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Respect Movement, Work It, Earn It

By Sean | In Philosophy, Psychology | on June 6, 2012

Happy Birthday Tina B.! Tina has been kicking butt in the morning sessions!

After reading Ruth’s Quality Control post from last Friday, I felt I should go a step further and discuss how we should approach our movement training.  Movement training is something that we stress, especially with beginners, but oftentimes we neglect cleaning up our movements because, honestly it can be kind of boring and slow.  Far less appealing than the allure of lifting a bar loaded with weight or the rush that draws many towards the “sexy met-con.”  In Gray Cook’s book entitled Movement, he discusses trainees’ mindset in the early days of weight training and how squatting was approached, saying that they, “took time to learn to squat properly with full range, balance, and control.  They developed a strength platform built on a good squat pattern,…”(p.192).  Three things stand out to me in his statement:  the elements of time, skill, and strength.  Time is necessary to learn, refine, and perfect a movement pattern.  Skill is required to maintain balance and control through the entire range of motion.  Finally, once one has taken the time to build a consistently good pattern, we start to add more resistance and develop strength.  The sequence is no accident, and is how we pattern our coaching here at Intrepid.  So how can you begin to work on correcting limited movement pattern?  According to Gray Cook here’s how we should address improving our movement:

  1. Focus first on mobility.  We can’t expect to squat to full depth or press weight overhead if our mobility restricts us from attaining those positions without using any weight.  Mobilitywod.com is a great resource and I’d recommend searching your mobility issues here for ideas.
  2. Second, we need to address stability.  Stability targets postural control of starting and ending positions.  Its focus is on fine-tuned control, not brute force.  For many athletes, poor pelvic stability has as much to do with not squatting to full depth as having tight hip musculature.  These drills require a bit more finesse and often require an extra set of eyes or a mirror so you can see yourself.
  3. Finally, after mobility issues have been resolved and stability has been attained, the focus can then shift to movement pattern retraining.  Here we are working the coordination and timing needed to redevelopment the movement pattern.

It’s not a smart use of time or worth the wear and tear you’ll endure if you overlook or ignore the skill of the movement in order to load up and lift heavy.  Whether you’re caressing your ego or claiming ignorance, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re indeed serious about your training and development.  Squatting to partial depth or elevating the heels to attain full depth squats are meant to be temporary accommodations, not permanent solutions.  Understand that unless we address the your soft tissue restrictions, joint mobility dysfunction, and/or your stability and motor control issues we’re avoiding the root issues keeping you from enjoying the freedom of full movement.  Respect movement enough to recognize when your limited or when a coach points a limitation out to you.  Work on correcting the issue with the approach outlined above:  mobility, stability, pattern retraining (which often takes time depending on how limited you are).  Very few things in life are given to us, and movement is no different…you’ve gotta earn it.  Some are working to the earn the ability to squat to full depth, while others are earning the opportunity to go heavier in weights by showing they can maintain range of motion, control, and balance at the current weight they’re lifting. Either way the moral of the story is that you have to earn it.


Order’s for Steve’s Original products are due by Thursday night (June 7th). Grab an order form in the gym or email us what you’d like to purchase.


WOD 6.06.12

Front Squat 4×3

5 Rounds for Time:
6 Jerks
12 Pistols
18 Sit Ups

7 Comments to "Respect Movement, Work It, Earn It"

  • Nick says:

    June 6, 2012 at 10:40 AM -

    Happy B-Day!!!

  • Holley says:

    June 6, 2012 at 1:13 PM -

    Happy Birthday Tina!!!

  • Anna says:

    June 6, 2012 at 3:37 PM -

    Happy Birthday Tina!

  • James says:

    June 6, 2012 at 4:57 PM -

    happy birthday!

  • Cristina says:

    June 6, 2012 at 8:18 PM -

    Happy birthday Tina!!!

  • Jake says:

    June 6, 2012 at 8:40 PM -

    Happy Birthday Tina!

  • Tina says:

    June 6, 2012 at 9:40 PM -

    Thanks everyone for the Bday wishes!

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