Triphasic Training Principle 20 – Founded in 2012 


The concept of kinetic chain rate limiters is a game-changer for athletes aiming to reach their peak performance levels, whether they’re Olympic champions, world-class athletes, or seasoned professionals. In the highly competitive world of sports, the kinetic chain, composed of interconnected joints, muscles, and bones, is the key to unlocking athletic prowess. When rate limiters emerge within this chain, they can be a major obstacle, causing setbacks, injuries, and hindrances to an athlete’s journey toward greatness. This article explores the profound impact of rate limiters on athletes and how addressing them can pave the way for athletes to overcome these obstacles and perform at their best.

The Kinetic Chain in Athletic Excellence:

In the realm of sports, the kinetic chain is the foundation of exceptional performance. It is a complex and interconnected system where every joint, muscle, and bone plays a vital role in an athlete’s pursuit of excellence. When rate limiters enter the picture, they disrupt the harmonious functioning of this chain, leading to issues like compromised movement patterns, tendinitis, and debilitating joint pain, all of which can impede an athlete’s progress.

Addressing Rate Limiters:

Now, let’s delve into how athletes are addressing rate limiters to reclaim their peak performance levels.

Compensation Patterns:

Compensation patterns can silently sabotage an athlete’s performance. Consider a sprinter with underperforming hip abductor muscles. This deficiency can destabilize their pelvis during sprints, causing compensatory movements like excessive hip sway, lateral trunk lean, and exaggerated contralateral arm swing also known as the Lateral Sling. A Simple way to test and fix a lateral Sling Problem. These compensations reduce efficiency and speed. Athletes address these issues by focusing on strengthening weak muscles and restoring proper biomechanical alignment.

Rate limiter disruption on movement patterns and coordination in athletes:

Rate limiters within an athlete’s kinetic chain can trigger a domino effect, altering movement patterns and coordination. When these rate limiters disrupt the natural flow of kinetic energy, athletes instinctively compensate by adjusting their mechanics. These compensatory movements often place an increased workload on supporting tissues and muscles within the kinetic chain. For example, if an athlete has weak hip abductor muscles, they may unconsciously modify their running or jumping technique, shifting the burden to other muscle groups or joints, such as the contralateral lower back or lateral knees. In 2019, Korist and Dietz discovered a significant link between the biceps femoris and gluteus medius. The gluteus medius is directly connected to the bicep femoris, and if the gluteus medius fails to perform its role, the bicep femoris steps in to stabilize the hip. Consequently, the bicep femoris ends up carrying an extra workload.   This redistribution of strain not only diminishes performance but also elevates the risk of overuse injuries in the overburdened areas of the body. Therefore, recognizing and addressing rate limiters is pivotal for athletes to maintain efficient movement patterns, reduce unnecessary strain on supporting structures, and optimize their overall athletic potential.

Rate limiters in Rate of force development (RFD) and Power output : 

Rate limiters within the kinetic chain are akin to invisible barriers that can significantly diminish an athlete’s (RFD) and Power output during activities like running and jumping. These rate limiters manifest as weaknesses, imbalances, or restrictions within the interconnected system of joints, muscles, and bones that make up the kinetic chain. When an athlete runs or jumps, their body relies on the efficient transfer of energy from one link in the chain to the next. However, when a rate limiter disrupts this flow, energy leaks occur, resulting in reduced power generation. For instance, if the hip muscles are weak or dysfunctional, the force generated from the legs may not transfer effectively to propel the athlete forward or upward, limiting their speed and jumping ability. Addressing these rate limiters through targeted training and rehabilitation becomes imperative for athletes seeking to maximize their (RFD) and Power and athletic performance.

A kinetic chain rate limiter can have a cascading effect on an athlete’s flexibility and mobility due to compensatory adjustments and the increased workload placed on other tissues. When a rate limiter disrupts the harmonious movement of the kinetic chain, athletes often adapt by employing compensatory mechanisms that may involve muscles, joints, or movement patterns not typically engaged in the task at hand. Over time, these compensations lead to increased stress and strain on certain tissues, causing them to become progressively stiffer and less pliable. This repetitive cycle of compensation and tissue overuse can result in reduced flexibility and mobility, hampering an athlete’s range of motion and overall performance. Recognizing and addressing rate limiters are essential steps in maintaining optimal flexibility and mobility while preventing the development of chronic stiffness and its associated limitations.


Tendinitis is a common concern for athletes, and rate limiters often contribute to its development. Take the example of a high jumper with limited ankle dorsiflexion due to muscle tightness or joint restrictions. This limitation can lead to inadequate force absorption during jumps, forcing the athlete to overcompensate and strain the Achilles tendon, resulting in inflammation and tendinitis. Athletes combat this by working on flexibility and mobility to prevent such overuse injuries.

Joint Pain:

Joint pain can sideline even the most elite athletes, and rate limiters are frequently the culprits. For instance, a golfer who spends extended periods sitting can experience weakened gluteal muscles. These muscles are crucial for hip joint stability during swings. Weakened gluteal muscles can lead to increased stress on surrounding structures, potentially causing hip impingement or lower back discomfort. Athletes mitigate joint pain by incorporating targeted strength and stability exercises into their training routines.


In the world of sports, understanding and addressing kinetic chain rate limiters are crucial steps in unlocking peak athletic performance. Whether you’re an Olympic champion, a world-class athlete, or a dedicated professional, recognizing the impact of rate limiters and actively addressing them can make all the difference. By focusing on strengthening weaknesses, improving flexibility, and enhancing joint stability, athletes can optimize their kinetic chain, minimize the risk of tendinitis and joint pain, and ultimately enjoy a career marked by outstanding success and a pain-free athletic journey.