The Changing World Of Fitness
We are back to another New Year. 2015 is done and gone and 2016 is stretched out before us. People are starting to define their resolutions to get in shape and make their lives better.
There are four points of improvement that I would like to share that have made a profound impact on my life and in the lives of the athletes we work with.
For the past six years, we have always started off our training sessions with foam rolling. We have recently stopped doing that.
Foam rolling is basically rolling on a piece of foam or pipe in order to relieve soreness, get rid of trigger points, improve posture and improve blood flow — among some other benefits.
Instead, we have adopted “mobilizations”. This is a term from the book ‘Becoming A Supple Leopard’. We relate the term to any type of movement that helps to decrease tightness, stiffness, soreness, pain, or increase range of motion, mobility, stability, and recovery.
If one of our athletes comes in and they can’t squat correctly, we have mobilizations in place that can help them get to a proper squat. If someone has shoulder pain, we have mobilizations in place that they can do to alleviate the pain and eventually get rid of the pain in most cases.
A lot of our mobilizations are geared towards reversing the damage of sitting. (Sitting gets its own section down below.)
Understand that mobilizations suck for the most part — meaning that they hurt. However, the more they hurt, the more you need to do them. If you don’t, a host of issues can come up, including:
- Loss of mobility
- Loss of flexibility
- Loss of strength
- Aches and pains
- Not able to work through full range of motion
- Increase chance of injury
- Bad posture
We still do recommend foam rolling, but not before a workout, as it simply takes too much time to make any significant changes. With mobilizations you can usually make a change within two minutes or less.
This isn’t something new that we’ve implemented, it just seems every year we get a little more obsessed about it.
Form is everything. A lot of programs will allow you to get away with poor form to complete a circuit or an exercise — either to do more weight or get it done quicker — and some programs won’t even correct it at all.
As a strength and conditioning program we want to get people stronger and better conditioned. We can’t do that if someone is injured. Perfect form is the requirement in our program, and will work with our athletes to ensure they are performing to the best of their abilities. Because perfect form means that you are working with the proper muscles, recruitment pattern, movement pattern, and you won’t get injured.
When you do an exercise incorrectly you have the potential to do a lot of things, including:
- Added stress on joints (acute and chronic injury/aches/pains)
- Recruitment of the wrong muscles (never realizing full potential of strength/fitness)
- Cause injury
- Shorten your training career (You never know how an injury can affect you physically or psychologically)
- Shorten your life span
- Cause frustration of starting and stopping again
- Affect your posture
There were quite a few studies that came out over the past couple of years stating that ‘sitting is the new smoking’ or ‘sitting is death’.
It has been said that for every hour that you sit, it takes off 22.8 minutes off of your life span, while every cigarette takes off 11 minutes. So, if you smoke and sit a lot, that’s a double whammy. If you sit, smoke, and don’t workout, that’s a triple whammy.
If you sit eight hours a day or more, it doesn’t matter how much you workout — the negative effects cannot be undone by that 30-60 minutes of working out. Your body adapts to what you do most.
Sitting also will affect your workout performance. Your butt, hips, hamstrings, calves, quads, abs, low back all get tight and inactive. They start to build up trigger points. If left untreated, that will start to grow into larger issues as we age. This can restrict movement, flexibility and mobility. It can change to your posture, cause inflammation, and makes you ‘lazy’. The body is supposed to move. It wants to move.
Some remedies for fixing the sitting issues:
- Get a Standing Desk
- Sit on a swiss ball instead of chair
- Make sure you are sitting with good posture
- Set a timer to get up and move, stretch every 15-30 minutes
- Kneel at your desk (either both knees on the floor or one on the floor with your other leg in a lunge position
- Implement some mobilizations
The one mobilization I do everyday is the couch stretch. I do it at my gym and also at home. The minimum recommendation is two minutes per side, but I also recommend that for every half-hour you sit, you should add another minute to each side. If you sit for eight hours a day, that’s 16 minutes per side.
Stop playing small. Workouts never get easy.
Beginners never want to hear that your workouts never get easier. They would like to hear once you get consistent and past the initial shock and soreness that it does indeed get easier. But the stronger you get, the more weight you are able to lift, the longer you are able to last, and the faster you are able to perform certain workouts.
But many people play it small, always doing the same thing over and over again. In order to get the results that you want, you have to constantly be pushing yourself to higher limits. Having written and visible goals makes going after them a lot easier than if they only exist inside your head.
It’s time to become the greatest YOU! 2016 is the year.
Now what are you going to do?
Columbus Underground is celebrating healthy living habits to help you kick off the new year right! Check out all of our Health & Wellness 2016 articles by CLICKING HERE.