Sunday 06.20.10

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there!!

We are different than fitness centers mainly because we feel it is important to teach proper movement of functional exercises. We feel learning how to truly move is vital to health and is something that has not been seen or taught in a wide spread fashion for some time. Heck, I've been running and sitting since I was one years old, so I know how to run and squat. I thought like that, but after studying it out (usually after I've injured myself) I discovered I was seriously lacking in proper human movement in and out of the gym. As most activities we do causes us to sit and/ or places our body in poor positons for the majority of the day, it is vital we correct those positioning errors.

The most powerful forces that can be generated by the human body are initiated, controlled, and dominated by the hip. Unfortunately, in the majority of us, after sitting all day some degree of hip dysfunction creates postures and mechanics that reduce power and stability and are generally unsound. Dubbed the "Muted Hip Function", it is the postures resulting from the legs compensating for the hip’s failure – specifically, using leg extension to compensate for weak or non-existent hip extension.

Muted Hip Function, and other form inconsistencies, build up over time and are often what leads to the inability to place yourself in proper positions during exercising or in worst cases lead to injuries. We as trainers spend the majority of our time looking for small form inconsistencies in your lifts and tweak them according to your body type. The Muted Hip Function, for example, is combated when we tell you to "Open up the hip" or stand up tall when finishing a movement (at the top of a box jump, after an air squat, or finishing the second pull in the clean).

Other training faults are caused by differences in lengths and sizes of legs, arms, and torsos. These differences cause everybody's set up on the same exercise to be slightly different from each other. Many of the lifts I was doing wrong was when I tried to mimic Brad's posture on certain lifts, not realizing that even a 3 inch height difference causes my body to be positioned differently than him.

Knowing these nuances takes you and your trainer working and discussing movements together. The body will automatically warn us when something is not right, through pain (no matter how slight). It's important that you discuss with your trainer and learn which pains are simply using the body in ways you never have before or ones that are telling you to back off.

And just as you are in charge of how your body moves, you can also help us by discussing how you wish to train. When we post a workout, we are trying to provide workouts that we think will benefit the gym as a whole. However, if you are training for something specific, are extremely sore from a previous day, helped a buddy move that morning, etc and you don't feel you can handle the load we've prescribed then let us know. If we are going for max weights, you can easily just do the same exercise and work on form. Or if you know there is an exercise you struggle on in the metcon coming up, take time before to work on it so you can move closer to completing workouts as prescribed and less likely to become injured.

In short, we are here to help you perform better, faster, stronger than when you came to us. So point us in the right direction as we all become more fit together. After all, it's always great to see a "student" exceed even the "teacher's" abilities. To me, that means we are both doing our jobs well. cc

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