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The Coach’s Daughter

Balance Your Fatigue

KayleeKaylee Gittleson ran hurdles for Ann Arbor Pioneer High School.  The team won three out of four Division I State Championships during her four years.  She is now a junior at the University of Michigan.  Kaylee was told by her dad to write about training from her perspective on the Rogers Blog.


My Dad was a Strength Coach for 30 years.  I literally grew up in a home that was a gym with furniture.  Kaylee explains, if you get in shape and work on your sport skill you will dramatically improve your balance.

I have always wondered why people stood on boards, foam, rubber balls and did curious exercises to work on balance.  Our track team did nothing of the sort yet running hurdles is quite a balancing act, you have to continually fight to hold form as you run.

I decided to ask my father what are the best ways to improve your balance for sport.

“Do you mean Posture-movement during repetitive activity?”…my father replied”

My father likes to make me read stuff before we talk, so he dug out what he called his favorite article on balance, which was actually an article on posture and fatigue.  The article he handed me was about a simple repetitive motion task of having subjects raise there arms over and over.  What wasn’t simple was how the researchers analyzed the motions as they used force plates, electromyography and whole body kinematics to study each movement.

What was interesting was as each subject raised a fatiguing arm they would accompany this with a shift of their body’s center of mass to decrease the load on the fatigued musculature.  They did not think about this they all just did it.  It was like they were all in cahoots.

It suddenly made sense to me.  So, I ran my thoughts by my Dad………To optimize your performance you must optimize your form.  Form is optimized by practicing your skill as close to competition speed as possible and developing the muscular endurance and strength to hold form as your fatigue increases.  If you don’t your body will shift its center of mass to assist in each movement.  Your body’s shift to assist in fatigue throws you out of balance.  So, the best drills to improve balance are to get in great shape practicing your sport.  This is why everyone looks great going over the first hurdle in our track meets and most looked quite different when they got to the last.

So, it is practice and there is no better way to improve balance right Pops?

My father looked at me and said…

Yep….  Go run you need to learn how to balance school and exercise.

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The Pendulum Chest Press Keeps Your Chest In Balance When You Get Strong


Oh Yeah…. My dad says, “Do not contact me.” So, I can’t address your comments.


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