It often acts weird, increases strength and motor skills and helps to injury: elite athletes put therefore on neuro-athletics, many under the guidance of Lars Lienhard. In an interview with FOCUS Online, the sports scientist, explains how the method works and how each can benefit.
More and more professional athletes Supplement their workouts with specific Exercises for the Central nervous system. Neuro athletics (NAT) is the form of training, which was primarily developed by the American Trainer Eric Cobb. What distinguishes it from other forms of training and rehabilitation methods: it is not limited to muscles, joints, and physiological processes, but involves the brain and its motion control features, the current findings from neuro-science and brain research.
Before each athletic performance of brain-power comes
Lars Lienhard (48 years), a sports scientist and former athlete (pole vault, hurdles), is considered the leading German expert in the field of neuro-athletics. He brought this Training to the neural principles in the German high-performance sport, has already trained many well-known athletes according to this novel method, their weaknesses identified, and, so to speak, way trained after injury, their performance increased. Recently, he has also published a book, “Training begins in the brain” (Riva Verlag, € 24.99).
In this way, Lars, Gina gap Kemper, Germany’s fastest woman, even faster, trained with Per Mertesacker, Olympic champion Tatjana Hüfner and many others, and currently the national team players Serge Gnabry. The top athletes come from various sports and disciplines. But what’s really hiding behind this innovative training approach is what is happening here, and this is really only something for a professional athlete? For FOCUS Online, Lars has answered the most important questions.
FOCUS Online: Under Training for more power everyone thinks of sweat-inducing Exercises. With NAT small, often a bit crazy Exercises result in your athlete. This is about Strabismus. What is the cause?
Lars: Any sensory impression from the eyes, our balance system or from the muscle and joints – runs through the body to the brain and in different areas, this Information process, and evaluate. The signals that arise when the eyes cross, especially in the Midbrain. The middle brain is very important, because it is processed, among other things, visual and auditory information with other sensory Stimuli are integrated.
These integration processes are important for optimal stability of the head and neck, as well as a good regulation of the muscular Tonusmuster. Simplified: With the Squint, we enable a mid-brain area, important reflexes start as well as muscular tension regulated.
FOCUS Online: A further Exercise is through the nose snorting – what is the function of the?
Lars: The closer a motor action in the direction of the head, the stronger the neural stimulus, a neural basic phenomenon. The motor activity of the nose when you Snort enabled the so-called Vermis, the middle portion of the cerebellum. The Vermis is responsible to coordinate the spine and the eyes, so the center of the body. The more active the Vermis, the more stable I am in a movement. Snort activates areas of the Brain involved in the motor design, the middle of our body.
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Some lick on batteries – to activate areas of the brain
FOCUS Online: Some athletes also have to the battery leaking?
Lars: Yes, this actually acts a little “strange”. For the media, of course, that was a nice example, because one is chasing, so to speak, of electricity through the body, and Gina then went actually under eleven seconds. But what is really behind it, are the numerous areas of the brain, we can enable targeted on the tongue. If you look at the sensory-motor Humunculus – so which area of the body is represented large in the brain – is the tongue due to their location in these representation fields is enormous and is, therefore, for many aspects of a great role.
FOCUS Online: The tongue is the NAT, therefore, a particularly important “training object”. There are also Exercises with stick out your tongue or close to the palate. But what happens exactly?
Lars: The tongue provides more sensory and motor information to the brain than the whole of the hull. You activated an area in the brain stem, which is also great for rhythm and coordination. In addition, on the tongue, in the brain, adjacent areas will be enabled, such as the insular cortex, your blood circulation is enhanced. In the cortex of the Island of balance integrate information, which in turn is extremely important for motor learning processes.
A the tongue to Activate, we can, ultimately, a very strong stimulus in the Central nervous system, we then as the Preactivation can take advantage of to stitching and then stimuli that do not seem so strong, better, and more sustainable. The tongue is a quasi-pre-activated, our brain, to be able to better and more sustainable. For sports this means that The Athlete can learn the movements faster and more sustainable.
FOCUS Online: NAT works with the scientific knowledge of functional neurology, with the help of a professional athlete, your performance can increase, weaknesses, balance, and injury, as well as Overload prevention. How affects the brain in sports performance?
Lars: Under terms of functional neurology may be the most not much to introduce. Simplified this means: Before it comes to a motor action, many of the processes – the brain needs a lot of good quality information, it must process and then in the appropriate Situation to assess what is the best course of action. From this information, the motor program is created and the muscles are sent. How and where these processes take place and how can you have targeted, we know from the findings of functional neurology.
So we work with the processes that run in advance of a motor action, so that the best designed possible motor program. Each sport has a certain requirement profile of the Central nervous system of the athlete. We’re now going to the Central nervous system in the best possible way to this request.
FOCUS Online: is not the in professional sport, the technology used, the end of the competition, all of the movements before, many times in thoughts to go through?
Lars: Yes, that is a part of our training, the Ideomotorik. The brain does not differentiate between imagined and executed motor skills, for both of which it needs to design the same program. We have trained with an Olympic rodlerin, because we did not know that in Sochi, the training conditions are optimal and not enough time for multiple runs before the race. We also work with ideomotor processes, but this is only a part of our training.
FOCUS Online: How to start the Training with a new client? How long does it take, how often should you practice?
Lars: I train at the initial point of contact around three hours in top-class sport, sometimes longer. First of all, I’m doing a medical history and a neural profile. Because most of the time I am called, Yes, when problems arise. On the basis of many Tests and the injury history I see where my Training should begin – for example, it is a Problem of motor control, a Problem of muscle tone? In how far the visual System, the balance system is involved, et cetera? After that I choose the right Exercises and these will then be trained. About 20 to 30 minutes per day must each invest.
FOCUS Online: can Anyone of the NAT benefit, even Amateur athletes, or basically anyone?
Lars: Yes, everyone. Especially the many who work physically monotonous, so who have to sit a lot and the Monitor works, or, in General, little movement. In the case of these people the Central nervous system is impacted often even more than professional athletes. For you to improve the motion control systems is particularly important. NAT can provide excellent services.
Exercises for everyday life: eye-sun support to Palming
FOCUS Online: What Exercises do you recommend those a lot of sitting at a Desk?
Lars: If someone has a little bit of moving, the brain receives too little stimuli of the motion(mechano -) receptors, as a result, not only the relevant neural areas in their function is reduced, it affects the entire brain. Our brain is “alive” quasi-movement in simple terms. Mechano-receptors are mainly located in the tissues around joints, in the muscle-tendon junctions and ligaments. Therefore, appropriate Exercises include, for example, with joint circles to the base of our training and are especially important for those who move little and much have to sit.
FOCUS Online: there Are other Exercises for everyday life, suitable?
Lars: it is Important around the eyes to relax. The work with Palming. RUB your hands until they are warm. You put it over the closed eyes and try to make it completely dark. The darkness and the Shield of all the stimuli do the eye to recover. Because if the eyes have Stress, the whole body under pressure. We use Palming also in athletes in the break on the discharge.
A further, simple, but effective Exercise from the NAT: if you run your Finger in a Spiral and circular movements in front of the eyes and every one of the movements with the eyes to follow. Try to see the Finger sharply and coordinate the eyes correctly. You are not allowed to move the head.
Also, the initially described Squint is a good Exercise that we call the eye. Keep the index finger on a level with the root of the nose about 40 to 50 inches away and bring the Finger slowly up to the nose; look at him with both eyes. The eyes will go, inevitably, to the inside, squinting. The trained eye muscles, which are used in their function or else little, acts on the Midbrain and stabilized, in addition the neck spine is effects, the for Desk workers especially valuable.
FOCUS Online: Who specifically NAT to use would like to, where to?
Lars: There are different neuro athletic trainer. Pay attention to trainers who have learned according to the training system from Dr. Eric Cobb. This is about at Perform Better and Focus on Performance.