looking for.