What is a Kinetic Chain?

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What is a Kinetic Chain?
from The American Council on Exercise

The concept of the kinetic chain originated in 1875, when a mechanical engineer named Franz Reuleaux proposed that if a series of overlapping segments were connected via pin joints, these interlocking joints would create a system that would allow the movement of one joint to affect the movement of another joint within the kinetic link. Dr. Arthur Steindler adapted this theory in 1955, and included an analysis of human movement. Steindler suggested that the extremities be viewed as a series of rigid, overlapping segments and defined the kinetic chain as a “combination of several successively arranged joints constituting a complex motor unit.” The movements that occur within these segments present as two primary types—open and closed.

Open-chain Movement
Steindler defined open kinetic chain is defined as a combination of successively arranged joints in which the terminal segment can move freely. In an open-chain movement, the distal aspect of the extremity, or the end of the chain farthest from the body, moves freely and is not fixed to an object. Here are some examples of open-chain exercises:
Seated leg extension
Leg curl
Bench press
Dumbbell biceps curl
Lat pull-down

Closed-chain Movement
Steindler defined closed-kinetic chain exercise as a condition or environment in which the distal segment meets considerable external resistance and restrains movement. In a closed-chain movement, the distal end of the extremity is fixed, emphasizing joint compression and, in turn, stabilizing the joints. Closed-chain exercises, such as the examples below, are considered to be more functional than open-chain exercises.
Squat
Leg press
Wall slides
Lunges
Elliptical training
Stair stepper
Versa Climber
Push-ups

Understanding how the body and all of its segments work together is essential for developing effective exercise programs.

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Posted on May 21, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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