“Movement is life. Life is a process. Improve the quality of the process and you improve the quality of life itself.” -Moshe Feldenkrais

There are ten components of fitness.

  1. Cardiovascular / respiratory endurance – The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.
  2. Stamina – The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.
  3. Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.
  4. Flexibility – The ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.
  5. Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
  6. Speed – The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
  7. Coordination – The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
  8. Agility – The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
  9. Balance – The ability to control the placement of the body’s center of gravity in relation to its support base.
  10. Accuracy – The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.

I am a huge fan of Kelly Starrett, a doctor of physical therapy. Starrett preaches that joint range of motion matters beyond just injury prevention or rehab. The real benefit of mobility, he says, is the mechanical advantage: ideal positioning allows for optimal power output. Until you’ve got proper range in all your joints, you simply haven’t discovered your body’s real potential. “The typical athlete is brutally inefficient,” says Starrett. “Improving mechanics by resolving problems with tissue restriction and positioning is like taking the emergency brake off a Ferrari.” Running? Let’s see what you’ve got when a tight hip capsule isn’t ruining your extension. Rowing? Healthy dorsiflexion means you move more water. 

Here he offers six exercises to increase mobility for specific sports—everything from running to climbing. Spend just two minutes a day on each move—the 10-minute squat requires more time, of course—and make sure to contract and relax in each position. Also, test your range of motion before and after: you should notice improvements almost immediately.

Mobility Exercises

ny personal trainer avadean lewisThe human mind is a wonderful thing. It controls everything we do and more importantly how we do things. If you believe you can do something, every cell in the fiber of your being will work towards making that belief into reality. Now if you believe you can’t, then forget about it. Your brain will simply shut everything off and only God can help you at that point.

We are all designed to move efficiently and move perfectly without giving it much thought. However, that changes once we start sitting at desks in the first grade. Your tissue joints mold to the positions in which you spend most of your time. If you spend majority of your time seated in a chair or in shoes that elevate your heels, your body becomes restricted by those patterns. So to get back the neuromuscular efficiency you were born with, you have to be reborn.

The first step to rebirth is acknowledging that you can restore your natural capacities despite the damage that you have incurred from too much sitting, too little self-maintenance and too much reliance on medications. So the key to enjoying living a fitness lifestyle, starts with the mindset that you have unlimited potential and your job is to pave the way.

movementGood Postion + Good Form = Mechanical Efficiency

If you can get in a good position and move with good form, mechanical inefficiencies automatically disappear. So potential overuse injuries are greatly reduced.

When you have a good movement and motor-control, your body can deal with tissue restriction and can weather bad mechanics longer. You can't mobilize and resolve all your problems all  at once, it's an all day, every day endeavor. You do a lot of movement during the course of your day and change takes time. If you understand how to move correctly, you can at least mitigate movement errors that have the potential to cause injury and buy yourself some time to work on the compromised tissues.

Your body adapts to whatever positions and movements you put it in throughout the day whether you're driving your car or doing burpees (no one likes burpees). If you move with good form and allow your joints and tissues to assume stable positions you will ingrain functional motor patterning and have fewer tissue and joint restrictions (picking up groceries or deadlifting in the gym). If you slouch or overextend while doing whatever needs doing in your life your body will adapt to those poor positions, causing your tissues to become sort of biomechanical compromise.