Each of us is born into this world free of restriction with the blueprint to move. One that asks us to earn our stability in the world. Infants are resilient, and each of us are born with that blueprint. We learn to roll over, we learn to control our big head on that smaller, mobile spine, we learn to creep, crawl, pull ourselves up and eventually walk and run. When a baby or child fall down, their bodies are much more resilient at shock absorption and getting back up.
When introducing a squat to a client, how many of your clients say to you…”Oh, I can’t squat, I’ve never been able to squat like that,” or I can’t pick that up (as in a deadlift), it’ll hurt my back. These are real and raw concerns that affect us daily.
The reality is – they did once do all of that, and they did it well. So, it begs the question, how and when do we lose that innate ability to move well and move often.
Truth fact - our bodies adapt to whatever we give it. As we enter childhood, our lifestyle changes, we introduce school (sitting a desk all day), we reduce playtime and movement. It’s simple math.
The most fundamental activities of the human body should include basic movements such as; walking, climbing, crawling, running and bounding, without pain or restriction. This should also include lots of time spent on the floor, using ground based movements.
Skip ahead to adulthood, over time our mechanics change and many of these activities are lost and replaced by isolated exercises in the gym, recreational sport on weekends, and occupational stress from the job with the traditional 9 – 5 profession.
Losing the ability to connect with that authentic movement of primal patterns changes how we move amongst our environment. Movement is really a measure of quality and preparation.
Movement is your gauge. Your body will tell you when things start to break down. Taking care of the negative repercussions that can occur from the adaptations in training, application of load, and challenging your body doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does need to be practical and transferable to ensure you maintain the quality of life you desire.
Would you ever drive your car if it had a flat tire? Probably not. The same should be said for your body. If your body is the vehicle that carries you throughout this life, should you not take care of it?
Let’s consider some of the common areas people feel restricted in on a daily basis:
Common issues in the foot: People give up their stability.
Common issues in the ankle: People give up their mobility.
Common issues in the knee: People give up their stability.
Common issues in the hip: People give up their mobility.
Common issues in the low back People give up their stability. (1)
It is safe to then say then; that as adults and as we age, we are asked to re-earn our mobility. The number one prerequisite for sensory pathways and learning new skills —proprioceptors and neurological connection—is appropriate mobility. If we can’t move a joint, there can be no feedback, and most often this will be replaced by stiffness, tension and potentially aches and pain.
This loss of structural integrity and lack of range can over load the surrounding tissues creating stiffness, rigidity and a loss of durable elastic movement. Understanding this knowledge, as well as applying mobility tools to your practice provides the energy to keep going in a state of high quality.
Here are 3 key movements you can do right now to start moving better and don’t forget to add a little play!
Mobility Drill 1: Spine Mobility - Upper Body Rolling Pattern
Mobility Drill 2: Thoracic Spine - T-Spine Rotation Variations
Mobility Drill 3: Hip Mobility - Quadruped to Half Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
Perform these 3 mobility drills daily 2 x per day if possible for the next 2 weeks!
(1) Gray Cook, Functional Movement Systems