Overcomplicated theories and people that want to make money are probably the most dangerous things to a beginner, hell, sometimes when I read some stuff I almost second guess myself. When you start strength train, everything is awesome, there is only the lifts and working on technique. When you start becoming more interested and start to find where your strengths and weaknesses are that’s when stuff gets… interesting… Especially if you have managed to pick up an injury.
Whatever you have picked to do, you’re going to get stuck at some point, and it’ll come down to a few different things:
1. Time invested
Yes, they are in order.
Number 1: Time.
If you’re not putting in the work to get better at something, don’t expect to get fucking better at it
If you’re not putting in the work to get better at something don’t expect to get fucking better at it… I do feel I need to be blunt with that one. Often I’ll see that someone’s “expectations” and “effort” give out mixed messages: if you want a 300kg deadlift and you’re only deadlifting once a week, your expectations are exceeding your effort, you HAVE to work for things.
Number 2: Mobility.
If you lack the range of motion to replicate the positions needed for your chosen practice then that is what you need to invest your aforementioned time on first: how can you practice something you physically can’t do? Sensible progressions that are going to give you the prerequisites to be able to train safely are the best way to go. You can jump into individual joint mobilisations, or you can actually practice skills that encourage good movement and mobility. The latter is by far more fun, more sustainable, AND your body can learn from that as a whole. If there really is one thing that is particularly holding you back, then yes by all means focus on it, but I would always integrate it with some sort of progression that will bring you closer to your goal. Mobility can be very tedious if you let it.
Number 3: Strength.
Handstands are just balance… piss off. It takes strength and coordination to balance and handstand push up and walk on just your hands. I can’t recall a time I’ve ever thought “Oh, I wish I didn’t have this strength” being stronger makes EVERYTHING better. Proper application of that strength is even better. If you build up your endurance gradually you’ll be able to have amazing productive sessions practicing really cool things. If you lack strength then you’re going to have to supplement your movements for less exciting things, which is ok to begin with. It again comes back to time investment; if you’re pushed for time you want your sessions to be as productive as possible!
Back on topic, why are corrective exercises bullshit?
Depending on who you follow or what you read, you’re going to be drawing on someone else’s experience. I know a ton of people that are really good at what they do but even they have a “favourite muscle” or “favourite core dysfunction” that they will give to/label everyone. This is absolutely fine BUT, often if you notice an improvement after “this thing” it can lead you down the path of thinking you are dysfunctional, which you’re not; you are just always figuring out how to move.
Keeping your joints happy and moving well more consistently and frequently is just more sensible.
This mindset shift can cause you to start playing “preventative catch-up”: you need to activate this before X,Y and Z, you need to mobilise this before doing windmills with your cock – time wasting stuff. More focus on how you move all the time as well as devoting more time to studying how you move all the time, keeping your joints happy and moving well more consistently and frequently is just more sensible. Going down the route of automatically blaming your Psoas for everything, or getting insoles because your Soleus doesn’t like Gluten on Thursdays is just such a waste of time and research. Save that shit for the physiotherapists and trainers.
The big thing with assessments and therapists is that they only see you for an hour at a time, sometimes 30 minutes, and it’s usually after you have been sitting in work all day, drove to the waiting room then went in and sat down… of course you’re going to be “a bit stiff”. A vast majority of people are not willing to build a relationship with their physio and show them how they move WHEN TRAINING, not rested. The worst thing about people that self-diagnose is they’ll try to tell the physio what they need done based on Doctor Google, please just don’t. They do talk about you.
Priming the nervous system, switching on chains, accessing your inner most balanced Kola Bear are all just “things”. Every “thing” is a “thing” and they are all broken down into patterns you can learn individually, what you need to do is locate the similarities between all movements.
I can train different movements every day but still focus on the same qualities of what the movements provide depending on what I want to do. There are only so many ways you can move, the variety actually comes from the combination of different joint positions. Joints really only stay straight, bend or rotate (…mind blown…). That being said, you can spend a lifetime devoted to seeing how many of those combinations you can try, and probably still not have tried everything.
Not to be a buzzkill, but bear in mind that the more movement options you have available to you and the better you are at moving, the more likely you are to do it more often, thus subjecting yourself to the chance of becoming injured more frequently, sucks doesn’t it? Obviously you can’t live thinking like that but the occasionally “lying on your ass” day might not be such a bad thing.
If you want to get better at holding stuff, hold stuff, if you want to get better at throwing stuff, throw stuff, which is what should make up the majority of your training. Supplementary exercises? By all means devote some time to band work and planks etc but moving and practicing a craft will always win, don’t let the mega smart marketers put fear into your heart! Try stuff, if it helps and you like it, keep it, if you only think it helped and you’re having to do it for every warm up, you need to have a word with yourself. I’m only on this earth for a short time and I don’t want to spend a large amount of time foam rolling my quads when lunges will do…