“Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.” – Carol Welch
As I am no spring chicken anymore, I noticed from my training that even though I may be still in OK shape and getting a bit stronger and fitter, I am not getting sorer and not moving well. An example is when I would go to a boxing session and try to weave under punches, I would be so stiff it makes it slow and difficult to perform. Therefore inhibiting my abilities. Or I would go to weave and my knees would be sore from lifting weights and it inhibit my movement. I also noticed it when I would play with my kids. When messing around with them on the beach trying to pull off some gymnastic moves I would be stiff as a board. When we are wrestling at home I would do the old man “groan” when getting up off the ground. I started to think that the “physical training” is taking away from my “play activities” when it should really be enhancing them.
I also spend a lot of time sitting: 90 mins each day in the car, sitting at work, sitting at home doing my study etc… I have been getting a bit of back pain which I know is related to this (how do I know? when I am on holidays and not sitting a lot this goes away). Its not a debilitating pain, just awkward, annoying and stiff. Its is always in the right side of my lower back.
I was also getting a fair bit of tendinitis pain in my elbows when hitting bags, doing push ups and pull ups etc…
This podcast from Paul Saladino with Aaron Alexander really got me thinking a lot more about all this:
One of my goals for this year was to “move” better. Specifically, for me this includes:
- Increase my flexibility
- Increase my my mobility
- Increase my strength in what are now difficult movement patterns (hanging movements, crawling positions, getting up down off the ground etc…)
- Increase my movement skills (hand balancing, kicking, juggling)
My plan is to integrate more of this movement practice into my everyday life. Not just plan out 3 intensive sessions per week, but try and do something everyday. This could just be 5 mins of stretching and mobility work. This can be done anywhere and anytime. I am going to ease back on the weights sessions and anything that is too repetitive on my joints, i.e.: not running on the road multiple times per week or hitting the heavy bag to often.
This is what a week of training looks like (its a pretty loose schedule and can change at any time):
Day 1: Strength/Hypertrophy – full body workout of slow and controlled intensive movements. This day will involve some movement practice in the warm up or throughout the day
Day 2: Boxing session – shadow boxing, hitting the bag or mitts, light sparring. This day will involve some movement practice in the warm up or throughout the day
Day 3: A movement session like a video with Movement Parallels Life
Day 4: Movement practice – mobility work, shadow boxing, hand balancing, kicking etc…
Day 5: try and get out for a trail run or something similar
Day 6: Movement practice – mobility work, shadow boxing, hand balancing, kicking etc…
Day 7: Movement practice – mobility work, shadow boxing, hand balancing, kicking etc…
Like I said, its pretty loose. Some days could be 5 mins, others could be 90 mins. All depends on whats going on (work, family etc…)
There are a number of people I follow that are big proponents of moving properly and I have dipped my toe in the waters.
Max Shank is someone I have been following for years. I started incorporating his “5 minute flow” about 4 or 5 years ago and it made a big difference to me. I also got his book “Ultimate Athleticism” a few years back which is a great resource. I just never stuck with it to get the results. It was always something I put in at the end of a workout “if I have time” but never prioritised. But this year I have been following it more closely and am really enjoying it.
Movement Parallels Life
During the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown I was trying to find some movement videos on YouTube to follow along and I came across this channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/MovementParallelsLife
He has a lot of free content on the channel with videos in different levels ranging from 5 mins up to almost an hour. There is something there for everyone. I have done a number of these so far and am really enjoying them. I feel great after them.
Its been a couple of months and I am feeling great. I feel like I am building myself up rather than breaking myself down everyday. My flexibility and mobility has improved, but I still have a long way to go.I am definitely moving better and I can feel this in things like my boxing training. As corny as it might sound, I feel more “intune” with my body and how it moves.
I thought my body composition would change due to me not doing as much hypertrophy work and high intensity conditioning, but I would say its pretty similar. I didn’t measure this so it is hard to say for sure. I would say I am leaner but this is more down to diet. I might write more about that in a different post.
Movements like crawling and getting up off the ground with no hands are definitely getting easier. My skills in movements like hand balancing is also improved a lot but still a long way off what I would say is good.
I will certainly keep up this structure and post some more updates later in the year.