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Learn To Move First

Bodybuilder? You need to move efficiently.

Footballer? You need to move efficiently.

Long Distance Runner? You need to move efficiently.

No matter what your goal or discipline is you need to be able to move efficiently and effectively. You might be as strong as an ox but if you are as mobile as a concrete block your will not be efficient or effective.

Similarly, you might have great range of movement but if you are as weak as decaf you will not be efficient or effective in your chosen discipline or goal. You need to have both.

For the bro’s who slap on a load of muscle or those who have ridiculous farmer strength (those who look like a 40 year old lifter by the age of 14) you need to be able to move. What use is all that muscle and all that strength if it is not transferable into your lifting, sports or work? You might have the potential strength for a 300kg deadlift but if you can’t get into the bottom position what a waste!

If you are relying on raw strength alone you are at risk of injury due to poor form and it is a crying shame that you are not even close to fulfilling your potential. You could reduce the injury risk and unlock that potential by incorporating dedicated time to increasing your mobility and movement patterns. That 300kg deadlift might not be too far away.

For the sports players, if you improve your strength and mobility in your movement patterns your performance levels will increase. You will become stronger and more powerful on the field or the court, you will become more efficient reducing fatigue improving accuracy of movement and therefore increasing the levels of overall performance. It is no surprise that the top sports players often look like greek mythological legends. (Have you seen the legs on CR7).

For the long distance runners, cyclists and swimmers, if you can improve the strength and mobility in your movement patterns you are going to increase the efficiency of each of those thousands of strides, pedals and strokes you take. You are going to reduce the risk of injury due to the increased strength of the muscle surrounding our ever so precious joints. The amount of people I have come across in their mid 40’s who have battered knees from years of running. ‘Did you lift weight for the last 20 years at all? No? Ah ok I see.’

For those of you who are as flexible as my old Flexi Ruler at school (you know, those shit rulers that were impossible to actually keep straight) you need to learn to control your mobility and apply strength to those movements. For those who are hyper flexible it isn’t a matter of can you get into the position, it is a case of can you not go too far past the optimal range, can you hold the position with control and can you keep everything tight whilst performing the movement. Quite often a hyper flexible person will be very fluid and loose in their movements.

The hyperflexible need to get strong. You need to be able to recruit the necessary muscles, for example during squats you need to keep the core braced and glutes to fire through the movement, or pull ups to keep your body tight by squeezing the cheeks, quads and engaging the core to improve the effectiveness of the movement. Take a look at the gymnasts at the Olympics! Those movement patterns combined with outrageous relative strength is a sight to behold.

What you need to do is figure out which of the above you are. Figure out if you need to improve flexibility, improve movement control, increase strength or a combination of them all. It is most likely to be a combination of them all but with more emphasis on certain areas to begin with.

Then you need to implement these factors into your training. Because we are so kind we are going to tell you exactly how to do it.

A - 10-25 mins Mobility (Depending on current mobility levels)

B - 20-30 mins Strength Training (Learning movements and getting stronger at them)

C - 20-30 mins Accessory Work (Exercises to improve upon desired discipline)

D - 10-20 mins Conditioning/Work Capacity (increase volume/work on energy systems)

What do we mean when we say movement patterns?

Your body moves in many different ways but there are 6 exercises that help to train the foundations of these movements. Any extra discipline or sport specific movements can be added into the accessory section of your workouts. But here are the main movements to become efficient and effective in.

Deadlift (Hip Hinge)

Squat (Squat Pattern)

Bent Over Row (Horizontal Pull)

Pull Up/Pulldown (Vertical Pull)

Bench Press/Push Up (Horizontal Push)

Overhead Press (Vertical Push)

If you get stronger with amazing technique in these movements your performance in your chosen discipline will be vastly improved.

This is just a brief look at where you may currently be and where you need to get to. It briefly looks at what needs to be done to get to where you need to be but each individual will have specific needs to achieve this. Extra reading and learning will need to be done on your part to learn how and what to apply to your training. My advice is to continue reading the articles on the site and if you want be taught and fast track your improvement check out the coaches we recommend.

- Lewis Matthews (RiseFitnessHQ)

#strength #movement #training

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