Most Common Areas of Muscular Dysfunction (Leading to Injury)

If we’re honoring the principles/beliefs that:

  • everything in the body is connected
  • all injuries are caused by the body’s inability to absorb force
  • an injury can “end” in a different area than it “starts”

…then it’s fair to say that a training/movement program that build a huge foundation of strength in/around the following three areas should be requisite of every training program:

  • Feet/Lower Leg
  • Glutes/Hips
  • Shoulder Blades

From observation, trial and error, research, and testing out theories, it is my opinion that the best thing you could possibly do to honor your body is to take care of these areas before moving onto anything more “complex”, “advanced”, or “sport-specific”. If we really want to allow ourselves to function/perform safely and do the things that we enjoy for a long period of time, whether that’s taking walks, picking up your grandkids, making love, or playing a sport, then we have to put in the necessary work to do so safely (if we don’t already have a foundation).  Maximal strength is very different than strength-endurance when it comes to moving safely (see “Types of Strength” post). With that said, training just your shoulders for a shoulder injury, or just hips for a hip injury, is a very inductive approach, which usually makes you miss the big picture when deducing from a general principle down to a specific (i.e. injury starts from body’s inability to absorb force, and a specific shoulder injury could start in the feet/hips, an elbow injury in the shoulder/hips, hand injury in the cervical spine, etc.)

My personal opinion is to go all in and find a program (similar to the Training Foundation: Beginner) to begin with.  I don’t recommend just doing one or two movements, but I suppose that’s better than nothing at all and is a good starting point… and since there’s really no right or wrong, why not?

Below is a list of some sample movements that you mess around with. General rule of thumb is 3-5 minutes straight of each hold or 150-300 reps of each unweighted movement.

Feet/Lower Leg

Glutes/Hips

Shoulder Blades

Note: If you noticed a lot of cross-over between different categories, refer to the first bullet point in the first list 😉  Never isolate.

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