The Mind/Body Connection And Your Joint Function…
by: Brandon Richey
The Mind/Body Connection And Your Joint Function…
People these days are anxious when it comes to mastering the body and the funny thing is that the anxious feelings they have tend to override them doing anything of value in order to try and actually master their body. In other words, most people don’t have the patience to work on the little things that require them to build an optimally functioning body along with the strength and aesthetic qualities that they desire the most. As a result they wonder why they have neck, shoulder, hip, and knee issues. Well we’re going to try and solve this problem here today.
Your Joint Function…
So as you know the media loves to latch on to the so-called latest and greatest thing. Some of these latest stars aren’t even all that great, but for whatever reason someone or something gets popular and BOOM, you see those people on every TV commercial, internet advertisement, and entertainment magazine around.
Well before the cheesy Twilight series and before The Hunger Games there was Kill Bill. Yes, Kill Bill was about a blond haired sword wielding beauty that could master the Japanese steel for killing bad guys better than anyone around. The role was played by my favorite leading lady of all time Uma Thurman (Pictured Above). Unfortunately there were only 2 movies made with this story, however there is talk of a 3rd installment to come.
So why am I telling you about this? Well firstly if you haven’t seen Kill Bill then put that on your to-do list. In addition to that the film is a homage to the great martial arts films of the 70’s and 80’s. As you know the discipline of martial arts revolves around hand to hand combat, but the true value of that hand to hand combat only comes through the fighter or pupil being able to train their body for optimal movement and function.
Here’s something to help you with optimal function!
Ah ha, now you are starting to see where I’m going with this, right? So the thing about Kill Bill and with other martial arts films is there is always emphasis placed on mastery. Now that is a keyword to hone in on with today’s post. Mastery is something that can only be achieved by having patience, persistence, and focus. It is something that just simply takes time.
The growing pains of this are certainly known by many of us martial arts practitioners, as well as, with many competitive fighters. Regardless of your sport if you’re serious about what you do in regards to your training then you understand this disciplinary process. Kill Bill demonstrates this very well when Thurman goes to train with the Grand Master Pai Mei.
Look, I know it’s just a movie, but the struggles, or challenges are what is real when going through the process of trying to master any task. You see in my eyes this is the missing element with much of today’s population concerning the fitness industry. People don’t understand what it takes to optimize their bodies for movement and in turn struggle with joint stability and integrity.
Check out these sandbags for added functional strength!
You see most people in most health clubs just walk in and mindlessly start moving weight around without putting any thought or concentration into their efforts. They don’t have any preemptive plan for carrying out their training to both mobilize and stabilize their bodies in any effective manner whatsoever, let alone to address their physical needs. Talking on the cell phone and doing arm curls is not a form of mastery. On the flip side being able to effectively press a kettlebell by compressing the body, starting fist below chin, and integrating a full ROM to a true lockout with the iron ball overhead is mastery.
Speaking of shoulders this is one joint to use as an example that folks tend to have a great deal of trouble with fixing and it can generally be chalked up to poor programming and a lack of mastery in ROM. Keep in mind that the shoulder is a mobility joint which in turn means that it should be mobile within a 360 degree ROM. However, even though it’s a mobility joint the shoulder should be stabilized during it’s movement throughout a complete ROM.
As you can see most people just don’t do what is necessary, but would rather allow their egos to get into the way by going out and trying to lift a heavy amount of weight in sloppy fashion. True strength is about learning how to manipulate and fire certain muscles while relaxing others during specific tasks. In terms of the shoulder this can be done with the plank/reverse plank demonstration as shown in the video.
Here’s an additional resource to help you cover all the bases with your strength needs!
Now I know I’ve already mentioned this. The shoulder is a mobility joint, but stability must be a focus for controlling movement while mobility must be optimized for the purpose of this joint. If one area is compromised then a trainee/pupil may have immobility where mobility is needed and instability where stability is needed. Ok, I know that was a mouthful, but let it sink in for second before you hit play in the following video. (Warning the audio gets out of sync with the video towards that latter half of the video. I’m not a technical guy and don’t know why. Sorry about that, but the information is still there.)
Now you can see what I mean when I’m talking about the importance of mobility and stability, especially as it relates to joint integrity. Once again the mind/body connection relates directly to your joint function. You have to do the little things as correctly as possible before moving on to the big things that require more intensity otherwise you’re just setting yourself up for disaster.
Please drop a comment below in the box and let me know what you think. Are there certain mobility exercises that you like to integrate before going to pound the iron? Are you a Kill Bill fan? Remember that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend. Start your smart training here today.
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Bang on point, Brandon. I drop into a gym now and then, in fact, there is one right where I am working these days. What I see are a whole lot of people putting their body in the gym … and their mind somewhere else. TVs set up, on, and blasting away in front of treadmills and elliptical machines, everyone with buds stuck in their ears and their iPod blasting whatever. It’s crazy to me as the last thing I want is to split my attention while working out. In the words of Babba Ram Das (a.k.a. Dr. Richard Alpert) “Be Here Now” is the code.
The majority, the very vast majority, are doing it all wrong at the most fundamental level. Failing to solidly forge the Mind-Body connection is a direct path to minimal progress that quickly flat lines. My Son tells me about guys he’s seen for two years now working out in the college gym … with -0- improvement to show for it. Invariably he adds something about their gym demeanor that just kills any chance for real training. iPods with music selection gaining the most attention of the trainee and using the gym as a social hall are the two biggest recurring offenders.
We are an authentically holistic creature and when we split the Mind-Body connection we do so to our own detriment.
Doc I know you have seen exactly what I’m talking about. I love your quote from Dr. Richard Alpert “Be Here Now.” I believe this is a very powerful statement, particularly in today’s society. People are typically zoned out through the use of their iPhone, iPad, or whatever other device they may have at the time.
In addition to this they don’t bother to actually “learn” in most cases because they are tuned out of the world around them. Investing with quality in one’s physical development is a sure way to help those to tune in to their environment if they experience it properly.
Excellent feedback Doc.