Can you actually move?

So you want to take my advice and want to ditch the old cardio and abs routine for some intense resistance training that will actually help you achieve your fitness goals.  You’re probably thinking (I hope) heavy deadlifts, heavy dumbbell rows, bench press, pullups, single leg squat variations and possibly the prowler if you’ve got a few screws loose.  I’m thinking hold on there chief.

Slow down there guy, we got some work to do first...

The human body needs to be able to do certain movements.  We all think we are just born with our given flexibility and mobility levels and that’s that, time to hit the bench!  But that’s not the case.  We were all born able do any basic human movement, but over time we have lost these abilities do to poor movement patterns for a variety of reasons.  (Most centered around our sitting based society spending most of our time  in desks, cars, and on couches all day.) (This absolutely effects how we move!)

I'll bet this guy can't lift his arm over his head, let alone reach behind his back!

And now we find ourselves possessing the knowledge that we need to be deadlifting and doing other major movements in order to get the results we want.  While this certainly is true, we can’t force what’s not there.  If our body can’t perform basic movements through full ranges of motion and without pain, why would we want to load them up with as much weight as we can handle.  An author and coach I respect a lot, Gray Cook says “don’t add fitness to dysfunction.”  As an example, if you can’t hold a stick over your head and squat down all the way, you probably don’t have the hip and/or back mobility to perform a deadlift.  So I wouldn’t be trying any deadlifts until you fix that squatting pattern. (ask your boot camp instructor if they can fix your squat pattern for you, hint: doing more bad squats won’t cut the mustard)

Does that look like it should be supporting more weight?

This is just one example, but this type of thing goes for every movement we can do as humans.  If your body as adapted to not be able to perform the movement, please do yourself a favor and don’t start doing it with weight!  Sometimes it’s not that your form sucks, it’s that your body just won’t allow proper form.  So get your movements fixed, then start ramping up the weights safely so that you can optimize your results for the time and dedication you put into the gym.

 

-Hunter

 

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Filed under Athletic Performance, Training

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