Fix your mobility — get back to the basics!
We sat down with La Jolla Sports Club trainer, martial artist, inventor and all-around good guy, Maurizio Tangari, to answer members’ questions on Primal Movement and mobility and how it benefits each and every one of us. (Scroll down for Maurizio’s favorite dynamic stretching / warmup)
First off, what are Primal Movements, and how do they apply to me?
Move like a baby! Crawl, roll, climb, jump, twist! Primal Movements are fundamental if you want to stay healthy and keep your joints injury-free. Parents put kids in a gymnastic class to do things that they can easily do by exploring the environment and natural playgrounds around them. Living in a bubble limits our body and our creativity. We go to the gym because we have forgotten how to use our bodies and the world around us like a natural gym.
Don’t get me wrong, if you want to be big and strong, lifting big is the way to go. Being strong and avoiding functional mobility, however, is not a good idea. Strength alone will not keep you from needing an inhaler after playing a game of soccer with your grandchildren—or children, for that matter. And strength alone will not reduce your risk of injury when you chase your dog around the yard.
Whether you play sports, or just want a better balanced level of fitness as you live your life, a functional fitness program may be the most efficient and effective way to increase your level of fitness.
I’ve noticed my mobility and range of motion have become limited, will functional movements help?
A mobility program is absolutely necessary on an everyday basis, not just at the gym, but all day long. Before getting out of bed, rotating the neck, shoulders, wrists and ankles will help us avoid little discomforts. After getting out of the car, perform some hip rotations and a few squats. And to avoid back pain and stress headaches at work, try a standing station. To close the day, I do a 20-minute joint mobility routine, which helps me destress my body from all-day discomfort.
For a great mobility program, check out Steve Maxwell on YouTube. There are no excuses to not give it a try.
I injured my back a few years ago, will primal / functional movements help me get back to where I was?
For sure, I would not recommend jumping right into a lifting program. The best way to stay in shape is by performing basic Primal Movements: squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, twisting, bending- there are hundreds of different variations of these functional movements!
I always suggest adding core stability exercises for helping back problems and reducing future injuries. This not to be confused with ab exercises. The pillar, or the core, represents the central part of the body, the torso and the hips. That is where strength and power come from and the strength of the extremities should not exceed that of the core. A truly strong core means that you have strengthened your entire center and taught it to work with the rest of your body, which will allow for more flexibility, agility, power and strength.
My golf / tennis game has been suffering lately, how will these benefit me?
For these types of sports, it is important to understand that there is a constant stress on joints caused from the same range of motion and powerful movements. These sports, more than others, need a specific program designed to destress joint on opposite angles and rebuild balance on the opposite side of the body. Using the same movement with constant power and range of motion on the same side of the body is not healthy in the long-term!
The reason why I like to use tools like Warrior Bags, Kettlebells, Clubbells and Revolution Rings is because all those tools have some important things in common: increasing strength without compromising mobility, increasing core-stability and balance and challenging your coordination. For me, the most important aspect in a training program is to make the workout routine mentally challenging- my programs are never boring and always different.
Thanks to Maurizio and everyone who pitched questions! Look for our last March Mobility blog, focusing on Fascial Stretch Therapy with La Jolla Sports Club’s own Matt Pippin. Until then, good luck out there!
// Your La Jolla Sports Club team