Today I wanted to share a learning I had over the past year. I learned that with health and fitness if you do not build the correct foundations with your body you are going to be building a house of cards on very shaky foundations. In the pursuit of health that then may become a pointless effort.
This philosophy can of course be applied to any aspect of your life.
I believe a major aspect of growing old in a healthy manner is to make sure that you can keep moving as well as possible for as long as possible. Strength or endurance will mean nothing if you are injured and cannot move. The health of your joints is key.
It took some shoulder injury and having the right people in my journey to discover that. But I have been lucky so far to escape any lifelong setbacks. I know many people who will never be able to train properly again due to serious injury. That is not a place anyone should every reach. I cannot think of anything worse.
As you may be aware Crossfit is my physical activity of choice. Though Crossfit has a reputation for being injury prone, the great thing about Crossfit is that is exposes to you all the many things that are wrong with your body in terms of movement and alignment. If you cannot move efficiently and correctly you will not be able to achieve correct form in most movements. Or you will quickly attract injuries. Either way you will not progress. It is up to an individual to make sure they are not moving beyond limitations and shift those limitations.
A more gentle activity like Yoga can expose your limitations too.
Is this message relevant to you even if you do less complex physical activity?
You may be a person who has recently moved from walking to running. It is important that your running style and posture are correct to avoid injury.
With any activity there is a right and a wrong way. Your job is to be alert and make sure you are always doing activities in a manner that will not hurt you in the long run. What is the point of that? If you are moving badly all you do is keep reinforcing the incorrect movement patterns.
I suffered a recurring shoulder injury during Crossfit as a result of my poor alignment and overall tightness in my muscles. Your body is clever. It will find ways to cope and compensate for as long as it can, while moving incorrectly and using the wrong patterns, until one day when you doing a particular movement and it says … NO.
Even if you are not sedentary and are training it is easy to do weight machines at a health club or run on a treadmill and have no awareness of your movement patterns and bodily limitations. It is easy to carry on either ignoring your problems or remaining ignorant of them.
I have become aware of limitations on my body that I had never considered.
Just like with a car poor alignment is heading for an accident. I was heading for disaster and frankly probably still am if I do not work hard at my mobility and range of motion.
I am still a long way away from where I need to be but my mindset has very much adapted to trying to understand where the weaknesses lie and then trying to make sure I work on fixing those.
I must confess that is a process. I still know I do not spend nearly enough time doing my mobility exercises at home. They are beneficial but boring as all hell. But at the very least become aware of your short-comings, their potential consequences and then decide as an adult if you make a choice to survive or thrive.
Health is the best investment you will ever make. Accept that to explore these areas in your life will cost you time, effort and money. I firmly believe spending money with the right experts is better then flailing around in the dark. The Internet only has so many answers. But these expenses are investments in my book, not losses.
I was very lucky last year. Andri Hannekom one of SA’s few “Rolfers” contacted me and offered me a free 10 session program in return for case study.
Rolfing® Structural Integration is a specialised, scientifically proven technique of bodywork that:
• increases athletic performance
• increases flexibility
• improves alignment and posture
• improves balance, co-ordination and mobility
• enhances performance and self image
• teaches good movement habits
• can relieve chronic joint and muscle pain
• improves range of movement
• increases general vitality
by progressively manipulating the fascia (connective tissue).
if you are interested to find out more about Rolfong see https://www.r-s-i.co.za/
I was very happy to do so and am extremely happy with the results. They speak for themselves as you can see from the picture below.
It was eye-opening how bad my body alignment was. You do not need to be a rocket scientist to imagine what happens when you are lifting heavy weights with your alignment out.
He wrote a very interesting case study and with some greater explanation in this PDF you can download over here
He has also very kindly made a special offer to Sleekgeeks. 50% off an intro session and your first session of the 10. Just say Sleekgeek sent you 😉
Certified Rolfer™ and Rolf Movement Practitioner
Cell: 076 105 4349
Web: www.r-s-i.co.za and www.gardenroutegoodies.co.za
There are many routes to fix problems depending on the issue. Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, Biokineticists and other sport scientists. There are many approaches and strategies to approach similar problems.
I wish I could tell you who you should see for which issue but often it comes down to the practitioner since not all were created equal.
Other then Andri here are some people I would recommend should you have issues with your movement patterns.
Be sure to ask them if they offer a Sleekgeek discount 😉
1) Dr Greg Vennig (Chiro)
Dr Greg has extended a 20% discount on your first consult if you mention that you are a Sleekgeek
2) Rolandas Mensikovas
(Rolandas Mensikovas is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), personal trainer, rehabilitation specialist and educator)
3) Aaryn Camitsis (Chiro)
Adam Sayers (Chiro)