Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thoughts on Mindfulness and Mobility


So I'm really into this thing about practicing what I preach. I cannot stand it when some obviously unfit healthcare provider tells me to that I should eat right, exercise and take a multi-vitamin. This actually happened to me last week at a check up, but that's another post. Thus, I spent some time this morning working on my hip, knee, ankle and shoulder mobility. Not just stretching, but using breathing and mindfulness to facilitate positions and movement.

The breathing and mindfulness have become more important to me, as I am in my 3rd week of my intro to yoga class. And it is truly a beginners class, which is great for me. The instructor is very good with modifications and cues (verbal & manual).

Now I know some of my strength/power peeps scoff at the whole yoga dealio; but my older, more experienced weightlifting friends get it. My GAIN colleagues get it. I hope my younger weightlifting peeps (and those Crossfit peeps who look to me for instruction and advice) give yoga a try sometime. Improved mindfulness and mobility can only lead to improved performance with the barbell. Think of good yoga practice as an adjunct to foam rolling and your massage therapy/ART work.

Because in reality, weightlifting is a sport that requires being mindful and being in the moment. It is not just about overpowering the barbell. It is about being powerfully precise through a tremendous range of motion. It's gymnastics with the barbell.

As adults who spend many hours sitting, we all need to take the time to work on our mobility for our physical health. As athletes who want to become strong and powerful, we need to understand that the musculoskeletal system needs relaxation and time to recover from challenging training sessions. Time to regain suppleness about the joints and flush tension out. Time to let allow positive adaptations to occur.

Think of this time as an investment into your future--your future ability to compete or even just participate in and enjoy the iron game.

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