When I am speaking to new clients at this time of year and I ask what their goals are, I often get “I want to feel fitter.” That’s great but what exactly constitutes fitter? In reality this answer would be different for everyone. If you led a very sedentary lifestyle this could mean being able to climb the stairs at home without being out of breath, whereas if you were already fairly active it could mean being able to run a better 5k or 10k time or many other things, as I said it comes down to the individual as to what that means.
However, I think most people would agree they would like to move more freely, ache less and generally feel like day to life tasks were a bit easier. This comes down to having better all over movement and function.
In order to achieve this we need better flexibility, mobility and stability.
I think most people are aware of what flexibility is; the range of movement at muscles. Mobility is the range of movement at joints, however I tend to class flexibility as both muscles and joints so I will just refer to flexibility from hereon.
Stability I think is less considered by most people. So, what is stability? Well firstly it is what helps you to stay upright!
It is certainly not stiff, restricted movement.
There are several variations of the meaning of stability. The most relevant are.
- The strength to stand or endure
- The property of a body that causes it when disturbed of equilibrium or steady motion to develop forces or movements that restore the original condition
- Movement specialist Gray Cook describes stability as “The ability to demonstrate our flexibility under load.”
I particularly like Gray Cooks’ definition as I think it highlights that flexibility and stability are aligned.
If we have true stability we will have good movement patterns overall from a good squat and deadlift pattern to then carry over to everyday tasks like picking things up off the floor, carrying bags of shopping etc. It is these daily activities that we often do in a less than ideal pattern that contribute to our aches, pains and injuries.
As part of your “new year new you” goals perhaps we should all address our flexibility and stability and begin to fix any areas in which we fall short.
You can ponder that idea for a week and then next week I will take you through some self tests for flexibility.
Just 4 spaces left for 1 2 1 training at the Studio so get in touch if you want some help to achieve your goals this year.