When you sit for prolonged periods, your body is forced into compromised positions, which leads to compromised function. And when you sit all day, you simply don’t move enough. Working out will certainly make you healthier overall, but it’s not a time machine that can undo the sedentary choices that you make over the rest of the day. The deterioration process may be slow, it is methodical, and if left unchecked, it eventually will have a huge impact on all aspects of your life, including your resiliency and performance.
There is a difference between exercise and non-exercise activity. Exercise typically means activities like running or weight training. Despite the intensity of the workout, you usually do it for a relatively short period. Non-exercise activity is what you do when you’re not exercising at high intensity - things like standing, walking, gardening, cooking and even fidgeting.

perfect-squatMobility must precede stability. Drills and exercises are only effective if mobility is not compromised. This means we must address mobility before expecting a new level of motor control. Basically if you change perception, you can change behavior.

You can’t normalize mobility in all cases, however an attempt should always be made. In most cases, mobility has the potential to improve. With each improvement, motor control can be addressed with basic stabilization exercise or an reactive neuromuscular training drill.

Mobility problems are movement dysfunctions. They are most likely the byproduct of inappropriate movement, or they could be the result of a poorly managed injury, physical stress, emotional stress, postural stress or inefficient stabilization. Loss of mobility is sometimes the only way the body can achieve a point of stability, but that stability is not authentic. Your body creates stiffness or inflexibility to allow continued physical performance.

White-Plains-Personal-Trainer-Richard-RomeroThe 12 thoracic vertebrae of your middle back are extremely important for sustaining a neutral position. Everyone has heard how important “the core” is to human movement (that’s usually thought of as the bottom of the ribcage to mid-thigh or so). If your thoracic spine (t-spine) is tight and out of whack all the power that you’d like to have flowing from your six-pack and glutes is going to get cut off. A tight thoracic spine gums up your posterior chain, and you can’t stabilize your shoulders and head in a good position, which transmit strain into your neck and lower back. It also throws off your hip function, which transfers stress to your knees, ankles and feet.

A Tight Thoracic Spine

The human body is a system of systems, so dysfunctions broadcast up and down the kinetic chain and manifests itself in problems through the body.

Movement-patternHealthcare and commercial fitness practices often neglect fundamental movement, paying too much attention to the surface view. Weakness and tightness are often attacked with isolated and focused strengthening and stretching remedies that don’t work toward a movement pattern standard. A surgeon, a physician and a physical therapist see these problems through eyes biased by solutions of their training instead of working from a comprehensive baseline. One sees a surgical solution based on structure; one considers which medication to manage pain and inflammation, while the other looks for mechanical issues to rehabilitate.

The initial perspective is the same for the physician, physical therapist and strength and conditioning professional. We study the same anatomy, but regard movement from many different views. We become highly specialized, and in specialization lies the problem. We study specific aspects of biomechanics activities without a baseline movement standard. We each look at tightness, weakness and pain, but we don’t all see the same thing. We have the anatomy map, but we can’t agree on a movement map.

So here’s how the New York Fitness Professionals approach is different, we separate movement dysfunction from fitness and performance. We do a thorough movement assessment to develop a fitness program that will establish basic good movement mechanics and stability. This will ensure that you develop neuromuscular efficiency and endurance so you can exercise effectively while reducing your risk of injury. Our goal is to normalize functional movement patterns, mobility, stability and proprioception.

To prevent musculoskeletal injury we don’t just manage pain and symptoms, we target and contain risk factors. If you have a dysfunctional movement pattern, it should be addressed before trying to improve your performance or fitness level. If you have good movement patterns but experience pain then it is important to get a healthcare practitioner with knowledge of pain evaluation and movement evaluation involved. As medical exercise specialists and corrective exercise specialists we can help prevent injury and work with your healthcare practitioner to develop a safe and effective exercise program that will have you moving better, feeling better and exercising pain free.

Once we assess your posture, muscle balance and fundamental movement patterns, we use the results to develop a musculoskeletal rehabilitation program. Our corrective exercise strategy is to focus on improving mobility, stability, basic motor control and whole movement patterns. Once we’ve established the desired movement patterns, we can safely progress to programs that improve general fitness, including endurance, strength, speed, agility, power and task specificity. Our bodies are miracles capable of unbelievable durability and resiliency, with an amazing performance and physical capacity. We are made to grow strong and to age gracefully. Reclamation of authentic movement is the starting point. We cannot simply have better fitness conditioning and sports performance. We must cultivate it.

If you are in Westchester, NY stop in for a free assessment during the month of January. We are conveniently located in downtown New Rochelle. 175 Memorial Highway - LL1, New Rochelle, NY 10801.

Life doesn't have meaning. Only you have meaning. You put meaning into all your experiences, relationships and things you do. With that said I understand why people prioritize their work and other commitments. They are what give you a sense of purpose, however I have to emphasize the fact that you can do much more if you take care of yourself first. It's one less thing the rest of the world will have to worry about and more importantly you will have an easier time fulfilling your other commitments.
Your life will be most effective and require the least amount of effort to sustain if you address the following 4 sections in order.

  1. Physical
  2. Behavioral
  3. Mental
  4. Spiritual

I've been going on and on about developing efficient  movement patterns. This will require both physical and behavioral changes. The positions you assume at work, or while going about your life will impact the way you move in the gym. The environment also effects movement efficiency. So you have to get to the root of movement issues and take the time to reverse engineer patterns that have been hardwired over years of conditioning. Biomechanical pathologies are treatable at any time or stage of development. But it takes time, consciousness, and a ton of practice. It starts with understanding the movement principles and then practicing and applying them to every facet of your life. So if you already have an injury its not too late to make corrections and if you haven't yet developed an injury you will save yourself from shoulder, back and knee pain.