Thursday, July 1, 2010


This is one of the more impressive things I've seen lately. This obviously displays her posterior chain strength, and equally impressive coordination around the hips and torso; able to maintain a relatively stable hip and pelvic position throughout. What one can assess from this is some tremendous capacities around her center of gravity, which is a commonality of great athletes. But the real key is to be able to take this kind of strength and have the body control to use it well on one's feet.

Now whether this specific strength translates directly to performance (bobsledding in this case) is questionable, but coupling this ability with Emily Azevedo's athletic background, makes her a pretty legit athlete. The video is just a brief glimpse of the abilities of an elite athlete as the glute-ham raise is not always indicative of many things... but it is a glimpse of some capacities, especially when the glute-ham raise is done off the floor in this manner... my first response was WOW.

A few quotes from an article on Emily:

“At first I was a little surprised. I know nothing about bobsledding,” Edson said. “However, when I saw her perform, it appears to be an event that is made for her— requiring strength, quickness, some size, good balance and kinesthetic awareness. Those requirements are true for both hurdling and bobsledding.”

The translation into bobsledding success was relatively easy for Azevedo.

“Being a hurdler and a gymnast, you learn a lot about body awareness and biomechanics,” she said, “and especially being a gymnast from a young age, you learn about all of that. That carried into hurdling. I’ve learned how to make adjustments – it’s easier for me to compute what needs to be done.”

In bobsledding: “There is a lot of technique involved— not just sprinting with the sled. It’s pushing 500 pounds successfully and fast… and knowing how to make adjustments and fix things technically.

“Hurdling is a technical event – I loved it. It’s not just sprinting and running. Running is not as exciting as hurdling. It’s the same kind of thing in bobsledding. Loading into the sled – throwing your body in – it takes practice.”

An important take away here though is Emily's heavy background in gymnastics, which she competed in up until age 16, and her track ability. She, at one time, held the 100 meter hurdle record at the University of California Davis. What makes her truly legit is the fact that she can run. So many coaches and athletes like to highlight weightroom feats, but my question is: can they run? The ability to run is fundamental, but to do it fast and well is important. In most sports, big numbers doesn't matter if one can't run well. Let's see both, strength and speed, with great coordination as Emily has.


Hat tip to Josh Leeger for directing me to the video and to Jason Ross for posting it.


jleeger said...

Yeah man...I was blown away by this! Really strong. Check out Ross Enamait's site too...he pulls off some leans wearing a weight vest. Guy is insane. And I know he can run too!

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