Why do you exercise…?
May I simplify the answer to this statement - “TO GET RESULTS!”
Consider your current exercise program and ask yourself the question; am I actually reaching my desired results? What percentage of this am I actually achieving? Assuming you are really putting in the full effort required. If you are currently sitting on the couch eating a MacDonalds burger and drinking a coke (or some similar poison) you are excluded from this conversation.
From the equation: EFFORT = RESULTS, surely the effort you are putting in should be getting you the results you have in mind. If you are one of those unfortunate people who feels that the harder you push, the more you seem to get injured, instead of gaining the results and performance you desire, STOP! Do something different!
In theory, effort is directly related to results, however, we all know we need to work strategically and effectively rather than hard and full on. So what we need to do is change the equation to: EFFECTIVE EFFORT = DESIRED RESULTS. When it comes to exercise, conditioning, performance and the like, the critical factor to those desired results and avoiding unnecessary injuries is POSTURE / FORM / STAND UP STRAIGHT YOU HAIRY OGRE (please choose your own wording!).
In a future article, we will take posture and form a step further into full activation, however, for this article letme explain how the body functions.
Movement is a complex relationship of many structures and not just muscles. Nothing works in isolation in the body. When I talk about movement, this encompasses any structure that participates in movement. First the message from the brain to the body and then all the body parts (muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, bones, cartilage,etc.) that carry out the movement.
There are two types of movements in the body; those movements that provide stability (most important), and then those movements that actually accelerate the body forward along its path. Without the appropriate stability, the components of movement that should provide acceleration, have to sacrifice some of their functions to stabilize the body, and thereby weakening both stability and not providing the desired acceleration required.
I have specifically made mention of “acceleration” rather than “strength”, as to reach your full performance potential of acceleration, you do need big strong muscles (bulky is not necessary), however you also need full range movement flexibility, movement intelligence, movement conditioning and most important, to have done the repetition so that this all happens automatically. So here is your tester – I mentioned that stability is more important than acceleration, so before you pick up that bar and thrust it above your head violently, check as to whether you can find your static stability (Checklist on page two). If you are able to, then you are ready to read on to Part II. If you are not, then you need to practice repetitively for the next 6 to 12 weeks so that you find this position with ease.