The human body is an inexplicable miracle of engineering. To be able to perform the basic tasks that we do, such as walking on two feet, running, jumping and throwing require incredibly complicated motor patterns which although we don’t have to put thought into them, do require each component in the pattern to do a job correctly.
The problem: Modern, sedentary lifestyles are causing changes in our body which cause a breakdown in movement patterns. Our brain tries to then re-create the pattern when we perform a given activity, but ‘dominant’ muscle groups will try to compensate, causing a string of changes through the body. A simplified example of this would be someone who spends most of the day sitting and then, when they go to perform a squat, the psoas has been so inactive that they we can’t create the neurological association when required to perform hip flexion, so the quads take over. The quads are incapable of controlling hip stability, which is why we see knees ‘caving in’ or hips shifting out of position.
The solution: To correct movement patterns through programming exercises which create neurological associations between muscle groups and the job that they are designed to perform. Whilst it sounds simple, it takes time to create and embed the correct movement patterns.
We believe we can improve physical ability through a few ways. Anyone can follow a workout program, it is the smaller changes which will add up to a dramatic difference. We’ve already talked through how movement patterns can cause pain and how they affect the body overall, but consciously training them to be more efficient will have an enormous impact on physical ability and longevity.
We also look at breathing patterns. Inefficient breathing reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood which then reduces performance. We will learn how to breath to improve our performance and mental state.
Finally, we focus on building character. Better people make better athletes and developing ourselves to be well-rounded humans will have a positive impact on our physical ability. Exercise doesn’t build character, it reveals it.
The first thing to understand is that the site of pain, is not (usually) the cause of the pain. Because you have sore knees, does not mean that your knees are causing the pain. When we perform movement patterns incorrectly for long enough, it creates a whole heap of postural changes over time. It is these postural changes that cause the pain, which is then deferred somewhere further down the chain. A classic example is running with a heel strike. A heel strike indicates inefficient hip and torso rotation control (plus a poor choice of footwear) however it is usually the knees and/or lower that signal the brain that something is wrong. This then causes us to treat the pain in the knee/lower back which is just a symptom, rather than treating the root cause, being the movement pattern.