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f you aren’t achieving full ranges of motion you will not improve at anywhere near the rate you potentially could. When we say half squats yield half results we are being generous. Modern life has put us into such unnatural positions and tasks that our bodies have all become severely “jacked up” for lack of a better term. Here are some of my thoughts on how to counter the damage of modern life has done to our movement quality.
In order to “bulletproof” your body and move effectively you need two primary things in every joint, mobility and stability (some joints require more of one than the other). When we talk about mobility we are referring to the ability to achieve a desired range of motion. Stability can be defined as the ability to control one’s joints and body while in these various positions. More often than not, as a generalization, males require more mobility work, and females require a greater degree of stability work. If you have one without the other, you can bet you will encounter some type of issue down the road. If for example you lack mobility you will be straining neighboring muscles, tendons, and ligaments to compensate, which can result in strains, sprains and potentially tears. If you lack stability, especially around the spine, neck, and shoulders, you will require improper muscles to stabilize these areas, which leads to extreme overuse and many of the common “tight,” tweaked, knotted, and bound up musculature you may feel around your traps, hips, low, back, and shoulders.
So let’s describe “tin-(wo)man” (mobility need as priority) and “gumby” (stability need as priority)
*WARNING MILD GEEK ALERT*
-Difficulty achieving full squat with tall torso
-Cannot Pause in bottom of overhead squat with proper form
-Fails shoulder flexion test (VIDEO)
-Sub Par Duck Walk
-Cannot complete ankle mobility test to 5″ from wall (VIDEO)
-Poor T-Spine extension/Rolled Shoulders
-Full Range of motion squats but no ability to control spine or pelvis in the bottom
-Cannot keep spine at neutral during hinges/pull
-Fails stability pushup test [start at :40.. (VIDEO)
-Can complete PVC “pass-through” with a close grip
-Knees collapse during squat (could be either TM or Gumby here, but usually more Gumby)
-Poor planks/side planks
-Weak External Rotators/Scap retractions, demonstrated by a constant shoulder elevation during pulling movements
So hopefully from that you can see which category you fit into (if neither than kudos to you, you move well and are ready to get MURDEROUSLY STRONG) now lets talk briefly about a general course of action. It is really impossible to prescribe corrective exercises on a macro level so if you fall DEEP into one of these categories it would be in your best interest to schedule some time with one of coaches to write out a plan to attack your needs. It will pay off in the long run for sure. But here are some general things you should focus on hammering if you are either one of these types:
-AGGRESSIVE rumble rolling/lacrosse ball rolling of: IT band, achilles ankles, upper back, rear delts, pec minor
-Banded distraction of the shoulders
-Sitting a full squat with neutral spine for up to 10 MINUTES using a pole for leverage
-Learning to press and move through shoulder blades on all over head movements
-Take the dynamic warm-up as the most serious part of the day (spider mans, worlds greatest etc.)
-Try and get ART or comparable soft tissue work as often as possible
-Learn to breathe through your belly to relieve upper body stiffness
-Learn to use and activate your glutes (butt squeezes, band walks, hip bridges etc.)
-Learn to engage your deeper ab muscles (belly breathing, paloff holds, seal walks, side planks w/ upside down kettle bell (VIDEO)
-Slow down tempo on all lifts
-Practice flexing and controlling all muscles (seriously)
-Add in external rotator/retraction work (band pull a parts, scap pushups, seated rotations)
Your movement quality reflects how much care and effort you put into your training, everyone can improve these attributes if you are willing to put in the time. Make this a priority, because if you aren’t moving well, you WILL NOT see the improvements you are after in performance, aesthetics, and all other areas! Treat this as an absolute first priority to avoid injury, get stronger, look better, and feel better!