What are Biomechanics?
Training with biomechanics takes into account your current position in space and how your body adapts to physical circumstances. As an example, lets say you have arthritis of the knees. Arthritis occurs because of joint friction, excessive rubbing of bone on bone. What happens if by training your legs properly, we could remove the bone on bone rubbing? If we could accomplish that, then we take the stress off of the joints that are being diagnosed arthritic.
This is done by precise application of corrective, postural, and rhythmic movements. This is called ‘kinetic sequencing’, recruiting muscles across large spans of the body to create whole body movements. Instead of training in isolation, you learn how to train with integration, working with several joints at once instead of one or two. So when you have an injury, chronic pain, stagnation, or are trying to get to the next level in your body, biomechanics is the most effective way of strengthening and lengthening your muscles. You can’t exercise yourself out of pain, nor can you improve joint functioning with a joint that doesn’t understand healthy function. This is where biomechanics comes into place.
Biomechanics also allows us to stimulate muscles and joints in a particular fashion, the way they would respond in a given scenario. This is more applicable to everyday life. Life is uncontrollable and unpredictable, so the better our joints can be trained to have a clear understanding of how to adapt, move, and respond to surprises in the world, we decrease the likelihood of injuries. This is called building reflexivity of the nervous system and body. What was once unconscious now understands how to consciously move into a relevant circumstance.
Finally we come to pliability, the missing link in most exercise regimens. Pliability is the ability to bend, lengthen, shorten, and have an elastic property. Training with biomechanics literally helps restore optimal function and spring into each step you take in the world. It takes into account your muscles that are overworking and holding you down by relaxing them and shutting them off. Additionally, biomechanics helps activate up tissues that will make your posture more upright and easy to sustain, something everybody benefits from. It is through this combined approach of lengthening and strengthening that helps to build the spring in the body and resiliency in the joints.
WHAT IS A FOCUS OF TRAIN RUGGED TRAINING?
As a personal trainer & physical therapist, its important to address both emotional and physical health. This means I aim for you to feel taller and have more spring in your step. Second, to train you as an upright human first and foremost. To basically help you attain a healthier body and overall physiology! Most people will agree that human beings have far surpassed the accomplishments of any other species on earth. If we look back at human history to see what separated us from the rest of the pack, the answer can be found in our transition from walking on all fours and swinging from trees to walking upright on two legs (bipedalism) and being able to use our hands to hold tools/weapons. As hunter/gatherers, we did certain movements far more than any others. We walked, we ran, we carried, and we threw. The better you were at those movements, the higher your chances were of surviving.
Fast forward to 2019 where most people often sit more of the day than they stand, we see a species struggling to thrive with their health and to use their bodies in functional ways.
The human body is a tensegrity structure, and ideally, we have a relatively even dispersal of tension around the skeletal system so that our fascial system decompresses our spine/joints as we move.
Train Rugged looks to add tension in tissues that are too slack in order to “stretch” or re-tension tissues that are too rigid and short.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT TO GET OUT OF THIS TRAINING?
The overarching theme of Train Rugged is preparing your body for the reality we all live in. With consistent effort, a willingness to learn, and objective reasoning, you will experience benefits in the following areas.
Energy Levels – More efficient movement = less metabolic demand to move yourself.
Breathing – Decompressing both the spine and ribcage will allow a larger volume of oxygen with each breath.
Stress Management – Re-distributing tension through the fascia can feel like loosening off a strait jacket and allow you to achieve a relaxed state easier.
Pain Reduction – Get to the root cause of your pain instead of just applying a band-aid.
Athletic Ability – Learn how to produce force with your whole body in a coordinated fashion to get an edge over competition.
Body Composition – Combine training with Rob with the most up-to-date practices in health including light therapy, cold thermogenesis, grounding, and nutrition to reduce body fat and promote muscle growth.
“What helps me accelerate my progress?”
First off, showing up and doing the work. Second, refer to my ‘Whole Body Health’ page to understand the big picture of health. To fully realize the benefits of training it’ll take some effort on your part. If you want to progress more quickly it is helpful to take the below steps as extra work to do on your own. Fixing your biomechanical dysfunctions takes a daily effort that can come in many different forms. Over time, as you develop the habit of training, you will organically (I hope), have more agency in your self-care and this will help take your human biomechanics and movement to a new level. This will make your future much more lively and enjoyable as you move into your life without pain, reclaim your health, and have a body that works for you.
Myofascial Release (MFR) – Having Rob work on you can help you understand areas where your fascia is locked and muscles / tissues aren’t gliding properly under your skin. Without Rob you can also use tools such as foam rollers, tennis balls, lacrosse balls, PVC pipes, and theracanes to help improve hydration of certain tissues. You’ll need to become your own massage therapist to prepare the fascia to be re-tensioned, or just ask Rob to lend a hand!
Practice – Holding your posture together and walking / moving with purpose are things that you can work on every day. Analyzing the mechanisms of your own body will help give yourself and your trainer insight about what dysfunctions are still present.
Self-Analysis – Being brutally honest with yourself is sometimes the most difficult part. I often say that a first step is raising your hand and admitting, “this low back pain I have, its my fault, I got myself here. Now I want to turn it around.” Be light with yourself, don’t judge! Life is really hard, the last thing we want to do is criticize ourselves more, but being honest is helpful. Examine your day-to-day patterns to find other inefficiencies (ex. eating habits, sleep patterns, alcohol consumption, time spent indoors, etc.).
Questioning Norms – Many traditional forms of training (powerlifting, yoga, bodybuilding, endurance, etc.) that you may have practiced yourself can heavily distort your tensegrity and gait mechanics. The further you go with Rob, the more you’ll understand why variety of training matters.
Patience – Human Biomechanics is extremely complicated, and not something that is changed overnight. When beginning the concepts and cueing will seem confusing and difficult to follow, but as more and more connections are made your body awareness, movement coordination, and understanding will improve greatly.
Curiosity – Ask questions! If something isn’t clear, please don’t worry about it being a stupid question or not. Again, these are complex concepts we are working with.