top of page

A formula for success: Using movement as medicine.

It's likely no surprise to you that, as a society, humans have become more sedentary than ever. This shift has not only affected our functioning, but our general health on nearly every level - mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. The remedy for this issue may be simple, but not necessarily easy. Shifting from sedentary to a healthy, balanced lifestyle doesn't just mean throwing around some weights, running everyday, or getting as flexible as possible. When done without purpose, intention, and appropriate direction, these remedies can potentially hurt more than heal. Below, I've offered some guidance in how to integrate more movement into your life - in a healthy and intentional way.


Frist, we must address the tight muscles to ensure proper joint alignment. joints have muscles on either side that work to stabilize and move the joint. If muscles on one side are tighter than the other, it could lead to joint shearing, torsion, or compression. This decreases your mobility and increases your chances of injury or tissue pain. In addition, you can’t exercise effectively without achieving optimal flexibility. Note that I said optimal flexibility, not getting as flexible as possible. You can be too flexible, leading to joint instability. A muscle length tension assessment can zero in on the areas that need to be stretched. A knowledgeable movement practitioner can then help demonstrate the best stretch and mobilization techniques for those tight areas.


You can’t fire a cannon from a canoe. Stability training reinforces the canoe for firing. Muscles are made up of tonic (stability) and phasic fibers. The phasic fibers are for movement and are generally what we think of when we think of muscles. Classic phasic predominate muscles are the hamstrings or glutes. However, there are fibers that lie deeper and need to be conditioned. These fibers rely on long time under tension activated. Stability exercises can be body weight isometric holds or traditional exercises with slower movements that create a long time under tension. A skilled practitioner can show you exercises and design variables that help stimulate those tonic stability muscle fibers.


Once flexibility and stability have been addressed, we can progress to strength training. This type of training is typically what you see in gyms across the world. The aim of strength training is to get your muscles stronger to support your ligaments, connective tissue, and bones. Strength training can be designed to gain muscle and get bigger OR lose fat and gain lean muscle mass. Cardiovascular exercise alone is not the answer to achieving a toned lean body. It will require some strength training, but not before you have addressed your flexibility and stability. Effective strength training should limit using fixed axis machines that don’t require you to use your core. I like to use cable machines, dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells along with the primal pattern movements of squatting, lunging, bending, pushing, pulling, and twisting.


Power training is the pinnacle of the success formula. It consists of using lighter loads and moving fast or doing heavy loads for only 10-15 seconds. For example, medicine ball throws as hard as you can, broad jumps, pushup with a clap or many cross fit style exercises. One thing the cross fit world is missing is the first three components of the success formula and injuries are very common. Power training can be very hard on the ligaments and connective tissue. Therefore, listening to your body is crucial. I typically cycle through stability, strength and power training while continually checking on tight areas with reassessments for flexibility concerns.

41 views0 comments


bottom of page