Ryan Kelly

Why the Body Requires Time for Adaptations with Ryan Kelly

Originally published in the Williamson Source –

When stress is placed on the body in some form, the body will start to make adaptations to get better at withstanding that form of stress. The SAID principle is important to understand if you’re looking to build a new skill, improve your sports performance or recover properly from injury.

SAID stands for specific adaptations to imposed demands, which means your body can prepare for a new activity by doing that activity repetitively. But if you do too much of the activity at once, you might suffer an injury. And if you don’t complete the activity often enough or with increasing demands, your body won’t improve and adapt to the action.

Ryan Kelly, DPT, MDT, a physical therapist at Bone and Joint Institute, shared how he uses the SAID principle to help patients achieve their goals at the practice’s new West Franklin location.

What Is the SAID Principle?

The SAID principle helps people understand how to build tolerance for repeated activities to get better at them, or even to get started in them.

Take weightlifting for example: Building strength through weightlifting requires progressive, consistent work. You want to put your body under stress according to the activity you’ll be engaging in, which often relates to a sport or a daily activity.

You wouldn’t train a football linebacker the same way you train a cross country runner because the demands of those sports are vastly different even though the muscle uses and movements might be similar.

The SAID Principle in Action

With spring sports underway and athletes transitioning from offseason training to regular practices, athletes will see the SAID principle in action.

A soccer player, for example, will complete many soccer-specific drills to warm up and practice skills related to their sport. The more practice they engage in with increasing difficulty, the more their body will adapt to those specific skill sets practiced.

The SAID principle applies both to physical and mental changes. If a person is practicing a specific play, skill, or agility move, their body and brain will develop to make that a bit more second nature. The same applies to baseball players looking to improve their hand-eye coordination for pitching or a batter’s timing to hit a baseball.

Risks of Failing to Apply the SAID Principle

Athletes of all types are urged to not go all out the first time they try a new activity. When training to run a marathon, athletes should not increase their distance or speed by more than 10 percent per week. That way, they are not overloading their bodies too quickly to where the body doesn’t have time to adapt to the stress they’re putting on it.

Athletes should consider their training carefully before engaging in an activity. If another athlete’s goal is to be a better soccer player, strengthening the quads could give more power and speed but they wouldn’t necessarily be able to kick the soccer ball any better because they haven’t practiced that activity and technique repetitively. Strength and flexibility improvements can certainly help to prevent or reduce injuries to an extent, but those exercises alone may not improve the actual performance of the activity or sport.

In either avenue of practice, athletes are still working the same muscle groups so strength training for both injury prevention and improved power production is certainly worth the time. But if an athlete wants to kick a soccer ball with better accuracy and power, then kicking it repetitively within proper, safe parameters would be the specific skill needed for your body to adapt.

If someone overtrains, the body can break down and suffer injuries. Perhaps the athlete is doing too much too fast, or they aren’t allowing for enough of a rest period.

For example, if you were to jump up and down, the bones in your feet would get stronger for that activity. But if you were to jump off a ladder, you could break the bones in your foot because it’s too much and your body hasn’t adapted to that stress. Using the SAID principle helps balance the right amount of stress on your body to achieve your goals.

How the Bone and Joint Institute Team Uses the SAID Principle

A fair share of individuals visiting Bone and Joint Institute are not athletes. Instead, they’re looking to prepare for other activities, such as sitting for long periods at their job, preparing for walking distances for exercise or being able to bend and move to do their gardening or play with children and grandchildren. With that, Bone and Joint Institute therapists can help you prepare your body for anything you might have a deficit with to help you reach activity goals.

Whether you’re an athlete or looking to prepare your body for competitive demands or just trying to get back to enjoying a pain-free life, you can schedule a physical therapy appointment with Ryan Kelly, DPT, MDT at Bone and Joint Institute’s West Franklin location by calling (615) 791-2011.