We covered the strength numbers and balances you should aim to achieve. We filled in the blanks about how imbalances can hinder your daily life. Then explained Flexibility and Mobility and how lacking either can lead to injuries.
Well, let's bring it all together.
How do you use that information next time you are at the gym or in your daily life?
The most recent blog should be attacked first, Flexibility and Mobility.
It's first on the agenda because of 2 reasons: 1) it's the most overlooked, and 2) it needs to be addressed in order to make better progress and set you up for an active healthy future.
If you have not done a Mobility assessment, we can help.
I would imagine though, you probably already know where you lack full range of motion...? Shoulders? Hips? Ankles? Low back and hamstrings?
Some smart person somewhere (I don't recall who) said that soft muscles are nearly indestructible. Meaning, if your muscles, tendons, and ligaments are perfectly healthy, they are very difficult to injure.
Life, however, throws us random injuries, repetitive stress habits, desk jobs, etc. which will tighten joints, pull muscles, put us in bad positions which then can become our “normal”.
This is why some of us can't touch our toes or get our arms straight up overhead.
You can fix these things in numerous ways:
Now you know your numbers (at least some and more are coming).
If your Back Squat max is the same weight as your Deadlift, we know you need to hinge more. That deduction is easy.
What you may not see is how someone who is very quad-dominant favors those muscles and uses less efficient movement patterns to accomplish movements.
For example, when you are quad-dominant, you will likely row sitting up very tall, coming in close enough for your heels to come way up and you avoid the "lean forward, lean back". More quads, less Hamstring...You are using the muscles that work best for you. It gets the job done, but it can really hurt/hinder you in the long run!
Another example is your shoulders. If you can press (strict press) significantly more weight than you can pull (pull-ups). We know you need to work more on pulling exercises (pull-ups, ring rows, bent over rows, bandy pull aparts) to balance your upper body.
Also, with so many of us at desk jobs, hunched over all day, we can develop a rounded back. The muscles of the chest shorten and tighten while the upper back muscles stay weak. You wreck your rotator cuff muscles. Strain your neck. Eventually, it pulls on your low back. It's a vicious cycle.
You need to address those problem areas to regain the muscle balance that every ”body" is supposed to have. This will keep you healthy and moving well for years to come. Aches and pains don't have to be a “normal” part of life.
We could go on for days about specifics. Think of it as a timeline...you went from no exercise, to knowing you needed to start, to starting, to surviving, to working on your nutrition, to working on your sleep, to now working on something more specific.
When it comes to specifics, remember we are here to help but we are also coaches, not doctors. We can help with training the imbalances and increasing mobility but there may be more going on if you are experiencing pain or discomfort.
To wrap up, we are trying to make sure you can:
We are giving you the information and are doing all that we can to keep you safe and healthy at the gym. Now it is your turn to take what you have learned and to implement it, daily!! Never hesitate to reach out to a coach for ideas and help, we will do our best to answer all your questions and come up with the best solution!!