Question: What is the most important factor for generating power for an athletic movement (e.g., hitting a ball)?
a. Leg strength
b. Core strength
c. Wearing your lucky underwear
d. Body-ground connection
If you answered “c”, sorry, you are the most wrong you could be. Luck has nothing to do with power generation. Although we won’t lie, a good pair of underwear does help the day go a little better.
The correct answer is “d." While leg strength, core strength, and flexibility are important elements of being able to generate power, they are not the most important. The interaction between the body and the ground is where the power comes from and is based on the laws of physics.
Newton’s first law of motion states that a body (i.e., the athlete’s body) at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it. The ground provides the outside force to act on the athlete’s body, thus enabling the athlete’s body to execute an athletic movement. The force provided by the ground (i.e., ground reactive force) is equal to and opposite the force applied by the body on the ground. Thus, a strong body helps create the force applied by the body on the ground and hence the force applied by the ground on the body, but without the ground, there is no force to generate power for an athletic movement.
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