Father Andrew's Hot Body Gym

March 18, 2010

Stretch the pain away.

Filed under: real talk — Tags: , , , — Micah Vandegrift @ 8:00 pm

Here at FAHBG our goals are to consistently be better; better lifters, better friends, better Christians, better eaters, ect. The ultimate purpose of our program is to be fit, healthy and balanced in order to live life to its fullest as strong, well rounded people.

Looking back over the past 10 months, I would propose that as a community we have identified and been working on 5 pillars of good fitness – Strength, Diet, Sleep, Positive Attitude, and Mobility. All of us continue to struggle in all of these areas, but after reading a few posts over at the Whole 9 blog, it became clear to me that we need to up the ante again.

Image from Whole9Life.com - click for article

Mobility at FAHBG is not great. It might even be plain bad. Amongst the group the specific strengths and weaknesses of each of us are starting to become more apparent as we sink into routines, but I think we could agree that the majority of us (Andrew, Abby and I! Yikes!) don’t think about or do enough stretching. And it could be one of the major things that is holding us back from real results in our performance as athletes.

According to Melissa Urban over at Whole 9  effective, regular stretching is the key to unlocking the real power and utility of the human body. She plainly states,

“Start taking your mobility issues seriously. Figure out what’s messed up, learn how those mobility issues are negatively affecting your performance numbers, and then commit to spending quality time every single day working on them. Sub out a training day for a movement/mobility/skill day, even.  Best case – it fixes your mechanics, your lifts improve and you’re a stronger, happier person.  Worst case – you’re merely more flexible, with less pain and stiffness during full range of motion.  Win/win, people.”

For our little group, I can see this being a real area that could improve some of the major setbacks we come up against. Andrew has regular backpain, Abby has hip issues, and I have bad posture from riding a motorcycle and playing drums. Yeah, our ultimate goal is strength and a good Fran time, but overlooking our mobility issues much longer seems like an unwise path to injury.

What’s the catch, you may ask? Well, you have to stretch at work. You have to get down on the floor and roll around like a weirdo with your foam tube or rubber ball. The question becomes how much are you (we) invested in the idea that fitness is linked to mobility, and then what are you willing to do about it? How much good can we be if you are strong as a bear, but can barely twist, jump and bend?

I’m up for the challenge. Yesterday when I wrote this, I had been sitting at my desk for 3 hours straight. But, this morning I took a short walk, did some hip/thigh stretches in my office and “shook out” my shoulders and back twice an hour. Baby steps folks.

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