It’s one of those days, you just finished a grueling workout at the gym and your joints are aching, your lower back is stiff, and your tendonitis is flared up. Your workout buddies deal with the same aches and pains so you write it off as normal, just part of getting old, and what it takes to stay in shape.
We’re here to tell you that it is not normal, getting old doesn’t have to feel painful, and if you really were “in shape” your body wouldn’t be in a state of chronic aches and pains. Although all the above is commonly experienced by the majority of gym goers, it’s not supposed to be that way. In fact when you move correctly and your muscles contract properly you experience a state of wellbeing.
Imagine this; you just finished an intentional workout, your body is feeling light and springy, you feel a pump all over your body like your muscles are getting stronger, yet you feel like you just stretched out your entire body, your spine feels decompressed, and your shoulder and knees don’t hurt.
This is what your body should feel like after exercising, and it can once you learn how to use your muscles to move correctly. This is what our trainers teach; we don’t count reps, we make sure every rep counts. We train you to intentionally move your body against your default mechanics to override dysfunctional patterns and optimize your movement.
One thing is for sure, our training is not like what you see in the mainstream (maybe that’s why so many people are in pain) or like anything you’ve felt before. Come in and learn what you need to be feeling to fix your body, with our beginner friendly introductory session!
It’s time to educate yourself on the relevance of the squat. Prioritizing this movement in your training routine when it makes up a small amount of daily movement, neglects movements that you do majority of the time, like walking. Think about it… outside of the gym how many times a day do you squat compared to how many steps you take?
We aren’t kangaroos, we’re humans. We move around by transferring our weight from one leg to another in a contralateral pattern. Whereas a squat is going to keep your legs confined to a bilateral position. We aren’t saying squats aren’t important, but in the real world when you need to bend over and pick something up it happens a fraction of the time, it usually doesn’t happen repetitively, and you’re doing it for a specific purpose that normally doesn’t make up your entire day (unless your job or sport requires that, but we’re talking about general function).
When you use the squat as an exercise, you’re performing it for numerous reps with the intent to build muscle and get stronger. The problem with using squats (or any bilateral/sagittal based exercise) as the bulk of your leg training is that you’re building arbitrary muscle mass, meaning it doesn’t serve a purpose. The strength you built doesn’t carry over outside of the squat pattern, so the way your body moves most (ie; walking) doesn’t have the support it needs.
Come train with our trainers to learn how to build muscle that aligns with it’s function. Carrying over the strength you build in the gym to a stronger body outside of the gym. You’re human, it’s time you start training like one.
Exercise can be bad when we go through the motions of our default movement patterns. We just pack on more muscle imbalance that causes a subconscious stress on our mental and physical state, affecting our physiology. Then we cope with drugs, alcohol, food, sex, whatever dopamine fix we need to temporarily feel better. We enter the cycle of trying to outwork our coping behavior and beating our body up in the process, but we can only do that for so long until we feel “old” because our habits caught up with us.
Taking a few steps back to heal our body with intentional movement might not feel or look like society’s idea of exercise but it starts to retrain our brain and body to function better, promoting muscle mass that is symmetrical and “balanced” to help us respond to stress better. Then when our muscles are in balance we’re consciously and subconsciously able to handle stress more efficiently- physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, etc. and then we don’t feel the need to cope. Then it comes time to break out of the habits that we developed from coping that we no longer need.
This behavior change is painful and uncomfortable but time well spent and can start seeing changes in weeks for little things, months for some bigger things, and sometimes years for habits we’ve built over our entire lives. This is the change that helps our physical health- from muscle strength, weight loss/ weight maintenance, hormone balance- which in turn helps our mental health like anxiety, mood, depression, and the ability to not have to cope the way we used to. And when we do need to cope we are able to be more aware of what we’re doing and why, and maybe not even coping the same way we did in the past because our stress response is improving.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise, as most doctors and so called fitness experts will tell you that you need to eat less and move more to stay healthy. But if you move wrong and use your muscles in a state of imbalance then all of the above cataclysm of events happen- and that’s not healthy. You need to understand more about your body in order to make sure you behave in a way that promotes health. When you’re over exercising and under eating for so long, your body’s hormones get thrown out of whack and it makes it a lot harder to lose weight and body fat. You end up spinning your wheels trying to lose weight or build muscle but you’re fighting an uphill battle, up a water slide. When you learn to fix your muscle imbalances when you “exercise” instead of just going through the motions of various movements, you’ll be able to address the subconscious stress on your body- aligning your posture and your hormones. This equates to a healthier body inside and, most importantly, outside of the gym!
Contact our gym to learn how our team can help you start and sustain your journey to a healthier you!
What makes our training different from other gyms is that we don’t let you go through the motions of an exercise, just to say that you exercised.
We prioritize your posture during an exercise to activate muscles that are normally dormant, to support your body in a way that it normally doesn’t get supported.
So no matter where you’re at physically, your body can benefit from this type of training because it’s low impact, corrective, and sustainable.
This lets you build a foundation to progress from, without pain!
When you work hard in the gym, you expect the exercises you do to carry over to the real world. In the form of strength, flexibility, stamina, energy, health, and overall fitness.
For the genetically gifted ones it does, but what about the average folks who do what they’re supposed to do and still fall short? Why are they busting their butts every day at the gym but still can’t lose weight, still have joints that hurt, still not feeling strong or mobile? To answer those questions you have to ask what they’re doing. Are they really doing the right things or just doing what everyone else is doing and expecting to get lucky with their results. Or are they doing what worked for an athlete that was already born with overall better muscles, minimal body fat, and naturally fit?
If you’re already born that way, this post isn’t for you- you can keep doing what you’re doing and succeed in spite of what might be wrong for others. If you’ve tried everything but still can’t make progress then read on.
Our trainers work to address principles of health and fitness that often get overlooked, not given any thought at all, or are sometimes too hard at first to want to learn. The fact is every body is unique and what works for one person might have to be taught completely different to another body. Another little valued fact is that every body has a similar blueprint for how muscles are designed to function. If you don’t follow this blueprint then it’s hard to make progress that is sustainable. If you do follow it (with slight modifications for your individual needs) then you’re able to achieve the strength, flexibility, and fitness that you’re working toward. You need to work smarter not harder.
If you’ve been chasing after health and fitness for years or even decades, look in the mirror and ask yourself… “how’s this working out for me?” You can’t keep doing the same thing (exercises, eating habits, sleep, recovery, etc.) and expecting different results.
How it started; how it’s going.
Started with numerous issues, most notably was scapular dysfunction that contributed to pain in the upper traps.
The first exercise is conditioning the muscles of the shoulder girdle & thoracic spine to integrate instead of putting all the demand on the traps.
The second exercise is reinforcing the corrective mechanics and putting those muscle connections to work during movement.
The result is a better connected body that can disperse force through the kinetic chain and balance the workload for the muscles.
As we continue to clean up dysfunctional movement patterns, moving correctly will train the body to operate efficiently and handle the demands of the real world without pain and injury.
In most gyms you’ll see lifters moving weights up and down, but that leads to compression on your joints and spine.
In our gym, we prioritize lifting weights through a horizontal force to train the muscles to contract the way they do in the real world.
Weight lifting that you see in most gyms builds muscle through vertical forces, BUT your muscles don’t work like that.
Your muscles function through multiple forces and need to be capable of dispersing force horizontally and vertically to help your body move well through all planes of motion.
So before you pound out rep after rep of barbell squats or bench presses, recognize that your body doesn’t actually move like that on a regular basis.
To learn some functional alternatives check out the Functional Patterns Training System to set your body up for the world it lives in.
Come meet our team, we’re the only trainers in San Antonio who are FP Certified Human Biomechanics Specialists, ready to help you address your dysfunctions and move better!
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.
The state that your body is in on a regular basis should be an indicator of how fit you are. Your body should feel good after taking on the demands placed on it. If you’re hurting, limping, stiff, and sore in the wrong places then your body is warning you that something is off. It’s best to listen to the warning signals before your body feels irreparable.
Another aspect to consider is how you feel during and after an exercise or an entire workout. Training should prepare your body for life outside of the training room. Obviously there is appropriate muscle soreness related to an exercise that targets a certain muscle, but soreness shouldn’t permeate into the joints. When your joints feel sore or stiff from exercise, a good possibility is that your muscles aren’t working properly and your joints are picking up the slack. There’s also exercises that exacerbate compression, meaning your muscles are working but the technical aspect of the exercise causes compressive forces throughout the body. This usually manifests as muscle soreness accompanied by stiffness and rigidness when you try to move.
If you’ve been following us for awhile, you know the importance of efficient movement. When your body can’t move optimally it starts to compensate and alter your mechanics. You need to have some rhythm when you move to transmit force evenly throughout your kinetic chain. When you’re rigid, your movement gets altered and your function isn’t optimal. Then the entire point of exercise is missed because you can’t handle the demands of the real world appropriately.
Why is this exercise superior to the traditional variation of the “bridge?”
This exercise is teaching muscles to contract the same way they do to support these joint positions in reality. Not necessarily this exact position, but the overall position of the joints relative to other joints.
For example, the problem with the traditional glute bridge is that it trains the hips to extend while the knees are in flexion- when in reality this joint position combo doesn’t happen. When your hips extend, your knees are also extended- so it’s important to match the exercise up with what happens in reality to condition your muscles the way they naturally work.
Google “glute bridge” and you’ll see the difference in the exercise pattern between the traditional technique and the functional technique. Basically speaking, when your hips lift up they are extended, and when your hips are extended in real world movements, your knees are also extended. Hence why we teach our clients to perform the glute bridge with the hips up and the knees straight. This way teaches your muscles to associate contractions with the way they contract in the real world, providing more muscle support for your joints inside and outside the gym.
Our team of Functional Patterns trainers do a phenomenal job educating you about why certain exercises don’t work the way we thought they did. Instructing you through functional alternatives that train your muscles to function properly with the rest of your body, in the context they’re supposed to work.