Mind Muscle Connection

Neuromuscular reprogramming is just fancy jargon for training the brain/body connection via the correct exercise stimulus.

We have our clients utilize a mirror for most exercises to point out when their form is compromised leading to injury and understanding why the way they perform certain functions causes pain.

The consensus is that their brain thinks the way they’re already doing it is right. But when they get a reality check in the mirror they can finally see (and feel) the cause and effect from improper movement.

Your brain is always going to prefer to stay in its comfort zone and move through the path of least resistance, which is what prompts your muscles to respond with inefficient patterns. A pro tip we teach our clients is to slow down the movement and focus on controlling the details. Your body will learn how to use your muscles efficiently to move correctly and retrain your brain in the process.

Come feel what our gym does differently from the rest in the industry. Set up your initial (no obligation) consultation so we can get to know your body and you can get a feel for our style of training.

How Do You Train Your Pecs?

Did you know your chest muscles (the pecs) dominate movements like punching, throwing, and even running?

The pecs were designed for these functions via human evolution- throwing spears, pumping the upper body when running from danger, and fighting for survival.

These muscles also connect into multiple kinetic chains and when we move, they function together with the rest of the chain to produce more power and efficiency. For example, the pecs share functions with the nearby oblique muscles and function more often through rotational mechanics, like throwing, instead of exclusively pressing motions.

Traditional chest training like the bench press and pushups will make your pecs stronger, but not the rest of the chain your pecs connect to. Therefore you’re only strong at the bench press and not functional activities that require you to use your pecs the way they were designed.

The bench press is one exercise we were taught to make our chest stronger, but the chest predominately functions in different patterns than the bench. When we go to use our pecs the way nature designed them, but we’re unnaturally training them, they aren’t prepared for reality and injury risk goes up.

Come work with trainers who know the way your muscles need to be trained, and how to teach exercises that go hand in hand with their natural function(s). At our gym, your muscles are prepared for real life so your body can function without pains and injuries, the true meaning of strength.

Our Trainer’s Aren’t Cheerleaders

At this gym you won’t find trainers that cheer you on to finish reps just to say you completed the set. Instead you’ll find trainers that coach you through the ins and outs of each rep to ensure your performing the exercise correctly.

You’ll be taught exercises specific to your body and what you need relative to the goals you have. You won’t be shown an exercise just to get your heart rate up and sweat pouring just to make you feel like you worked out hard.

We don’t see the point in getting your body moving fast and hard in the beginning, if you’re going to default to moving incorrectly and compensating your way through a movement. We take things slow to ensure that your brain and body are connecting on the same level and you’re learning how an exercise should feel, what muscles are working, and why you need to do it a certain way- when all your body wants to do is move through the path of least resistance, tricking your brain into thinking you’re doing it right.

So if you want learn how to exercise instead of just going through the motions (setting yourself up for pain and injury), book an initial consultation with our trainers today. This isn’t the Orange Theory’s, F45’s, CrossFit’s, or the Gold’s gyms of the city- we personalize our unique approach to training the human body. The way it was meant to be trained to prevent injuries and rehab existing ones, in the process of building strength and mobility that translates to the real world.

SAID Principle

Your body adapts to the demands you constantly place on it. This summarizes the science behind the SAID principle; Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands. For example, by only doing squats for your lower body, your body adapts to this specific physical demand, but not to other patterns or environments for the lower body, like walking or running.

Another example can be if you sit for extended periods of time, your body will start to change and adapt its structure to the sitting environment that it’s constantly in. This makes it difficult to move correctly when you try to pick up your favorite recreational sport or hiking trail on the weekends, and leads to overuse on certain muscles and eventually pain or injury.

With only so many hours in the day, we all have minimal time to exercise. Which offers a unique opportunity to impose specific demands to counteract the effects of your normal environment. Meaning if you sit a lot, initially you’d want to choose exercises that promote trunk and hip extension, to work in opposition to the spinal kyphosis and hip flexion patterns of sitting. As opposed to sitting all day then getting on a bike and cycling; same pattern/demand as sitting. So nothing improves and your body further adapts your structure to your sitting environment. This can be a problem when you expect your body to perform like it always has.

Circle back to our initial example about squatting and the limits it places on your lower body function. The muscles of the lower body- glutes, quads, hip flexors, calves, plantar fascia, etc.- have all evolved to help the human structure walk and run. It wasn’t until the 1960’s-1970’s that Arnold Schwarzenegger popularized training the muscles outside of their intended functions and with exercise patterns that didn’t replicate the way the muscles worked together to produce human specific movement. A couple decades of consumers training the human body this way (coupled with a more sedentary lifestyle), led to a disassociation with our natural movement and one of the main reasons most people deal with some form of ache, pain, or injury. The body has adapted to exercises that don’t mesh with the way the body actually needs to move.

Whatever demand you put your body through repetitively, intensely, and subconsciously will be what your body is forced to adapt to. Make sure what you’re teaching your body has a carry over to the roots of your human function, so you can continue to move well, without pain, as you age.

Pain Is Not Normal

Pain isn’t something to accept with age or with injuries that weren’t properly rehabbed. Pain is your body telling you that something is wrong and ignoring this warning only compounds the problem as times goes on.

Pain will start interfering with your daily life more and more. It can impact your sleep, energy, strength, and function. And when these aspects become affected, other aspects of wellbeing become worse as well.

We’re not the typical “no pain, no gain” kind of gym. Our team works one on one with you to battle against muscle dysfunctions that are causing your pain in the first place. In other words we work to get to the root of your problem, rather than working around it.

What happens when the real world demands more of your body and you can’t “work around it?” Pain and injury manifest! So avoiding a certain function during an exercise because your PT or trainer told you to because it hurts when you do it, is not fixing the root of the problem.

Physical pain stems from the body being out of homeostasis and chaos ensues when your body starts compensating to make up from lack of balance. Muscles start working the wrong way when you move, and when the muscles start malfunctioning they contract at the wrong time, or use the wrong muscle to move your body around the pain or issue that you’re dealing with. These compensations compound over time and lead to pain expanding to other areas of the body or worse, eventually cause an injury.

Think about it, when your ankle starts to hurt, eventually your knee and hip might start to hurt too. The body is an interconnected web of muscle, and that muscle supports your bone alignment and the integrity of your joints. When one muscle is not functioning properly, it’s going to impact other muscles normal function- which has a direct correlation to how well your muscles provide strength, stability, and support for your body.

When you’re dealing with pain in a particular joint or region of the body, that might not be the source of the pain, but rather a symptom from a malfunction elsewhere in the body. If you (or your trainer) look far enough and evaluate deep enough to determine what is the cause of the pain, then you can formulate a game plan and create exercises tailored to your needs, to start fixing the underlying issue.

In other words you don’t have to live with the pain. You can stop compensating around a pain and prevent a new pain from occurring because you’ve been compensating. You can reprogram new function to support your body to eliminate the pain and restore balance.

Remember, pain is not normal. It’s not something to live with, wake up with, or work around, it’s something that has a source and cause. Once we figure out that source, we can engineer a training program to treat the cause, rather than the symptoms. That’s what we do at this gym. (Then once your body is healed from its pain, we start training your muscles how to exercise to keep the pain away for the long term).

We do things differently at this gym, call us to find out more about our approach!

210-947-4597

safunctionalfitness.com

Not Your Typical Gym

Working with a trainer for over a year without noteworthy changes in strength, most importantly strength gains without pain, is time and money you can’t get back. Not stronger arm muscles, but an entire body ready to function- function without any wrist aches or back pains. You only have one body and unless you’re on an active pursuit to take care and treat it right- the “old school” fitness industry will get the best of you.

Tricking you into thinking that building muscle and getting stronger means that you have to lift massive amounts of weight, or until you body “adapts” your joints might hurt and your lower back will feel stiff until it gets “stronger” etc., etc. FYI: your body will adapt… to whatever stimulus you’re putting it through. So if the way you train (or the way your trainer trains you) is harming your body then your brain will think that’s supposed to be that way and program it as normal.

Then you’re stuck in the vicious cycle of trying to workout and be healthy but also hurting, poorly conditioned, and living with aches and pains. Spending more time and money “supplementing” your training with massages, chiropractors, physical therapists, acupuncture, and cryotherapy to recover from the gym.

A trainer who’s evolved with their skills with Functional Patterns is out of league with traditional fitness trainers and work to mitigate all the arbitrary “supplemental practices” and focus on a strength program, a cardio program, a flexibility program, a rehab/prehab/injury prevention/injury recovery program, a posture/alignment program, a recovery program ALL IN ONE. A program this is sustainable and promotes longevity.

Challenge your trainer by insisting on better results- or find a new one. Your future health and wellbeing depends on it.

www.safunctionalfitness.com

Nuero-Muscular Efficiency

Your ability to move well in all planes of motion depends on how effectively your nervous system communicates to your muscular system, and vice versa, and how efficiently both systems respond to each other.

If communication is disrupted the muscular system starts creating its own movement pathways and efficiency declines because the nervous system is no longer sending the correct command signals for optimal movement.

Eventually the compensatory movement patterns lead to muscle dysfunction, in one muscle or multiple, which then sets off a chain reaction of muscle imbalances throughout the rest of the body.

Global muscle connections throughout the neuron-muscular web lose their ability to work properly and at the proper times- agonist muscles and their antagonists, groups of muscle synergies, and stabilizer muscles, that make up entire chains of muscle, begin to misfire and disrupt the body’s ability to move in an ideal state of function.

The less functional your body becomes, the more problems start to arise. Physical function will effect physiological function. Physiological function will effect Psychological function. The physical inability of the body to lengthen certain muscles of the stomach will interfere with the physiological inability to digest food properly, from over-shortened muscle tissue decreasing the amount of space between the intestines and the rest of the organs. Potentially leading to constipation, and an altered mental state, when you’re in pain because you can’t poop.

Biomechanical efficiency is optimized when the brain and body are able to communicate clearly. The right signal from the mind to the neuron-muscular network will promote the correct response, and the most optimal form of movement for the body. The better the body becomes at movement, from exercise to everyday motion, the less aches and pains are experienced.

Reprogramming the Nuero-Muscular network to associate better biomechanics as the “new norm” is a process that slowly unfolds as more muscle dysfunction is exposed, and over time, corrected.