Movements You’re Not Doing (But Should Be)

Everyone check out this great (quick) post from Julia Ladewski, a program director at one of the Parisi Speed Schools.  It’s an awesome list of 9 basic movements that young athletes need to master – especially if they plan on playing sports in college.

These movements that Julia talks about, plus some others that I’d probably throw in (lateral movements, plank variations, and some single leg work) are imperative for all athletes, regardless of level.  They train neuromuscular coordination, iron out the imbalances and essentially get the body prepared for whatever demand is going to be placed on it – whether that’s in the weight room or on the field.  The greater the ability to recruit the proper muscles – IN THE PROPER PATTERN – the less the risk of injury.  The FASTER you can recruit these muscles – in the proper pattern – the better athlete you’ll be.  See the trend here?

What really gets me is that we have to teach people- especially kids- how to do basic movements like these.  Really, jumping rope? And the hip hinge? Why am I showing you how to sit back without completely losing your junk?  I’ll save that rant for another day, I promise.  But it is definitely an issue that coaches and trainers need to be aware of – with all age groups.  I’ve even had to revert back to simple variations for my high schoolers that play multiple sports!

This type of training isn’t even exclusive to athletes.  As someone wisely pointed out in the comment section of Julia’s post (and no it wasn’t me) – this should really be changed to movements necessary for ANY “able bodied person”.  Sadly, we tend to ignore this type of training across the board for a ton of reasons – it isn’t as beast mode as ripping some iron off the floor, and it isn’t as convenient to accomplish in most gyms.  But guess what?  Those are stupid excuses. Using the dynamics & agility drills as my main focus, I maintain that running line drills (A skips, B skips, lateral movements, skipping, etc) shouldn’t be stopped once you quit playing sports – and should be incorporated even if you’ve never played them. A few of my wonderful classmates illustrated this point beautifully earlier this semester.  While all of them are athletic and know a thing or two about strength, they looked like a complete train wreck when trying to run through some of these drills.  It wasn’t because they were out of shape – it was because neurologically they weren’t prepared for those kinds of movements.  They hadn’t done them in years, and were all uncoordinated at first.  It was embarrassing.  How are these lean people unable to control their own bodies? Thankfully, after a few attempts, they started to get back into the groove because the system recognized the pattern.

But think about it – when was the last time you went out to a field/track to do some lateral shuffles?  When was the last time you jumped rope? Do I even want to ask when you last sprinted….? (probably not).  I’m not blaming anyone really, because commercial gyms don’t make these activities very convenient, but I’m the BIGGEST fan of incorporating these types of things into training. I train like an athlete so I can retain the benefits of being an athlete – the speed, the power, the fitness, and just general awesomeness for as long as possible.  Use it or lose it.  It is not a cliché – its just how the body operates.

Everyone that knows me is probably shaking their heads because they know I’m crazy about dynamics & sprinting.  My athletes understand why they need it, because they see the direct carryover in what they do on the field.  Other people? Much harder to win over.  Yet I can’t tell you how many people come up to me in shambles all like “My ankle is all screwed up cuz I rolled it playing basketball the other day” or “I think I pulled something in my back when I threw a Frisbee to my dog” or “I don’t even KNOW what I did, but how do I stretch my hip flexor?”  Poor neuromuscular coordination, poor posture, and muscular imbalances leave a real soft foundation for those random spurts of power production.  There is no reason to be surprised, then, that something is “out of whack” if you don’t prepare your body for that movement.

SO the take home message: stop crying, start sprinting.  Haha, no, not quite, but DO train more athletically.  It doesn’t mean you need to train as intensely or as frequently as an athlete, but throwing in some of these simple movements can go a long way.  If you prepare your central nervous system to handle more dynamic tasks, you’ll be less likely to end up a hot mess after that random game of flag football, or your Frisbee field day with Fido.

Need more examples/Not sure how to incorporate into your training? Leave a comment.

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About sten06

Master's in Kinesiology: Strength & Conditioning BSed in Exercise physiology -NSCA CSCS -NASM CPT, PES -Varsity Lacrosse Coach Saving the world one workout at a time ;)

Posted on December 19, 2011, in Fitness, Strength & Conditioning, Training and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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