Sat | Jul 20, 2019

Fit 4 Life | Fitting the basics into your training [Part II]

Published:Tuesday | June 25, 2019 | 5:46 PMMarvin Gordon/Contributor
The bend and twist movement patterns truly take one back to the basics. As children, we learned and practised these movements perfectly. As we age, however, changing body composition and inactivity strip us of these skills.

Bend and twist like a baby

The bend and twist movement patterns truly take one back to the basics. As children, we learned and practised these movements perfectly. As we age, however, changing body composition and inactivity strip us of these skills. Yet they remain key parts of everyday life – from getting out of bed to getting dressed before work, we can't live without them. And, there is another good reason to train these patterns, even if you are only working on you 'summa' body: avoiding the back and hip issues that plague so many people.

The bend and twist movement patterns are key to maintaining back and hip health, but there is a catch: making the wrong move with these patterns could lead to serious injury. In addition, many adults experience back and/or hip-related complications such as low back pain.

So how do you approach these movements? Well, a life-long learning mindset is a must. Treat the training of these movements as a way of teaching your body to move efficiently, not an opportunity for a '#beastmode' moment for the 'Gram'. You already bend and twist many times each day, so why not learn to do it safely.

So, before you start looking for deadlift records, start from zero.

Here is what to do if you:

1. LIFT

If you lift, you likely already use these movements, either at high intensity or not at all. Proper progression will provide safety:

• Flexibility is key – work on hip mobility (back, glute/ham, and hip stretches).

• Stability – especially under load – is essential for safety. Strengthen the core and back, generally, first.

• Start with bodyweight and progress VERY slowly – yes, even for deadlifts.

2. RUN

Runners will find great value in training these movements. Avoiding them might leave one nursing seemingly unrelated afflictions such as knee pain or hamstring issues.

• The same principles that apply for lifters will work for runners.

• Ensure that there is adequate rest before training bend and twist

• Train them twice a week

• Manage intensity to avoid excessive soreness during runs.

3. PRACTISE YOGA

Yoga's natural progression will improve mobility, but resistance training will bring added stability.

• Train these movements twice a week – bodyweight is enough.

• Try to train on days when you do not practise yoga and allow adequate recovery time.

• Ten to fifteen minutes is enough.

4. DANCE

It is important for those who dance or practise dance-aerobics to master these patterns. Dance sessions often require you to use these movements in combination with others and/or in ballistic variants.

• Make time for at least one resistance-training session a week

• Fifteen minutes minimum.

• Allow sufficient recovery after intense dance sessions before resistance training.

• Incorporate bodyweight movements as part of a pre-dance warm-up.

• Manage intensity to avoid excessive soreness.

5. CIRCUIT TRAINING/BOOTCAMP

Circuit training sessions are high in intensity, with less of a focus on proper movement. Proper function at the hips and core will keep you safe through the circuit.

• Make time to train these movements outside of circuit training sessions.

• Start with the basics – controlled bodyweight movements are invaluable.

• Allow adequate recovery time after circuit sessions before training these patterns.

Check out the Fit 4 Life basic movement pattern guide for exercise which can be used to train these movement patterns.

- Marvin Gordon is a fitness coach; email: marvin.gordon@physiqueandfunction.com; yourhealth@gleanerjm.com