Train Smarter, Not Harder – VillageLivingMagazine.ca
By: Nicole Westlake
Young athletes are resilient; they may sustain an injury in their sport, but with youth on their side, they bounce back faster than adults. As someone ages, injuries can set them back farther and take longer to recover. So what is missing? Stability. While stability is a well known term, it is not necessarily well applied, nor a popular form of exercise. No matter what age, stability is something everyone can benefit from practicing.
Stabilizers are the muscles responsible for holding your body up against gravity and supporting joints, especially during movement. Without these muscles the body cannot move or hold itself properly. This leads to imbalanced wear of the joints and can cause pain. From a young age, children carry heavy backpacks and sit at a desk all day in school, this quite often progresses to a desk job, or perhaps a standing one, but whether it is sitting or standing, gravity pulls the body out of alignment and certain stabilizers can turn off. As the years go by, the joints wear down more and other muscles start to compensate and overwork. The body will move, but not in a biomechanically sound way. A professional athlete begins playing their sport in childhood, they are taught drills and maybe some dryland exercises, but rarely do they learn to stabilize. This can lead to leaks in power and strength in their sport and accelerate the wear on their joints. By the time they reach a professional level, the chance of injury can increase and rehabilitation can take longer.
“Foundation Training predominantly strengthens the posterior chain, including the core and reduces pain.”
What kind of training will stabilize the body? The most effective way I have discovered is Foundation Training. Foundation training predominantly stabilizes the posterior chain, including the core. With a strong posterior chain the spine is stabilized and the bigger joints, like the hips, can propel the body. This form of training is anatomy based and developed by understanding how to activate these stabilizers in order to move the body. Foundation Training is physically challenging, it feels like a work out, but it is addressing all the smaller, deeper stabilizer muscles that are harder to consciously activate. My athletic clients have excelled thanks to this form of training and my clients with pain, have improved simply because they can maintain better posture and stabilize themselves during their day.
My clients have expressed how they wish they had known about Foundation Training earlier. It has helped them reduce pain and improve in all the activities they do, like skiing, hockey, running and golf. They all agree Foundation Training has improved their performance and wish they had been able to do it when they were younger because it would have helped them excel in their sport and helped prevent injuries. Foundation Training has made me better at all the activities I enjoy. Along with improving my strength and cardiovascular training, I can pick a sport I do sporadically, like rock climbing, and return to it stronger thanks to the muscle chains Foundation Training targets. This stability training is the base I need in order to excel at all of the various forms of movement I do. Even as I sit and type, my stabilizers are now strong enough so that I no longer walk away from the computer stiff.