Why building muscle is easier, better, and more important than you thought, and its vital role in injury rehabilitation
Before we begin this article I would like to point you to another one of my article when I talk about– injury and rehabilitation
Exercise is the closest thing there is to a miracle drug, and strength training is one of the best kinds of exercise, practically like magic: more healthy and more efficient than most people realize, and a valuable component of fitness and most injury rehabilitation and prevention, but not just for the reasons most patients and professionals think. It is the gym-o-centric, load-bearing exercise that a few guys like to do — bodybuilding, pumping iron. Nearly everyone else ignores strength training, except during occasional New Year’s resolution phases, or when prescribed and/or supervised by a physical therapist.
Please don’t dismiss it! In this article, I will spell out why strength training really matters to ordinary people, and how to do it. I may sound a bit bias but I literally spent many years studying and coaching client on this topic and I am very confident it can do anyone some good, of course its not for everyone and it does not have to be masses of weight but enough to stimulate your muscles and strengthen your joints and ligaments.
While I hope anyone who’s ever spent time in a gym will find this helpful, it’s mainly written for people with chronic pain and stubborn injuries who are wondering:
Where does weight training fit in to a recovery plan?
Let me introduce you to a basic principle I have always followed for many years and i swear by this is by far the most effective principle of training to reduce injury risk and to rehabilitate a client with clonic pain.
So what is foundation training?
Foundation Training is all about your core, your core is anything that connects to your pelvis, whether above or below it, and this includes your hamstrings, glutes, and adductor muscles. Foundation Training teaches all those muscles to work together through integrated chains of movement, which is how you’re structurally designed to move, as opposed to compartmentalizes movements like crunches.
“My primary exercise – The foundation muscles– the one that everybody has to learn… is an integrated movement. We take your entire posterior chain of muscles and we pull them together to make exercise easier, more functional and safer for you to perform.
Every exercise in Foundation Training adds as many muscles into a given movement as possible, dispersing more force throughout your body, taking friction away from your joints and putting that tension into your muscles instead. It’s basically the answer to a very plaguing question for people, which is, ‘I sit all day long. I drive my car all day long. I look at my phone all day long. I watch TV.’ Your shoulders are just continuously going further [forward]. Your head is falling further forward. Your hip flexors and your abdomen are shortening.
Every exercise that I teach lengthens the front of your body, the over-tightened, over-shortened muscles in your body; strengthens and lengthens the back of your body; puts it to its effective lengths; stands you tall; and allows your body to move as a human animal is designed to move – very powerfully, very gracefully, and with a lot of flexibility.”
The Foundation muscles” helps reinforce proper movement while strengthening the entire back of your body by dispersing your weight through the posterior chains. As a result, your weight shifts back toward your heels and “untucks” your pelvis. By doing so, you lengthen your hip flexors, gaining length at the front of your body.
In doing that, you teach your hips to hinge properly with a nice, long and strong front; you’re keeping the sternum high, keeping the chest high,” he says. “The place to start is learning how to hinge effectively. Learning how your hamstrings, lower back, and glutes are designed to stretch together. Once that part is in place, you can then advance to all the exercises that build upon that foundation, that build upon that first exercise.
The Founder is an excellent exercise that can help reverse the effects of frequent and prolonged sitting. While sitting down is not the only thing that can cause trouble (adopting any particular posture for long periods of time can slow down your circulatory system), sitting is one of the most pervasive postures in modern civilizations.
Why am i so obsessed about foundation training?
The only reason that I’ve focused so heavily on the posterior chain is our modern lifestyles, It’s not that these are more important muscles. It’s that our modern lifestyles have pulled us out of “proper alignment and movement”. Our glutes, hamstrings, and lower back, they don’t work as they’re designed to anymore. They’re a team… [but] we’ve separated them, and… they’re not able to function properly until they connect again. So we teach basic, postural, support, strength – all of these things beginning at the posterior chain, beginning with those integrative muscles.
How to improve your core muscles?
Hips dont lie…. Literally just like what Shakira Said haha..
Its all about the Hips, if you have dysfunctional hip muscles all the muscles bellow and above will be weak, so if you wonder why you are always in pain when doing classes or perhaps at the gym running, doing squats and you realised that you knee hurts, well just think again.
Every muscle that directly connects to your pelvis should be considered a piece of your core. Your athletic ability, flexibility, balance and strength are all dependent on powerful hips. To accomplish that, strengthening the following muscles using the Foundation Training Program:
Glutes: These are the powerhouses of your body. They do not work alone.
Adductors (Inner thigh muscles) are your built in traction system.
When the adductor group of muscles remains strong you have increased in hip stability, stronger arches in the feet, and a pelvic brace using a couple of the strongest muscles in your body.
Your deep lower back muscles facilitate the proper integration of the Posterior Chain of Muscles. Simply put, a weak lower back changes every aspect of your movement patterns for the worse.
Your abdomen and hip flexors: Think of the front of your body as a window that shows what is happening at the spine and pelvis. If the front is always too tight, the back is not working properly.
The Transverse Abdominal muscle: A built in bracing system. When the transverse abdominus is tightened against the other muscles among this core group, the entire system becomes stronger.
What is Posterior chain muscles?
In its simplest form, the posterior chain is the rear side of your body and is comprised of six muscles; the external obliques, the erector spinae, the calves, hamstring muscles, multifidus and gluteal muscles.
Within these muscles the most common movement is the hip extension. Developing a poor posterior chain can eventually lead to the following injuries/health scares;
- Lower back pain
- Shortened hip flexors
- Weakened core stability
- Less effective general athletic function
So now we know what the posterior chain is and what it can lead to if neglected, what are the benefits of a strong posterior chain?
You not only have a stronger posterior chain muscles but you will reduce the chances of any further injury and you will move and feel so much better. From my many years of experience working with clients with chronic injury related to LOWER BACK PAIN and KNEE PAIN, most of the times the cause is due to improper biomechanics or any chronic posture issue related to work or perhaps improper exercise.
If you fall within the age of 50 or more , your main priority is to move better and maintain a strong posterior chain and many more other symptoms that comes with age related training and lifestyle, bellow are some examples what i have found on the internet.
We all know how important it is to be healthy within our body, moving better and waking up in the morning pain-free. Bellow are some great examples of what age can bring upon us and what we can do about it to improve it. If you looking to improve your posture, strength your body so you can feel younger and have more confidence in training at your own capacity, please do not be afraid to click on the link bellow so we can arrange an initial consultation for FREE to get you started with some basic assessments.
What research says about Aging and Sarcopenia
Sarcopenia is all about the loss of muscle mass we age. And this has many kinds of corollary effects as well.
This loss of muscle mass that increases as we age can negatively impact metabolism too. Associated issues with sarcopenia can be weakness, fatigue, lack of stamina, diabetes and a host of other issues.
WebMD says this about sarcopenia causes and effects:
- Age-related reduction in nerve cells responsible for sending signals from the brain to the muscles to initiate movement.
- A decrease in the concentrations of some hormones, including growth hormone, testosterone, and insulin-like growth factor
- A decrease in the body’s ability to synthesize protein
- Inadequate intake of calories and/or protein to sustain muscle mass
Here is what WebMD says about treatment for Sarcopenia:
“The primary treatment for sarcopenia is exercise. Specifically, resistance training or strength training – exercise that increases muscle strength and endurance with weights or resistance bands – has been shown to be useful for both the prevention and treatment of sarcopenia.
Resistance training has been reported to positively influence the neuromuscular system, hormone concentrations, and protein synthesis rate.” (end of WebMd quote)
What you don’t see above in terms of fighting off sarcopenia is a recommendation of doing a lot of aerobic/cardio work. If your goal is a robust and healthy “physique over 50” then bodybuilding training makes the most sense. And I will explain the reasons for this if you wanting to feel great and looking great, even after age 50 – then resistance-training should form the bulk of your fitness approach.
Hormones, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), and Aging
As you can see above, some of the causes of sarcopenia are from a natural decline in relevant hormonal levels as we age. There are many studies and health care companies that specially in hormone replacement therapy for men and women. And weight training in combination with HRT can simply lead to a better quality of life for you after age 50. This may not apply for everyone but its an option if you want to always stay optimum and healthy. However this is a topic for another article
Metabolism and Aging
There’s no question that metabolism slows with age. And it is on a steady decline after about age 35 for women and age 40 for men. This has to do with many inter-related elements of physiology – such as hormonal decline mentioned above as well as biochemical processes slowing down as well. It’s all inter-related. As metabolism slows and declines with age, making metabolically active tissue makes all the difference in weight-control, preventing the middle-age spread (paunch) and having a cosmetically pleasing “physique over 50.” This means once again that weight-training is the preferred method of fitness for anyone looking to rehabilitate and train in a safe programme protocol that will not only invigorate you but it will make your day to day so much easier.
Conversely, overdoing aerobic training can actually enhance the negative effects of sarcopenia as branch chain amino acids get sacrificed from the muscle tissue and are used for energy. This can have a resulting effect of further slowing down metabolism as well. Bodypart, traditional bodybuilding/innervation training makes the best sense for someone over 40 years old or more. It’s just the easiest and safest way to keep metabolically active tissue – metabolically active.
The older we get the more susceptible joints become to injury or chronic overuse issues. Arthritic joints can also be a problem. I myself have severe osteoarthritis and was once facing shoulder replacement surgery but I solved that issue, at least for now. Ironically enough, weight training can help lessen joint issues by keeping muscles surrounding a joint strong and supple. However, ill-advised weight training or fitness training can actually make joint issues worse as well. Ballistic weight training, plyometrics, explosive or jarring movements are not good ideas when training with a bad posture or weak posterior chain muscles.
For this same reason, plyometric training such as running, jogging, high intense fitness classes are terrible idea if you suffer already from a chronic injury this can cause even further stress to your local joints such as knees and hips and even on the feet. And yet walking and power-walking are perfectly fine – although it doesn’t do much of anything to help sculpt your physique. Make no mistake here, joint issues are a real problem when doing any type of stress related training, such as, high intense classes. But good smart training, like bodypart training is a way to keep joint issues at bay. For some this may sound boring but trust me if you are able to make it to the gym 2 times per week to exercise your posterior -muscles you will go a long way in your training and life. You will not only feel strong but younger as well, because as you develop a better posterior muscles your body and joints will be at less stress whilst exercising and better at handling day to day task at ease.
Aging and Your Work Capacity
We all know that we are not getting any younger and that our physiology is changing as we grown older, our work capacity and levels of intensity also diminish with age. The most ridiculous notion here is to think you can handle as much work capacity as you did when you were younger. There are huge and often dire consequences for doing so. Many of my clients from the start think very much as training as a BOOTCAMP or ARMY training, but to be honest with you its far more simple than that. If you have a long history of training and working out one of the hardest lessons to learn is that you must “train your age” once you are over 50. This is something I teach my clients on daily basis.
Aging and Recovery Capacity
This goes along with what I mentioned above the ability to recover under stressful work capacity. Recovery concerns take on a new level of importance if you are over a certain age and specially if you have a chronic injury. You can’t train your body into the ground anymore. Training to failure is not a good idea because it will take your muscles and nervous system beyond your recovery capacity. You should still have a little performance energy left in the tank when you leave the gym after each workout. This doesn’t mean you can’t train frequently, you can. I work out 5 Days per week. But I know from biofeedback not to push my body beyond intra-workout recovery ability. Sore joints are the first sign of pushing too hard and too often. Consistency is more important than intensity, all things considered.
But there are other elements to recovery capacity to consider as well. Quality and quantity of sleep go a long, long way to insuring optimum recovery for your body and your whole system really. Ensuring good quality nutrition and training stimulus that will provide your body with energy, stability, posture alignment, joint and muscular strength.
The better you serve your body, the more efficiently your body can continue serving you. And this is a key consideration you can no longer take for granted as someone looking to strengthen your body and feel better about your self. “Scott Abel”
So what to do with all this information?
Here are some quick guide what you can do next time when you are in the gym or perhaps if you do not enjoy going to the weights rooms:
Focus on exercising the back muscles more often
Train your glutes more often as well, sedentary lifestyle can be very hard in our body and specially if you used to work or work a lot in a seated position, your hip muscles should be weaker than usual. strengthening these group of muscles will not only help you move and feel better BUT it will provide your body with the foundation that is required to improve posture in the upper body region but also increase legs strength, stability and prevent any hip and knee weakness that you may have or perhaps tight muscles.
Train legs more often, functional leg exercises, such as, squatting and lunges are great for working in your balance and it keeps your spine healthy as well.
If you are the type of person that does not enjoy gym training you can always attend yoga, pilates and core strengthening classes they are excellent for you to gain balance and most important of all create mind and body connection to your muscles and body alignment and awareness.
If you are interested in find out more or perhaps you would like to ask me some questions, I will put a link bellow so you can send me some of your details and we can start the initial consultation process.
Being healthy and fit its not just about working hard at the gym or adding more activity level to your weekly basis, but finding a sole core foundation training that is going to make you stronger within and healthier mentally and physically. My training protocol will provide you will everything that you need to know, how to manage injuries and stay save and fit during training sessions.
Take a look at what people have said about FIT-OVER 50 CLUB