Four Things We Probably Should do More of
I am obsessed with movement. The way people stand, walk, sit or run, I am constantly observing, learning and coming up with new ideas. How the body works and how everything is integrated together is absolutely fascinating.
I have evolved a lot over the past few years a coach and so has the fitness industry.
There is definitely more of an emphasis on quality, functional movement. Having full ranges of motion, and be able to control your body through them. This prevents injuries, allows you to get stronger and perform better, but also fights old age.
I want to share some things that we probably do not do enough of as humans. You will see these things with increasing popularity in the next few years in the fitness industry.
Things Humans Probably Don’t do Enough of:
Brachiation is a form of locomotion using the arms to swing from object to object.
Why should you care about gibbons swinging from tree to tree? Well, there are plenty of benefits from humans practicing brachiation, and you probably have when you were younger - on monkey bars. Hanging from a pull up bar is a great way to build up grip strength and also to build up endurance for pull-ups. If your goal is 10 pull-ups, can you hang on the bar for as long as it takes to do 10 reps? Just hanging from the bar is a way of loading the shoulder and getting some traction on the joint. Traction can help realign or reposition the joint where it wants to be. Just from hanging! Or doing a couple sets down some monkey bars in a playground.
Ground to Standing Transitions
With the kettlebell rage from a few years ago, Turkish (not sure why they’re Turkish) Get Ups gained a lot of popularity. While these are a great move that can help with shoulder mobility, overhead stability, hip mobility and core strengthening, they can be absolutely brutal and time consuming to do. I find that when I program them in, clients rush through them because they take so long and are such a slow and deliberate move.
Ground to standing is so important because it may be an implication of your health. Can you stand up from the ground without using your hands?
One of the reasons many people are in nursing homes is because they couldn’t get up from a fall. Why not practice getting up from the floor now? Try some half get ups, hug a sandbag and get to your feet or mix in some prone/supine to sprint or jump variations.
Jumping and Landing or Explosive Movements
When was the last time you jumped? Now, maybe it isn’t appropriate for you, there are definitely some prerequisites you need to meet before you just start jumping all over the place. But for our healthy populations, when was the last time you jumped? Maybe last summer playing pick up basketball? Or in college playing flag football?
Jumping is an important skill that humans should posses, and being able to land in a good position is just as important. Even though you may not jump in everyday life, owning that skill will help develop power and decelerate yourself when you need to. Imagine catching yourself after stepping on black ice, or getting out of the way when you’re in a crosswalk and a driver is texting and not watching the road. Can you go from a stable position to a free position and the reorganize yourself back in a stable position?
Medicine ball training is also integral part of any training program, and something that we could all use a little more of. While jumping can help increase explosive power, rapidly accelerating and producing huge amounts of force by throwing can help up develop power outside of the sagittal plane, and get us moving in different directions.
More Lateral and Backwards Movement
Why? Because we do everything forwards and look clumsy trying to do anything other than straight ahead. Try doing some lateral skipping or crawling to get moving laterally a little more. Backwards running or backpedaling are great drills to practice going backwards. Just because we don’t need it to get through our day doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter. If you can move well laterally and backwards, I’m willing to bet you have some great movement patterns in other planes of motion.
Now, you don’t need to go overhaul your workout program, but consider some of these ideas and try mixing up your training a little bit.
We were designed to move, lets keep it that way.