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Movement Patterns and Muscular Activation: The Missing Link to Performance and Longevity PART 1

It is absolutely crazy to me. It is the pink elephant in the room. Yet still, hardly anyone sees it. Fewer people talk about it. And even fewer people do something about it. Here’s the deal. You want to get fit. Get in shape. Feel and actually be healthy. Good for you. Seriously. Some people straight up don’t care. Well, that’s not completely true. Eventually they will. When they finally do it is often because they are in a lot of pain just doing super simple simple things like standing, sitting, and picking things up off the floor. Maybe that’s you already? If it is, no judgment. That was me too, once upon a time. But that’s another story for another time. (seriously, I’ll definitely write a blog about my story and share soon). 

So what do you do to get fit? Just do a HIIT routine (high-intensity interval training) or some form of circuit training a few times a week. Or lift weights with a ton of cardio mixed in. That’s what most people would do. But here’s the problem with that strategy. Move more doesn’t work. And here’s why.

While there are always exceptions, for most people, some version of the following typically occurs. You do a high intensity workout. It makes your blood move and soaks your clothes with sweat. You breath hard. It sucks, but it also feels good, like you are finally back on track. So you do it again. You even start to lose some weight. Reassurance that things are working out well for you. Maybe you see increased muscle tone. BOOM! Things are great… until they’re not. Because if you were actually lucky enough to make it this far here’s what happens next. 

A few weeks or a month or two into training something starts to hurt. Just a little. Maybe it’s an elbow, knee, wrist, or some combination of pains. Or worse, it’s your back. It’s sore, there is pain, and even worse, you don’t know why. Sometimes it seems inflamed even. “No pain, no gain”. You push forward for a few more weeks. For whatever reason, the initial weight loss plateaus along with seeing much change in your muscular definition and development. You keep going. Harder. You’re still sweating. You’re still breathing hard, three to five times a week even. All good signs that you are indeed exercising. And that is good because, well, exercise is good for you (or so you’ve bee told). So you continue. And then it happens. 

Something gives out. Tears, snaps, cracks, or pops. You walk it off. It feels better after some time. It was just a freak accident. You’re not even sure how it happened. Maybe you just moved funny once and something got tweaked. But eventually it happens again. And then again. Different parts of your body begin break down. You have to take a couple weeks off to recover. Then months. Then it’s just safer not to move anymore so you don’t aggravate said injuries. But you know you need to move more to be healthy and fit… and voila, you’re stuck. In a pickle. A lose-lose scenario with no clear way out. Sound familiar? 

I know this story because I see some version of it all the time. And I know this story because like I said at the beginning, it was me. Not just once either. I experienced some variation of this time and time again for years. 

While repetition and consistency can be your best friends on your path towards greater health, it can also be the thing that breaks you, literally. If you don’t move well, with good form and a well organized structure, a properly activated core, etc… and you do it over… and over… and over, you create compensation patterns in your body. You risk putting pressure on specific areas of your neck, spine, tissues, as well as your ligaments, especially if you are doing it with any amount of momentum and/or a load. 

You have to start to think about your path towards greater health, fitness, and longevity in terms of phases. Your routines and practices shouldn’t look the same throughout your entire life. You should be meeting specific and basic goals that build a sturdy foundation while slowly increasing levels of complexity over time. Incrementally increasing and creating diversity in your practice. Mixing things up.

And the phase MOST people skip is the phase MOST people should be starting at. Not moving more, but actually learning how to move first

Check back soon to read Part 2 and see what that process looks like and what you need to do in order to successfully integrate this crucial phase into your training. 

But if you just can’t wait and you are super excited to apply these ideas right now, book Breakthrough Call with us now and we’ll help ya out and do our best to get you going to the right direction. JUST CLICK HERE.

Written by James Mauk