By Aubrie Pohl
I can stand on my hands and do more push-ups than most girls I know.
I can ride a bike for 100 miles and stretch my leg behind my head.
I have felt a fire smoldering within me my whole life.
One that has been yearning, fostering, and striving for a body that is capable of doing any physical task I come across.
I want to reach my greatest potential.
I’ve learned how to challenge my body in ways I’ve never dreamed of,
…but I’ve also learned something else.
My foundation was unstable.
I power through movements and use my shoulders and quads to overcompensate for the weaker muscles.
My right side is predominantly stronger than the left.
My push muscles are over trained while my pull muscles are barely trained.
I’m a yoga teacher and a personal fitness trainer.
I spend hours each week guiding others through the crucial foundational postures and movements.
I guide others to gain stability and mobility before they gain strength and power.
…. but I wasn’t listening to my own words.
My mind created a blurred concept of my own training program.
I was injuring myself.
My elbow, my wrist, my ankle… things were starting to ache.
I’ve tried so hard to accomplish fancy movements that I forgot about frequently performing the foundational movements.
I spent years lifting heavy weights but didn’t lift my ego out of its control.
So I reverted back to the basics.
I stopped trying to progress and regressed back to powerful, simple structural movements to create proper alignment, posture, and strength.
You wouldn’t build your house on an unstable foundation, so why build your body on one?
Exercise can be profoundly life-enhancing.
It is a very useful tool to filter your mind and attention towards achieving more success, happiness, and joy in your life.
However, it needs to be handled in a progressive manner.
A progression means to begin at the appropriate level that suites your present body and then steadily and safely advance once the body is ready.
For example, you wouldn’t want to perform an overhead lift if you are lacking the specific level of shoulder mobility to lift your arms over your head.
There are prerequisites that need to be met.
Stability and mobility first.
Find absolute acceptance where your body is presently at, and work through the freedom of the movement you have available.
Start with foundational movement patterns and develop coordination.
Make sure muscles are firing in the correct order.
Establish a functional range of motion and mobility.
Find complete stabilization and balance in those movements.
Learn basic postural support and spend the proper amount of time conditioning and strengthening the movement pattern.
Once stability and mobility is achieved, the body is ready to stabilize a load and has the ability to work through force output.
Have a personal trainer assess you and scan your movement so you can safely progress to adding weight! (Hint: Innovative Results)
To quote Ice Cube, “Check yo’self before you wreck yo’self.”
Now the muscles have been trained to work together through the fascia and muscular chain.
You’ve created a strong, flexible structure that can now increase the power, the maximum force.
Your performance will steadily increase, without injury, because you created a stable foundation and followed a progression perfect for you.
As for me?
Well, I’m living proof of this lesson now.
My joints aren’t aching, the strength of my left side is quickly catching up, and I can now perform pull ups!
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