The Role of Myofascial Slings in Triathlon: Part 2 – Training the Sling System

by Adam Storey, PhD

In the last post, an overview of the myofascial sling system which is comprised of skeletal muscles, fascia, and ligaments was presented. The myofascial slings work in harmony to create strength and stability during movement which reinforces the concept that we need to train movement patterns as opposed to individual muscles.

In Part 2 of this series, the rotational power producing serape effect will be introduced and various exercises that target the myofascial sling system will be discussed.

The Serape Effect:

The synergistic stretch and activation of various tissues across the body to transmit force during rotational-type activities (e.g., running, throwing, kicking, and swimming) is also referred to as the serape effect (Juan C Santana, McGill, & Brown, 2015).

The term “serape effect” is derived from the orientation of the associated muscle groups which are likened to a traditional Mexican serape that is draped over...

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The Role of Myofascial Slings in Triathlon: Part 1 – Understanding Our Sling System

- Adam Storey, PhD


How “easily” we can perform a specific movement or task is a critical determinant of  Long Distance Triathlon (LDT). For example, to run a 3-hour marathon (an excellent running time in an Ironman Distance Triathlon) the average pace is  4:16 min/km. There are many athletes who can run 4:16 for 1 km; the issue most athletes face is that they simply can’t do it easily enough to do it 42 times back-to-back. In their online course Endure IQ LDT 102: Training Program Fundamentals for Long Distance Triathlon, Dan and the team at Endure IQ go through the rationale regarding how, for LDT, it’s likely better to focus on “specific strength” rather than lifting heavy weights in the gym. However, gym-based exercises where the main focus is to improve movement efficiency are still likely to be very beneficial, and, moreover, can be completed is less than 20 minutes; a key consideration for the time-poor long distance...

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