The Design of the body
If you look at the body..really look at it (when standing), you’ll notice that the majority of our body’s muscle mass is found on the lower half. Our legs, glutes (butt), calves comprise a huge portion of the total muscle mass found on us. As an creature that spends alot of time on our feet (at least we should), it would make sense that our legs would be the most developed part of our body. Based on the way we are “designed”, some have said that we are designed to travel (move) around 10 miles per day. The upper body, specifically the arm, is designed to be dexterous (used for reaching and grabbing things), not for power. If I told you to move something somewhat heavy, the way you would do it would be to hold it and use your legs to move it…not strap it to your back and get down on all fours…make sense?
Because of this, we then can make the assumption that that the arms are not meant to bear large amounts of weight, especially overhead. Fast forward a few thousand years down the evolutionary path and we arrive at cheerleading (yes, I know we skipped a couple of steps). Now, we are talking about an activity that involves a lot of using the arms for power; things like stunting and tumbling. So now, we take a structure that designed for a ton of weight, the arm, and we load it tremendously with weight over and over and over…which is pretty flippin’ cool…The ability for humans to tumble literally defies all physiological logic. If you’ve never heard of the “bees should have never flied” idea….go Google it. It’s pretty cool. No really go ahead, we will be here when you get back 🙂
The Design of the wrist
I’m not going to bore you with a bunch Latin or Greek words of the structures that make up your wrist. In simple terms, you have the two long bones in your forearm and 8 little bones. Additionally there are a bunch of ligaments, a bunch of tendons, some blood tubes (vessels), and some extra supporting structures. Though there are a lot of pieces, that doesn’t mean it’s very sturdy. Think about the inside of a watch…lots of stuff in a small space…and can also be damaged with not too much force.
Now all of these structures must work together to ensure we have a properly functioning wrist. We want stability in the wrist, but we also must have enough flexibility to get into the proper position for things like tumbling and stunting. When working on flexibility or range of motion, we have to make sure that not only are the structures working together, but that they are also able to work and move independently. There is one activity we can add to our wrist warm up to make sure that we are achieving this independence of structure. To learn how to perform it…check out the video below.
Let’s show love to our little wrists…we ask so much of them!
The Cheer Doc is an online resource for cheer athletes, gymnasts, tumblers, and other acrobatic type athletes to learn how to improve athletic performance as well prevent injuries.