Movement of the Week: Slow Motion Soccer Kick

It's been a while since I posted a video in my Movement of the Week series. Perhaps I should call this the "Movement of Indeterminate Time Frame." Anyway the featured movement in this post is a very cool slow motion video of a vicious soccer shot. I found this after Clifton Tarski commented on my "Best Athlete in the World" series. He argued that soccer players should not be deemed to be athletically superior to basketball players because they do not need to use their arms. Perhaps a fair point, but I replied that the arms of a soccer player need to do a lot of coordinated work to counterbalance to the activities of the legs. I thought the video below was a very interesting and awesome example of that.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to embed the video in this post, but if you click the link below, a separate window will open and you can watch it there. Then click back over here for my comments.

Awesome slow motion soccer kick video

There are many features of phenomenal movement demonstrated here but the one that caught my eye and that I wanted to talk about was the use of the arms to counterbalance the legs.

Watch the video again and compare the movements of the left arm to the right kicking leg. You will notice that there is a marvelous reciprocity there. As the right leg and left arm trace graceful circular arcs through the air, they are almost always parallel to one another.

Watch again and pick any one point in time, and compare the left hand to the right foot, the left forearm to the right lower leg, the left upper arm to the right thigh. They are almost always like mirror images of one another in their positioning relative to the other body parts. And the left hand and right foot are almost always equidistant from the center of gravity. On the follow through, note how the left hand and right foot slowly lower to the ground at the same pace. And then watch the video again and note similar patterns of counterbalance and reciprocity between the left stance leg and right arm. Totally cool.

When someone does something absolutely perfectly you can learn a lot about basic principles of good movement by watching. Especially in slow mo. Viva la youtube! (But c'mon man I need to embed!)