We’re all born (apart from unique circumstances) with the right balance of strength. This means that front-to-back and left-to-right, each side and each muscle is capable of doing what it is supposed to do. The way a baby moves through the basic movement developments of rolling over, sitting up, crawling, standing, and walking is a testament of this.
Have you ever marveled at how easily a toddler can sit in a deep squat for really long periods of time as they play with something on the ground? If this is how we’re born, what happened? Why are some of these basic movement patterns that we could do when we were two years old so difficult now that we’re grown?
The answer is: life happened. Hours of sitting at a desk working on a computer, sitting in a car in traffic, sitting on the sofa watching TV, not to mention injuries, favoring our dominant hand side, poor nutrition, and years of performing exercises wrong have resulted in a digression of our movement patterns. We now possess many muscular and postural imbalances that we didn’t as a child.
Some of us, with the help of a good trainer, were able to address these imbalances early on in our fitness program. We were able to correct the imbalances by focusing on basic functional movements, range of motion/mobility exercises, muscle isolation and activation exercises, and a healthy dose of stretching and muscle decompression. Nevertheless, over time we all have a tendency to revert back to bad habits. Where the emphasis was once on form and technique, it has now become increasing weight to achieve new personal records or increased speed/intensity to burn more calories.
If we’re honest, we might even be scared by the idea of taking a step back—of not striving and grinding to work harder and harder each time—because we’re afraid of putting the fat back on or of losing some of the strength gains we have made. But like they say, “pride comes before the fall,” and if we don’t allow ourselves to get back to the basics every so often and just focus on form, technique, muscle balance, and the other necessary maintenance our body requires, our body will eventually fail us. Not only will we plateau in our progress, but we are setting ourselves up to get hurt. Can you guess what happens when you continue to load an imbalanced frame with increasingly heavy weights, at increasingly fast tempos, with increasingly sloppier form? You guessed it. Something will eventually give.
Personally, I try every 3 months to spend a few weeks just working on my foundation and making sure everything is activated, strong, loose, and in balance. This month, try backing off the weight and the tempo a little bit and just re-focus on form and technique. Ask your trainer/instructor to help you identify some imbalances and movement restrictions and how you can be working to address those. And most importantly, don’t believe the lie that little voice inside your head is going to try to tell you, “If you slow down now you’ll lose all the progress you’ve worked so hard to achieve.” In fact, it is quite the opposite. We don’t take a step back to revisit the “basics” in order to stay there. We do it with the sole intent of progressing to new levels we have not yet achieved.
If you would like more information on how one of our trainers can help you get “back to the basics” in order to move forward towards your health and fitness goals (or for any other fitness related questions you may have) feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month, try getting back to the basics. It will be worth it—I promise!
by Craig Miller, IndyFit
The IndyFit method incorporates stretch, strength, and manual soft tissue work to achieve the best results. The trainers are qualified to help ease your aches and pains with rehabilitative touch as well as offer personal training to help you to achieve your fitness goals. IndyFit operates out of the Clubhouse of the Residences of Carmel City Center.