The human body is an incredibly complex machine. There are many systems involved in how it functions and how well it functions. Today lets look at the role of movement in your fitness. Specifically the quality of that movement.
In addition to the body being complex, it is inherently lazy. What I mean by that is it is constantly seeking out how to perform tasks in the easiest (most efficient) manner possible. I am not referring to a lack of will power or motivation. For our bodies to move, it requires energy production and energy expenditure. The more proficient we are in a given task, the less expenditure and production of energy needed. Simple right?
In functional movement we teach a great deal of movement patterns to achieve a greater level of fitness. Usually the emphasis is on increasing the load or moving faster. What if we shifted the emphasis on moving better? Increasing movement quality. How would that impact our fitness?
The answer is that it would greatly impact our fitness. Think about it, the better one is able to move, then moving will create less fatigue, then one’s capacity will increase thus you will be more fit. This is different than “I just need to move faster” or “If I add 5 more pounds to my back squat…” mindsets. Instead, improved movement will permit greater expression of strength, it will permit more work completed due to less fatigue.
How do we improve movement quality?
- First assess the quality in each joint (our coaches can do this assessment – we already do this in our Fundamentals program)
- Utilize methods to develop connective tissue (we do this for you in the programming)
- Integrate soft tissue therapy regularly to improve tissue quality and joint function (massage, acupuncture, KMI)
- Maintain autonomic system balance – specifically managing stress and your “fight or flight” response (chill the f*ck out)
- Introduce and PRACTICE movements in simple, controlled, low stress environments (slow down!)
- As movement quality increases, first add load, then increase volume and speed. Good movement is the primary goal, not just adding weight or going faster or doing more.
Movement quality is critical in improving one’s fitness. For many, it may be THE x-factor being missed in regards to conditioning and fitness. In closing consider this real life example: rowing or the jump rope double under. For both of these movements the level of skill and technique greatly influence just how much energy is expended to perform the movements. The greater skill, far less energy expended. This is true in all of the movements you use in fitness. Some come more naturally than others. Identify those that do not and improve their movement quality and you will see your fitness improve as well.