Movement, Exercise & Conditioning
Movement is exercise and exercise is movement
Concentrated and focussed periods of continuous and specifically designed exercise are unquestionably successful in improving performance and advised for everyone. But it is not just in that specific arena for that specific time period that the principles of sound exercise practice should be considered. Movement quality requires more focussed attention than only during the short organised intervals of exercise. Implementing movement enhancements into everyday actions means conscious thought is necessary. Optimally moving in exercise leads to exercise optimising movement.
For exercise to be functional it needs to be transferable into real world activities and movements. The way we’ve come to inaccurately equate fitness and training with health has interfered with our understanding of the body’s dependency on specific loads and adaptations to continuously remodel. Any exercise training that challenges our structures to fatigue uses our recuperative abilities to repair and return more capable than before. The results of these challenges are dependent upon and directly representative of the quality of the movement during as it is performed. Prioritise alignment mechanics prior to, and during, any movement. Repetition saturation on poor movement patterns can lead to unwanted soft tissue changes including muscle, tendon, fascia, ligament, capsular and neural. These structures work in symbiosis in order to connect and communicate structures for function, therefore any reduction in their efficacy has a significant influence on our capabilities and health. This in turn can create a negative cycle of learned movement dysfunction.
The set up configuration to any exercise should be given as much attention as the correct technique of the movement and specifically at spinal arrangement. Incorrect movement in exercise limits our potential in achieving goals and therefore correcting the movement impairments is the priority. Direct the focus to quality not quantity of movement then repeat. True training and conditioning is as much about learning to understand how we prepare the set up arrangement and perform the physical action as it is about energy expenditure, repetition and duration.
Exercising on an suboptimal movement base will only fortify the dysfunction. Movement begins in a wave of contraction from trunk to limbs. Therefore to optimise global movement, the foundation base that is the spine, must have stability and mobility working as one continuum. From here all movement and physical actions can be completed as the muscular contractions for all roles are performed from the stable central base outwards to the moving limbs.
Exercise aims to achieve neuromuscular connection and movement efficiency and strive for instinctive intuitive movement behaviour blended with movement skill. Early speciality and specific interests can kill objectivity, early specialisation in training can omit the fundamentals that are required for successful specific progress. As with all stable structures the foundations need to be created first.
If you don’t create stability the right way then your body will create it the wrong way: rigidity.
If we train the movement pattern correctly then the muscles get trained correctly.
We should train movements not isolated muscles.
Those that exercise regularly but incorrectly are some of those that incur the greatest risk factors. We should treat any conditioning movements, that are used as tools for improving life activities and sports performance, to also reduce these risk factors. The overall aim of any form of exercise is for it to improve our levels of capability and physical performance whatever that entails for each individual. Including integrated movement assessment and development is not to be seen as a replacement for other types of training, exercise, sports or hobbies. Instead it is to be viewed as the integral and comprehensive foundation to human motion that can be incorporated into any other form of exercise or activity. It is the fine tuning of the operating parts of physical engineering that contributes to overall accomplishments.
When we execute the exercise it is critical that the movement technique is a mirror image of the corrected movement performance that has been created previously. Therefore certain controllable elements must be reduced in order to ensure the maintenance of harmonious muscle coordination. One effective way of doing this is to not use above the appropriate intensity of resistance. The resistance should be the exact load where optimal alignment and movement can be maintained and occur whilst under greatest load tolerable through direction transition. Resistance that produces a loss of alignment, postural control, stability and compensatory motion or relative flexibility is a load of uncontrolled excess and therefore potentially injurious. We shouldn't begin with the most difficult, the most complex, the most challenging exercises hoping to be able to complete them. The reason those challenges are so demanding is because of what is required to complete them legitimately. Any reward from performing those actions will be directly dependent on the quality of the execution. Consequently attempting these whilst ignoring any mobility, stability, strength or motor control issues can at best be unprofitable and at worst damaging.
Another consideration of control is reduction of speed and velocity of the exercise. The purpose of this is that it facilitates the required attention and opportunity to register the sensory feedback to evaluate successful movement patterns within the exercise. Controlling speed also enables the processing of this information feedback and allows the opportunity to adapt, adjust and modify if needed. In this situation we then have the chance to consciously respond and correct any mistakes instead of the body reacting to the loads momentum direction. Slower movements have also been proven to assist with improving the precision of movements over faster more powerful movements.
When performed under maximal control the movement exercise is at it's most effective and efficient. This will lead to notable real life improvements that are the result of the physical training. Whatever the aims and goals, the training should cover all aspects of optimum capabilities and function. Performing the exercise to the highest standard available will return the most beneficial rewards. For this to be possible we must understand and be in control of our bodies movement systems and strive for the maximum quality of performance.