Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Training in Dysfunction II

I argued earlier that training while in dysfunction, you just train in the dysfunction permanently. Or at least, into a long-term dysfunction.

Training in Dysfunction

So what's the solution?

This is where corrective exercise, mobility drills, and even isolation exercises come into the fore.

The approach is pretty simple:

1) Get the client (or yourself) moving properly. No sense hip hinging or squatting or pressing if you're doing it in a way that is cementing in poor movement patterns.

2) Load that specific movement pattern in a way that reinforces the proper movement.

3) Increase the load and/or movement difficulty once the movement is ingrained properly.

As an example, let's look at a client who can't squat to parallel without his or her knees buckling in.

1) Get the client squatting with a band across the knees, which forces a conscious effort to push the knees out. This will groove the proper pattern. Also, squat the client up from a box set at parallel or slightly below. This allows them to go through the entire range of motion you're attempting to train.

2) Begin to load the squat - a little at first, with increases as the client gets stronger and the movement pattern is perfected.

3) Increase the load, and begin to squat both up from the bottom and from the top down to parallel.

In this manner, you're prioritizing proper movement and proper function, and then loading it. If you do it in the reverse fashion, at best you'll cement in a poor movement pattern, at worst you'll create a long-term dysfunction that leads to pain and injury. For most clients, the goal isn't maximal lifts, but maximal function, and proper movement patterns are the way to start that.

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