Each morning one wakes up with a new body. Now it may look the same in the mirror, but the body is truly amazing and is constantly working at replacing itself. The previous day’s activities has an impact on how well the body may do this while we sleep which in turn results in the various “aches” and way of moving that are felt when we first step out of bed. This initial input will affect the rest of the day’s activities as well as the overall tone for the day.
When we wake up in pain or are stressed it is difficult to get motivated to do anything. Somehow we muddle through and start the day oblivious to how this will affect the rest of the day. Each small feeling of pain or discomfort results in a shift in the movement pattern and ease of day to day activities. It sooner or later it comes time to work out.
For many a group class or the gym in general offers a time to “de-stress” and “tune-out”. It is assumed that today will be like any other day and load is added to an already taxed body. Each person’s level of load and breaking point differs and unfortunately it is accepted to push until that breaking point is found. This is not only ineffective but dangerous. Each person has different goals and desires but it is almost impossible to find someone with a goal of injury and chronic pain.
How can this pattern of workout, injury, and rehab be prevented? Answer, by being present and aware. The brain is our greatest friend as well as our greatest foe. Like all good relationships the mind/brain likes to participate the daily affairs of life. The stress of life likes to distract but by focusing and bringing attention to the activity the mind engages resulting in a greater brain-body connection. Simple movements or feelings of something that is wrong can felt prior to even loading the movement.
For example setting up for a deadlift: how do the feet feel? Are they balanced? Now for the hip hinge, are the knees coming forward? Back flat with chest open? Are the lats engaged? Is there a good stretch or awareness of the hamstrings? How is the position of the head? The neck flexed or in-line? Is there pain or tightness anywhere? If so has it been there before? Can it be removed or lessened by changing position or stretching a bit more?… these are just a few of the questions that need to be asked when setting up there are many more that arise once the movement is actually loaded. The same is true when it comes to swings, high pull catches, lunges, rows, presses, snatches, etc.
The more the mind is used to acknowledge these movements the easier they become and when a movement has deviated it can be felt. Corrections should be made throughout the entire training session so that the movements are not only safe but the maximum impact is achieved. The status quo should be tailoring each day’s actives to achieve a better way of life and reaching towards the goals that were established. This mind set of pushing through pain and doing what is always done should be phased out.
Living is a dynamic sport, all aspects of the day have an impact on the individual, zoning out and having limited awareness of oneself in space is a hazardous occupation. Paying attention allows personal goals to be met and exceeded not to mention new goals to be invented as time goes on.
One should never accept pain and limited range of motion as acceptable. There are always ways to improve and have an impact on how one moves and functions in life. The challenge is finding what works while enjoying the process to get there.
Better Movement is ALWAYS the Goal!
Train Smarter, Not Harder