There’s a major flaw in the fitness industry – the ignorance of movement quality at the expense of fitness goals.
How far can you run? How fast can you complete this workout? How much can you lift? How many reps can you do? How hard are you willing to push yourself?
What fitness has driven us to believe is that these are the true measures of progress and physical fitness. Yet there is little attention paid to how well we move and how important that is to our health and fitness.
Yes we must progressively challenge the body in order for it to change and adapt. Yes higher intensity exercise is associated with greater improvements in health and fitness markers. Yes if you want to push your body to higher levels of performance you are going to feel it. But at what expense?
Are we willing to prioritize fitness goals over the health of our spine and joints?
There is an old Chinese proverb that says “You are as old as your spine.” There is a lot of truth in this statement. There are plenty of people in their 20s and 30s who have stiff and painful backs that make them feel much older than they really are. Likewise, there are those in their senior years who feel great and have less physical limitation than people half their age.
When we focus on movement and the posture associated with movement, our bodies follow suit. Our muscles work more efficiently and our joints are spared. Movement becomes healing and therapeutic rather than damaging.
When we prioritize movement, we can progressively train harder by being smarter. We promote fitness as well as longevity of our spine and joints. When we chase goals and numbers at the expense of movement quality, we find ourselves nursing injuries that interrupt progress. We end up with joints that are beat up, stiff, and painful.
If you don’t focus on the details of your movement now, you’ll likely be forced to focus on them later. This is the difference between training for performance and rehab. Movement that enhances performance also reduces injury. Don’t ignore the importance of movement quality. It may just make or break your fitness goals.
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