Is your training limiting what should be your natural movement vocabulary? Are you sticking religiously to your training regimen, wishfully thinking that “when I am done with this I’ll do more of”…fill in the blanks…?Have the thought crossed your min that your training is one-sided, monotone, uniform? Are you daring to play?
Have you seen the #daretoplay hash-tag? I am in love with it. It reminds us to never stop playing no matter what age, what academic degrees you have or what type of jobs we have. I carry a lot of training discipline with me from my years as a dancer, but what it also gave me was the ability to explore my physical possibilities and play with movement. No movement was too weird or wrong. On the contrary it, seemed that the weirder the better for some of my teachers and fellow students.
As strength and conditioning coaches we tend to weed out “wrong movements” or avoid things that look weird to us when we work with clients an when we train our self. I am completely aware of the 3D-training movement that is going on now and in many ways I am a big fan of the variations in movement 3D-training brings, but listen guys: EVERYTHING you do is 3D. Last time I checked you are 3D, and even if you are moving only in the sagittal plane there are multiple movements going on in your joints around different axes. In my opinion there is a time and a place for so called 3D-training. Now I have to stop myself for going off on a rant here, but funnily enough the current “3d-training” incorporates movements and patterns that might have been considered weed before. However, this is not a “trad strength training versus 3D-training”- kind of blog post. It is so much simpler than that!
I just want you to ask yourself when was the last time you played around with your capacity for movements? What did you do? Did you do what you know you excel at or challenge yourself to go in a different direction? Remove the questions marks and these are also my tips and advice:
- Make time for 1 session per week where you move differently, yet safely, from all other training that you usually do.
- Do movements that feel good and natural to your body as a little warm up.
- Go in a new direction and challenge yourself to broaden your movement vocabulary.
Now that I am training for performance in cross-country skiing my training is what I’d call one-sided. It consists of maximal strength training with relatively classic exercises i general and some more XC-ski specific ones, I do HIT interval training, anaerobic threshold training, long endurance sessions and core- and stability work, all more or less ski specific in order for it to actually make me perform better out there in the race course. However, I, and also other world class athletes that I know do take time for a “play session” . Either the session is planned and led by a coach or the athletes take the initiative themselves. The point of this is as much for psychological purposes as physiological. They are just looking to get some new impulses, recharging their body’s and sharpening their brains.
It makes me better
This is maybe not a hack as much as it is a healthy habit, because I plan to do this as long as I live and am able.
For me, I use gymnastic movements, yoga, mobility drills, dance and improvisation. Another thing is that I feel like I am a much better coach when I am in touch with my own body and have different movement experiences with it. Just last week when improvising, I came across a pattern of movements that was showed to be perfect an athlete I am working with! Score for both!
Let’s get real: Your gains will not disappear because you move a little differently once in a while, you will not ski slower or swim poorly. When some of the best athletes in the country and the world take the time to play with movements outside of their sport, so can you and I, no matter what you are training for.
Forget training for just ONE session and #daretoplay