Dwight Lowery: Week 2
During the second week of training Dwight, the Drift Protocol continued to tell us is that his biggest difference is the asymmetry in his dynamic stability (or how much he is able to control himself while he jumps). This week we lowered his intensity and focused on control while we jumped. After all, what is the use of having a Ferarri if your steering wheel does not take the car where it needs to go?
We then focused on the same biomechanics that he needed from week 1. Mainly this included learning how to load his hips without deviating from a neutral spine position. This meant using Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) techniques to load his hip which leads to optimizing muscle length and contraction (simultaneously) in the hip. We carried over some of the new DNS skills to his running, sprinting, and agility mechanics. His biggest improvement over this last week was exactly what we focused on, his body control. With a 40% decreased power output, he improved his dynamic stability by a whopping 55% from the first week. While there is a decrease in overall power output, it is being applied in a much more efficient pattern. (see the data table within the picture).
I decided to apply these improvements to his running, sprinting, and agility mechanics. As Dwight has said, “a tenth of a second can be the difference between missing a ball, catching a ball, or hitting it down.” Every inch and second is of ultimate value to him. As you can see in the picture his training began with him running in far too much hip flexion, was landing with his foot out in front of him, and was nearly dragging his feet in the swing phase. These same dysfunctions are what I see in nearly every other activity we do. This boils down to him subconsciously not loading his hips and asking this thighs and calves to work profusely. So, before we started with running and sprinting, we addressed his dysfunctions via various DNS maneuvers. This was in order to get his brain to remember how to extend and flex his hip without his spinal position deviating. There is nothing physically wrong with his hips, his brain just does not output the correct pattern, this is where DNS can really shine as evidenced by his running improving without directing him to run differently. DNS taps into genetically hardwired movement patterns and reactivates correct movement. This is also why his Drift Protocol jump scores improve so drastically. Once what he needed to change, he starts tapping into his real potential.
The picture shows three stills of him running at the same speed. The first one was just to get a baseline, the second one is with the DNS exercises changing his output without any running coaching, and the third picture is after only after a few coaching cues combined with the proper DNS patterns activated. The main differences are his hip flexion, as well as his “reaching” and heel striking. After further investigation, the OptoJump told us that the speed of his right leg was much higher than his left. Most coaches would try and speed up his left leg, but in reality, this is his brain avoiding his right hip and trying to get off of it quicker. Once all these things were corrected, his numbers improved drastically. His power efficiency (flight time/contact time) improved by 29.4% on the left and 38.7% on the right! His pace also quickened by 10%. This means that he is having many more efficient steps, generating force more appropriately, as well as increasing his ability to run faster.