For all the newcomers heading into fitness and wellness programs, knowing what is suitable for your body type and personality is a daunting task. Do you want to be active in a team sport or live a healthy lifestyle to lead a more functional and productive life? You want to start a training program and train physically intelligently to avoid injuries. Your goal is to improve your health, become faster or more powerful in your sport, or lead the best life possible.
Regardless of why you train, you want to perform better, move without impediment, and generally feel better, no matter your age.
The foundation of all fitness and wellness programs is mobility training.
You need to know where your resistance is and how this is affecting and limiting your gross movements and actions. Once you have identified those restrictions through muscle and joint testing, it is easy to gently and precisely, layer by layer, release and unwind dysfunctional structures.
Optimize your movement
Pre-habilitation programs are preparations for any physical activity you wish to undertake. We regularly take our cars for annual check-ups or go to the dentist for bi-annual clean-ups and checks. Still, we rarely screen our body mechanics or muscle imbalances to spot the body asymmetries that are the prime cause of most mobility issues.
Movement and sports rehab specialists now include analyzing movement and predicting injury risk, determining areas of potential injury, addressing strength imbalances, and improving posture, performance, and health.
If you optimize your movement, you will lose the resistance you didn’t know you had until it was released. Only then will you realize the importance of unrestricted mobility as the goal for every single physical activity. Thanks to the increased knowledge gained in the field of Sports performance, movement specialists know what to look for in terms of poor gait and mechanics and how this leads to joint and soft tissue dysfunction even though you may not be experiencing any pain or irritation as of now.
It is only a question of time before discomfort manifests itself.
Quality of movement is key.
We know that muscles and soft tissue do not work in isolation.
The “Tensegrity” model of the body (literally tensional integrity) states that our structure is based on the premise that the integrity and continuity of a structure are due to its tensional elements:
Strings, wires, and other lines connect and sustain continual tension by the complex pieces of the structure. When misalignment in the body occurs,
A “Tensegrity” structure can disintegrate into a compressional structure, which we commonly call the ‘ageing process.’ Every part of every system in our body works in unison and sync with each other.
This is precisely why you can’t look at or train muscles in isolation. This is also why dysfunction in one remote part of the body can and will lead to dysfunction somewhere entirely remote from the point of resistance.
It is also why we can’t rehabilitate muscles or joints in isolation following an injury. An injury never happens in isolation. Research shows that localized muscle pain can change EMG activity in a muscle synergist where no pain exists.
This means that the non-painful synergist muscles undergo increased loads following injury to compensate for the muscles with pain.
Humans don’t move enough, or at least don’t move well enough in the regular planes of motion. Most people sit all day, creating muscle imbalances affecting our move.
We now have to compensate elsewhere to maintain mobility and movement.
Optimizing movement to improve your health
Functional fitness and flexibility training with active and dynamic full-body movements improve alignment, stability, and mobility. These movements should be designed to mimic what we do in daily life.
Pre-habilitation means injury prevention.
Modern movement specialists have a unique set of skills when it comes to injury prevention. Movement is crucial for our health, but it also tells us much. It can tell us if there is a dysfunction through pain, imbalance, instability, or mobility restrictions. When we look at movement, we can see if further assessment is required to pinpoint a potential problem, a potential source of injury, or a source of pain.
Movement can hurt us if done incorrectly, but correcting the dysfunction can prevent pain and injury from ever occurring.
Are we moving efficiently without major compensations, imbalances, or restrictions? Traditionally pain management programs tend to be reactive. You get hurt, you have pain, and you seek help. But why wait for the injury to occur when you can prevent it from happening? Hands-on manual therapy and movement improvement modalities are where we are focused today. Patients and clients get better in less time, experience less pain, become better aware of their bodies, and are more excited to improve their movement and prevent future injuries. Screening your movement and determining if you have any muscle imbalances helps you prevent damage from occurring, but it also enables you to break through your fitness limitations.
This is a new age of intelligent physical therapy leading to biological intelligence. Clients know what to do when and how to do it and how to rest and rehab themselves after strenuous exercise.
Monitor your movement system
Take your healthcare back into your own hands. Learn how vital your musculoskeletal health and the improvement of your mobility are to your overall quality of health.
At Stretch Asia, our mobility training is combined with Active Assisted Stretching to optimize your flexibility, strength, and stability. Find out more here.