Dr. Terry Weyman, owner of Chiropractic Sport Institute (CSI) in Los Angeles, CA explains his new method of independent Mind/Body training using an interactive video game and the Indo Board Balance Trainer. Terry is helping to prepare his son Tyler, a top-ranked, national class motocross rider for Loretta Lynn Amateur National Championships; the most prestigious race in the U.S. for amateur motocross riders. A complete explanation of this training method can be found below the video.
In sports our bodies often act independently from our minds. Our minds are thinking strategy and foresight while our bodies go into trained autonomic function of performance. I noticed that when my son Tyler ( a national-class, competitive motocross rider) was playing his video game while on the couch he would be so focused that at times he would not hear us calling his name. I also noticed when Tyler was training on his Indo Board he could balance, squat and perform difficult resistance movements all day long without losing stability or balance. But one day I had him play his video WHILE standing on his Indo Board and he was unable to pull it off! As soon as he got into the video it was very difficult for him to remain balanced on his Indo Board. I wanted to know why?
The answer lies in the fact that the body is almost always multitasking, both with conscious and unconscious thought as well as conscious and unconscious movement. In competition the athlete must be able to think and make mental decisions while his/her body is in full function. (Focus with performance). The combination of the video game and the Indo Board showed the extremes one can go to in an effort to create this multitasking environment. How do you train for this?
The answer lies in the fact that humans have two pathways in the nervous system; Afferent* and Efferent*, as well as voluntary and involuntary movement. With this in mind I set out to figure out how to train all of these systems at the same time and create a true multi-tasking environment. To effectively do this I believe you must train them independently, yet at the same time. Keep in mind however, that the Wii™ and other balance games do not accomplish this since the “balance board” is integrated into the game thus ensuring the player’s balance is controlled by conscious thought rather than unconscious thought.
My method works like this: the game is held by the hands and takes mental thought. Since the game changes every second and is “unpredictable” and very sensitive, it requires constant multi-button actions that task both the right brain and left brain. When you add an INDEPENDENT balance board with unpredictable movement, such as the Indo Board, you are training proprioception (body awareness), voluntary/involuntary physical movement and mental dexterity and thereby creating the “Perfect Storm” of multi-tasking.
Tyler is preparing for Loretta Lynn’s, the most prestigious race for amateur motocross riders in the United States. Hopefully this new training method will give him the edge he needs to perform at a very high level.
In the muscles, the muscle spindles convey information about the degree of muscle length and stretch to the central nervous system to assist in maintaining posture and joint position. The sense of where our bodies are in space is called proprioception, the perception of body awareness. More easily demonstrated than explained, proprioception is the “unconscious” awareness of where the various regions of the body are located at any one time.
Several areas in the brain coordinate movement and position with the feedback information gained from proprioception. The cerebellum and red nucleus in particular continuously sample position against movement and make minor corrections to assure smooth motion.
The efferent leg of the peripheral nervous system is responsible for conveying commands (nerve impulses) from the central nervous system to effectors, such as the muscles and glands. It is ultimately responsible for voluntary movement. Nerves move muscles in response to voluntary and autonomic (involuntary) signals from the brain. Deep muscles, superficial muscles, muscles of the face, and internal muscles all correspond with dedicated regions in the primary motor cortex of the brain, directly anterior to the central sulcus that divides the frontal and parietal lobes.
In addition, muscles react to reflexive nerve stimuli that do not always send signals all the way to the brain. In this case, the signal from the afferent fiber does not reach the brain, but produces the reflexive movement by direct connections with the efferent nerves in the spine. However, the majority of muscle activity is volitional, and the result of complex interactions between various areas of the brain.