Interview with Adarian Barr, Coach and Innovator

This is part 11 of the Freelap Friday Five Series, 2013 Edition. To review the 16 part 2012 edition, click here.

Part 1 was Matt Scherer, Professional Pacer-Rabbit.

Part 2 was Stuart McMillan, Bobsled and former UKA Sprint Coach.

Part 3 was Dean Starkey, PV Coach and former Elite Pole Vaulter.

Part 4 was Mike Hurst, Journalist and Australian 400 meter Coach.

Part 5 was Craig Pickering, UK Sprinter and Bobsledder

Part 6  was April Holmes, Paralympic 100m Olympic Gold Medalist

Part 7 was Chip Jenkins, former 600m AR, and 4x400m 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist

Part 8 was Kevin Tyler, former UKA Head of Coaching

Part 9 was Liam Collins, a 400mH, Bobsledder, and dancer with Faces of Disco

Part 10 was Doug Logan, former CEO of USATF and MLS Commissioner

PREAMBLE: Track and Field needs innovation.  When you consider 10.00 & 44.00 seconds are the “Gold” standards for the Men’s 100m and 400m, and 11.00 & 50.00 seconds Women, those record were broken 40-45 years ago!  Even today, those are the major milestones  (in a few decades, those should be the IAAF “B” standards… just kidding?)

Are we following the same outdated style of coaching despite better nutrition, better recovery methods, custom spikes and harder tracks?  You can even add drugs to that equation and we should be seeing a LOT more record shattering performances.  But we aren’t.

It’s time to think outside the box. 

So for this Friday Five, it’s time to look at some innovation, and what better person to interview than Movement Specialist and Track & Field coach Adarian Barr of Next Level Athletics and Fitness.  You can read Adarian’s past guest articles here on this Blog.

Whether you agree with him or not is up to you, but feel free to comment below and engage in some discussion.  Like BASF, there is no right or wrong… only better.

Friday Five is sponsored by Freelap Track and Field, a leader in electronic timing.

Interview with Adarian Barr, Coach and Innovator

Freelap Friday Five

Q1.  Back in 2008, I wrote about the Dynamic Warm Up vs. Static Stretching Controversy.  Since then, we have spoken about PALO (which means “STICK” in Spanish) in these three past articles on PALO.  Can you summarize exactly what are the benefits of PALO? 

adarian barr palo

Adarian Barr:  Sure, in three words… Elongation, Rotation and Activation.

PALO is designed to work the whole system (muscles, fascia and joints), not just parts that may isolate one for the sake of the other.

Rotation is needed in order to elongate and elongation is needed to rotate as you activate the muscles in a sequence that teaches the brain a movement pattern.

Humans are torque beings; and torque is rotation or twisting. We are more efficient moving with rotation than we are linearly. Muscle fibers run at angles, not linearly. We have joints that allow us to move the end points of the muscles farther away from each other via rotation. Linear movements keep the distance between the end points fixed which makes it difficult to elongate a muscle.

PALO facilitates a shorter warm up period. With over 1000 stretches and exercises, there isn’t a muscle or joint that can’t be addressed with PALO. Athletes that have used PALO have reported injury free seasons. In addition, individuals have reported an endorphin release that can last up to five hours after just 20 minutes of using PALO.

Q2. Arm action gets a lot of attention these days.  I feel arm action should work together, and not simply pump up and down.    Can you summarize the best way to use the arms, hands and elbows?

Adarian Barr:   In sprinting, rotation of the arms, hands or elbows is the best movement; there are less braking actions, if any, when rotation is used. The best focus point is the elbow as the elbow creates the easiest rotational movement.

An easier, faster and more natural straight line movement could be executed by the following action:

Bring the elbow in towards the midline of the body as it comes forward, try to push it back around on the rearward movement instead on a back and forth linear style.

This helps reduce braking action as rotational movements have natural stopping points; which in turn means energy is not used to brake or slow the movement. Rotational movement also makes the arms move together with fluidly instead of in a different direction which can create a counter balance for force.

Q3.  What’s all this talk about Pelvic Tilt?  Just go to YouTube and you see these Internet Sprint Gurus teaching the importance of Pelvic Tilt. Why is it good?  In addition, I see Long jump coaches try to teach that shorter penultimate stride.  Can pelvic tilt help?

Adarian Barr:   Pelvic tilt refers to joints and movement; posterior and anterior pelvic tilt dictates foot strike.

Anterior pelvic tilt assists with flat footed movement and posterior pelvic tilt for ball of foot movement.

The tilt direction allows for the body to fold up and unfold fast and efficiently.

As you stand up and squat down, the pelvis naturally moves from one tilt to the other.  Pelvic tilt creates internal loading; this is how the body anchors itself for powerful movements. A long jumper having problems at takeoff can be corrected with pelvic tilt angle. A sprinter wanting to create more force at the start can do so with pelvic tilt, in the blocks. Pelvic tilt brings the top and bottom parts of the body together but allows each to move without affecting each other. Pelvic tilt also reduces hamstring strain.

Q4.  In the last podcast with Kenta’ Bell, he talked about foot strike and landing, especially flat footed.  What are benefits of the flat foot?

Adarian Barr:   Rotation, rotation rotation or torque and more torque and more torque!

Individuals assume they want dorsi flexion and platar flexion when running; but what is really needed is to pronate, supinate invert and evert. These are all rotational actions; in opposition, dorsi flexion and plantar flexion are linear actions.

The manner of which one achieves flat footedness is very important in order for it to have the greatest benefits of rotation or torque. Just as a boxer twists or rotates the fist when throwing a punch to create more power and faster movement, so should we do the same with the feet to achieve the same benefits, power and fast movements. This all comes with flat footed movement. Working from the back end of fifth metatarsal to the front end of the first metatarsal pronation set up via inversion of the foot.

Q5.  (I am running out of questions, as usual).  Let’s go outside the box.  I see on your Facebook feed a lot about your Wacky Insoles.  Tell us about it!

Adarian Barr:   Wacky Insoles allow the feet to move within the shoe as if they are on dirt. Feet have to be able to create strong downward pressure in order to move the body efficiently. Dirt deflects and then compacts, so when the feet are on dirt, the joints of the foot are allowed to operate. When the feet are in shoes or on any other surface, the joints’ movements are interfered with.

The biggest benefit of using Wacky Insoles is the ability to have control of energy usage, direction, and timing. These are the only insoles that are not designed to cushion or absorb energy but instead help reduce energy leakage along with helping one steer the energy in the right direction at the right time. Wacky Insoles allow for an increase in communication between the foot and the brain. Wacky Insoles increase force output by reducing the surface area and may even increase force output through a reduced surface area.

Wacky Insoles take the pressure off of the soft tissue areas of the foot. They reduce strain on the Achilles Tendon by promoting either rotational foot movement or linear foot movements.

Comments

  1. Fabien says

    Hi, there’s a lot of thing that I don’t get in the article. For example :
    “Muscle fibers run at angles, not linearly.”

    1)You can be at an angle and still be linear? What do you mean?

    Then you state :

    “Athletes that have used PALO have reported injury free seasons.”

    2)How do they know PALO was the reason?

    or

    “individuals have reported an endorphin release that can last up to five hours after just 20 minutes of using PALO.”

    3)How did they know they had an endorphin release?

    “Bring the elbow in towards the midline of the body as it comes forward, try to push it back around on the rearward movement instead on a back and forth linear style.”

    4) Do you have a video, I don’t really get it.

    Thank you.

    • adarian, complexmeetssimple.com says

      When you have an athlete that has injuries, nagging hamstring problems, low back problems and then they start using PALO and they no longer have those injuries, PALO is why.

      When you look at the glutes or the calf muscles, chest , shoulders, traps, and so forth which direction is the line of pull ? Very few muscles line of pull is straight. So if the direction is one way why are we trying to stretch them in another direction?

      All I can say if that those that use PALO report feeling high like, just like runners high but more intense. Is it really endorphin, who knows but the sensation of being high is reported, feeling like they can do anything is reported.

      Elbow toward the mid line of the body. Once again which direction do the chest muscles run, the pect majors pull the shoulder toward the mid line of the body. When the elbow is to the rear of the body the chest muscles are elongated, they will now pull the shoulder and elbow back towards the body. The elbow comes forward and should end up right in front of the chest muscles. The direction of pull is toward the mid line of the body.

  2. JJ says

    Quote Adarian:
    “The manner of which one achieves flat footedness is very important in order for it to have the greatest benefits of rotation or torque. Just as a boxer twists or rotates the fist when throwing a punch to create more power and faster movement, so should we do the same with the feet to achieve the same benefits, power and fast movements. This all comes with flat footed movement. Working from the back end of fifth metatarsal to the front end of the first metatarsal pronation set up via inversion of the foot.”

    sounds very interesting – but unfortunately I can not catch on it.
    Gould you be so kind to explain that awesome topic in detail ?

    thx a lot ….

    JJ:-)

    • says

      Been on the road traveling teaching the above concept to high school track athletes.
      Torque and more torque. Flat footed , learned from a coach this weekend that he likes to say more of the foot or fuller foot involved in sprinting.
      The idea is to keep the foot moving by rolling the foot. Inversion to pronation instead of doris flexion to plantar flexion. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4db40440-e1ea-11e1-b3ff-00144feab49a.html#axzz2QjU4eEBv, shows a good picture of the foot being inverted prior to ground contact. Upon the ground contact the foot will pronate or roll from the outside edge to the inside edge of the foot.

  3. JJ says

    no feedback ? Adarian ?
    I would have appreciated it very much …

    nevertheless thx for the interesting interview.

  4. says

    Palo has helped me tremendously. Before using Palo I was already an exceptional athlete, naturally Long Jumping a 23’11ft Jump & winning dunk contests. But once Coach Adarian showed me Palo, it took my athletic ability to new levels. I wasn’t able to touch my toes and after using Palo for a month I could touch my toes right out of bed. This is after trying everything I was taught growing up and playing sports. Taking someone with minimal ability and getting them to improve is great, but taking someone who has crazy ability innately and taking that talent to higher levels is when you know something really works. Palo doesn’t make you #1, but i surely gives you a better opportunity to succeed at your highest level guaranteed. I went from a kid that was best in California to being #1 in the nation and making it to the Olympic trials after only a year with Adarian and Palo. Also someone who was winning inner city dunk contest to being Kobe Bryants 2 time slam dunk champion as well as dunking with Blake Griffin. Palo has taken my skills to the next level by giving my body the opportunity to work more efficiently and maximize my full potential. I am 5’9″ by the way. Go PALO or go Home!

  5. Josh says

    Hi Coach Barr, my coach at my college introduced me to the PALO and I ordered one myself and I would like to know if you had a catalog of any stretches to do with the PALO. I have had a nagging hamstring injury and I have a bad back and im beginning to understand that they may be related. I had to redshirt this last season and id like to come back stronger and injury free.

    -Thanks!

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