Why you do the things you do
In case you have ever wondered why you roll a foam roller on your IT Band, hold a plank, or even why you hold a kettle-bell by the horns and squat to a box with it, then this is a must read because I am going to explain what goes on in our crazy minds of the staff at Force, and make you realize there is a method behind our crazy madness.
Here is the following protocol that we follow at Force in regards to the proper sequence of our workouts:
Foam rolling is a great tool we like to use before anyone works out because it is a great way to promote recovery in between sessions but, better yet, it is a great tool to get everyone moving and feeling better. We, at Force, think of foam rolling as a “poor man’s massage,” as it will break many adhesions and improve your tissue quality that you may get time to time from current or constant postures that you get throughout the day. For instance, in case you have ever wondered why rolling out the quadriceps (the front part of your leg) hurts generally more than your hamstrings, is primarily due to overuse of the quads in the sitting postures that we get throughout the day. When in doubt, roll the parts that hurt!
Warm Up and Corrective Exercises
Next on the agenda after foam rolling is performing the dynamic warm-up and some corrective exercises. You may be asking yourself why you are performing glute bridges and pec and ankle mobility drills as well as many other forms of corrective exercises. We have found through our assessment protocols time and time again, that many of our clients need such exercises to help restore proper movement patterns and eliminate pain. Often times, due to our lifestyles our body adapts to our current postural positions that we maintain throughout the day and, as a result, certain joins don’t move as well as they should or specific muscles don’t work at the appropriate times they should so this just helps gain the function of joints or muscles that it should have.
Aside from the corrective exercises that we do, the dynamics warm- up is a way for us to get the body temperature higher, the heart rate elevated, and the nervous system to turn on to prepare for exercising. If you have ever had a day where you just don’t feel like working out, then at least try warming up as you will often find once the nervous system gets firing, then you will be in a better mood to workout.
Once we get into the beginning of the workout, we like to start the program with some sort of core exercise. We start this at the beginning because we believe this is a very important component of our workouts as the core needs to be very strong but also have the endurance to control movement within the spine and trunk.
In case you have ever wondered why you will never see popular exercises such as sit-ups, crunches, and etc at Force is primarily because this isn’t the way your abs should work. Instead, you abdominals should resist such motions and be sturdy and stable and prevent movement in directions such as flexing, hyper- extending, and lateral bending of the spine; your extremities such as your hips and upper back should do the movements as it rotates around the spine. Additionally, performing any exercises mentioned above is a great way to increase the chance of having a lower back injury.
During the strength component of the workout, we try to program exercises that help promote restoring muscle imbalances. For instance, we will often times program more pulling exercises than pressing exercises or more hip based movements over quad dominant movements because the client usually gets enough of these movements within their general 9-5 day job. In the long run, this helps keep the clients healthier and looking more symmetrical.
In the preliminary stages of a client’s program, we will often perform exercises such as goblet squats, ½ kneeling and split stance positions. In regards to goblet squats, this is an exercise where the kettle-bell is held by the horns and one has to squat to a box of some sort, usually. We program these because it helps clients relearn how to squat by initiating the movement with their hips instead of their knees, which is a more efficient and healthier way to move. With spit-stance and ½ kneeling positions, it allows multiple benefits because it puts the client in an unstable position, stretches the trail leg, and helps restore oblique’s and glutes musculature to turn on.
Additionally, every exercise we do is multi-jointed primarily because it helps get a better overall effect due to increased muscles working. In case you ever wondered why we don’t do isolative exercises or have machines, this is primarily because such exercises or devices put clients body’s in poor positions to perform the movement and often times it is sitting down, which we don’t want because it turns off many muscles that need to work and, plus, many clients get enough sitting down throughout their days.
Lastly, every adult performs a finisher to their workout before they leave to help promote the desired body composition. During this phase of the workout, we usually provide more intense interval based exercises with short durations but high in intensity. So why do we do this over long slower duration elliptical or treadmills?
– Studies have shown more calories and fat are burned
– Less time consuming
– Provides more variety and is more fun to perform
– Less impact on the joints
There you have it; these are some of the methods behind our madness. Hopefully, next time when performing split-squats, you will realize why we program these exercises into your workouts.