We all want to be healthy and strong, so we exercise. Unfortunately, for many of us, those plans are derailed before the train can really leave the station.
Injuries and stiffness take us off the path to strength and health. An injury can be cause by a variety of different factors, but the most common is some sort of compensation, and bad neighbors. Let me explain…
Let’s say your Left Hip is stiff, and doesn’t move as much as it should. When you go to do something, the neighbors are going to try to compensate for that lack of mobility when you try to perform a task. If you can’t flex the hip (knee toward your chest), during your deadlifts, the lower back is going to pick up the slack with EXTRA movement. In order to get this extra movement, it’s going to lose some of its stability. So now the whole system is compromised, and you’re likely to suffer an injury.
Tips to Re-rail the Train (and stay on the tracks permanently)
#1: Take your joints through their full range of motion with control
Remember from Ultimate Athleticism how we define athleticism:
“Athleticism is the ability to move uninhibited in any range of motion with strength, speed, and coordination along with the ability to seamlessly adapt to any situation.”
When it comes to range of motion, if you don’t use it, you lose it. So draw some big circles with all of your joints daily, just like in 5 minute flow.
#2: Train your core
Plank, Side Plank, and Anti-rotation exercises. These are your friends. If you lack stability through the core, the neighboring areas are going to compensate for that lack of stability. Say your oblique doesn’t do its job. The lat might pick up the slack. Problem with this is that your lat can’t be a lat anymore, so now your shoulder is missing the biggest muscle attached to it. Those little rotator cuff muscles can’t be a lat, no matter how many self-help seminars they attend or how dialed in their positive thinking is.
This same lack of core stability can force your hip muscles to try to be core muscles, thus creating the same domino effect down the chain, possibly causing low back pain, knee pain, etc.
This point has been made a million times, but it still needs to be said, because people don’t follow this simple advice! You MUST prioritize glute/hamstring work as well as upper and middle back work. Your glutes are the biggest muscles in your lower body. Your lats are the biggest muscles in your upper body.
Train them accordingly.
I like to aim for a 2:1 ratio of pulling movements (rows, chin-ups, and face-pulls for upper body. Leg curls, romanian deadlifts, bridging for lower body).
Check This Out
The Hips and Shoulders, because they have so many commonly injured direct neighbors (Low back, Knees, Elbows, Neck), really need extra attention when it comes to a well thought out strength and mobility program. Unfortunately this is an area where many trainers lack a thorough understanding of how to put a plan together and execute. I was recently given an advanced copy of The Complete Hip and Shoulder Blueprint which was a 2 day workshop filmed with my friends Tony Gentilcore and Dean Somerset.
It’s over 11 hours of content. It’s very informative, so you’ll get smarter. If you’re a coach, you should definitely pick up a copy. Also, it’s on sale. And you get CEU’s. Win.
(Check out this preview of Tony discussing Scapular Motion)
For those of you who are not coaches, Simple Shoulder Solution is going to give you a more user friendly understanding of how the shoulder works, and what you should do to prevent common injuries.
Not ready to take the plunge yet? Just start doing your 5 minute flow (how-to video) every morning and get a little better every day.
Better every day,