The use of technology in sport has been growing rapidly over the last 15 years and has had a profound impact on athletes. Technology has been implemented both on the field as well as in the training room with the intention of keeping athletes ready to play at their best. Interestingly, injury rates in professional leagues has been increasing in this same time frame suggesting that current technologies may be lacking.
For many years in the world of performance, there has been a dichotomy between research oriented sports science and the application by the practitioners of strength and conditioning. One of the primary reasons for this is that lab or research work often does not occur in the right kind of setting to map back to actual performance on the field or in the weight room. The skilled practitioner has been able to utilize research and lab findings to establish best practices, but understanding individual muscular or physiological differences in real time for athletes has been a challenge. Recent developments in technology are changing that landscape, making many such research and lab tools more accessible to coaches. Surface Electromyography (sEMG)has been an example of a useful tool in the lab that has limited application in day to day training because of the complexity of using it in performance settings and the difficulty with which the data is presented. sEMG has traditionally been a research tool that has been used for many years in the research and laboratory setting to measure the electrical signal or motor unit activation in a muscle. This provides incredibly useful data on the way muscles are used by athletes in different training motions and modalities, especially if it can be measured in performance settings.
The posterior chain is the group of muscles on the back side of the body while the anterior chain is the group of muscles that runs up the front of the body. Posterior muscles of the legs include the glute, hamstring and calves while the anterior muscles include the quads and the tibialis. The muscles in the posterior chain are important for many reasons.. The combination of the size and higher ratio of fast twitch fibers in these muscles makes them best to produce explosive, powerful movements. It is generally accepted that when it comes to explosive power, the posterior chain contributes about 60%, the quads about 30% and everything else about 10%.