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Increase your speed with neuronuss

Luca Nussbaumer has explored the power of mind over matter to create exercises that push beyond the limits you're facing to reach unimaginable personal bests.

 

With years of experience playing and coaching sports, including hockey and football, Luca knew early on that working to improve physical performance was a passion of his. He just didn't realize the full potential of that idea. So after attending a workshop on the possibility of a neurocentric approach and deciding to study neuroscience and motion control, he built a team of specialists determined to change the way athletes perceive performance and recovery with neuroathletic training.

 

Sarah Klotz, on the FC Luzern team, is no stranger to the world of high-performance sport. She joined neuronuss.team to explore this lesser-known approach to broaden her understanding of the different body systems. "I heard a lot of things, but in university, there was a big black box surrounding all the things that go on behind the scenes. Like how important the input systems are and how they influence everything we do."

 

Luca Nussbaumer, neuronuss Founder

 

So, what is neuroathletic training?

 

"The world was only focusing on the motor output part, but it became obvious that there is another system controlling our muscles." You heard it here first. It is not just about your body. Luca explains that neuroathletic practices look at how we can control understanding the connections we make in our brains when chasing down performance goals.

 

Your brain is always talking to your body – and vice versa. So the reality ends up being that you're not making active decisions about your performance. But you could be.

 

"We see athletes who are told they have peaked in their careers who discover that they were not even functioning at 50%. We have to reeducate them on moving a joint and creating tension. They realize quite quickly how far they could have progressed when they stop relying on just willpower."

 

This deep dive into mind and body has already proven positive. "Once people understand how these parts connect, they're able to identify moments in the past where they were not engaged with all the systems – often leading to poor performance and injury. So teaching these practices from the beginning could stop many young athletes from experiencing injuries and help them develop to their full potential." 

 

Because this field of study is still very new in modern training, it’s constantly developing and improving. "We are probably still not even at 1% of what we could know in 50 years. If we are still learning, then we have to assume this practice can push people further and further as we discover more."

 

Sarah Klotz, neuronuss Coach and Athlete

 

How can I use this?

 

You might not be striving for an Olympic gold medal, but that shouldn't dampen your spirits for wanting to push yourself further. But where to start? Luca says, begin by reflecting on your day. What have you been doing all day? How are you feeling?

 

"About 95% of runners just get up and run. There's no in-between to assess how they feel, their surroundings, and perform a warm-up. You wouldn't go to the gym and instantly pick up a 200kg barbell, so why would you run without a proper warm-up that could prepare you for fast speeds and optimum performance?"

 

Most runners don't know the feeling of a great warm-up. A proper warm-up should be about activating joints and movements and the vestibular system, reflexive stability, and the visual system. Sensory input systems deliver essential information to our brain to decide whether a situation feels safe or not. Only when your brain feels safe on an unconscious level will it allow you to run fast, move quickly, and reach your full potential. "Warm-ups that include movements like knee circles show your brain exactly where your joints can move and avoid the physical responses of hypertension in a fall or misstep – which is how tears happen.“

 

 

Once you start to run, you might find yourself feeling limited. The reason behind this is survival vs. prediction. "Survival instincts tell us there's no reason to make a 100m sprint without something with big teeth chasing you." So to find this energy, we need to create a mindset for our brains so that they understand going faster isn't a threat to our safety. 

 

The better we know our body, the easier it is for our brain to work out what is possible – these are predictions.

 

In its simplest form, this looks like your brain reading input and trying to work out if it can predict your safety.

 

If yes, you'll keep running and be able to increase your speed.

 

If no, your brain will not feel safe and find a way to limit you, either by slowing you down with tiredness or act through motor outputs to alert you. For example, a non-specific knee or ankle pain. 

 

This response is then played back in as new input, and the loop continues. Making sure that your mind trusts your body is ready could be the thing that gets you that new personal record.

 

 

Try it and see

 

Before you set off on your next run, take 5-10 minutes to activate your sensory input systems. We have been working with Luca and Sarah to create the Increase Your Speed series, where they'll walk you through all the best ways to get fired up for optimal performance. 

 

Save this page. Each week we'll be adding a video – don't miss out. 

 

 

Repetitions and instructions

 

Sharpened Romberg assessment hold for 20 seconds

Bounce drill 20 second activity

VOR no-no drill complete 5 reps each way. Move at a speed that allows you to see the target clearly at all times.

VOR yes-yes drill complete 5 reps each way. Move at a speed that allows you to see the target clearly at all times.

   

 

The visual system

 

Keep your eye on the prize by sharpening up your focus and expanding your peripheral range. 

 

 

Repetitions and instructions

 

Forward fold assessment do 4 warm-up reps then go down and stay in the position for 5 seconds

Pencil push up complete 5 reps

Smooth pursuits complete 4 reps each direction

Vertical eye saccades complete 20 reps

 

 

Proprioception

 

Move more and better by awakening your joints and enhancing your awareness and range of motion.

 

 

Repetitions and instructions

 

Repeat vestibular assessment 

Sensory warm up 30 second activity 

Mobility rotations complete 5 reps each direction

 

 

Coordination

 

Bring everything you've learned together and improve coordination with these practices.

 

 

Repetitions and instructions

 

Running mechanics complete the three speeds with three reps (both legs)

Running mechanics integration repeat previous drills integrating head positions 

Drop sets complete 3 reps of each action

 

 

For all the latest on their trainings and global work visit the neuronuss website, follow them on Instagram or sign up for their newsletter and get updates sent straight to your inbox. 

 

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