There is no shortage of definitions for the word “fit.” Being fit for some is being lean and attractive, for some it is the ability to run (or just finish) a marathon in a short period of time. Lifting heavy loads, jumping with a 30″ vertical, and/or adhereing to a strict organic diet can all be definitions of the word “fit.”
Personally, I have seen clients who are 50 pounds overweight do some pretty incredible things in the Emerge facility, consistently.
To get to the point, there is a never ending list of reasons why someone may be deemed fit.
One very important addition to that list (that rarely gets added or even involved in a fitness conversation) is posture.
Rarely do people comment on the perfect alignment of themselves or another, but possessing this trait WILL help a person perform much better, move more efficiently, look better, and avoid injury (which keeps a person from fitness related activities).
Posture and functional efficiency (the ability of the neuromuscular system to recruit the correct muscle groups, at the right time, and with the appropriate amount of force) is more than just sitting up straight and pulling your shoulders back.
As a matter of fact, there is a long list of human movement impairment syndromes that effect all areas of the body, from ankle to neck. Further, if you are suffering from an impairment in one area, you are most likely being effected in another are above or below. This is because the body works together in and inter-related chain, where no one muscle works independently.
Who is effected by these impairments? Nearly everyone. I have NEVER had a client in front of me that was in perfect alignment from head to toe. What this means is that whatever that persons goal (looking better, feeling better, performing better) you are not maximizing the benefits of their fitness routine due to the limitations of the impairment. Many go for years without knowing this.
The first step is identifying the impairment, then implementing a PLAN to correct it. The plan includes a series of exercises to inhibit (SMR or foam rolling) stretching, strengthening, then re-educating the entire system to work together again. I can understand why most people ignore this part of fitness.
The benefits are worth the relatively small amount of time it takes to correct these impairments, however.
To sum it up. correcting a movement impairment that you most likely DO have will absolutely allow you to expereince faster and more noticeable gains in whatever fitness goal you may have.
Next submission I’ll go over the basics of one of the most common impairment, the upper crossed syndrome (affecting the shoulders, neck, back directly) and EVERYTHING else indirectly.
Matt Pirtle, MA, CSCS
Emerge Fitness Training