These 3 interrelated concepts form the foundation of functional movement, the ability to actively move through the full range of motions with stability. Gray Cook pioneered the concept that certain joints need to be mobile while others need to be stable in order for us to move correctly & to maintain proper posture. Starting from the ankle & working our way up the body & down the arms the pattern is:
- feet -stable
- ankles - mobile
- knees - stable
- hips - mobile
- lumbar spine - stable
- thoracic spine - mobile
- cervical spine - stable
- shoulders - mobile
- elbows - stable
- wrists - mobile
Unfortunately many people have exactly the opposite pattern (immobile ankles, unstable knees, etc.) which inevitably leads to dysfunctional movement, poor posture, discomfort & ultimately injury. Immobile hips for example will often result in unstable, painful knees & invariably in lower back disorders & pain. Various solutions to the problem have been developed, in a nutshell they all boil down to: make the immobile mobile & the unstable stable (in that order). However before we go too far it's probably worth taking a step back & looking at what we mean by mobility, flexibility (the astute may have noticed we haven't even mentioned this one yet) & stability. ...continue reading "Mobility, Flexibility & Stability"
"Lifting weights & being strong doesn't win fights. Having great timing & being very intelligent wins fights." - Floyd Mayweather Jr
Mayweather is simply the latest of the greats to apparently dismiss weight / strength training. Bruce Lee, Mohamed Ali, Rocky Marciano & many others have said similar things & even refused to do weight training. Many claim that it will slow you down or reduce your endurance. Yet it's obvious that to be a fighter you do need strength along with the speed, endurance & timing (& intelligence) & of course they all did strength training even if it was 'just callisthenics & heavy bag work'. So why the apparent contradiction? There are 2 answers to that. The first & the reason I chose the Mayweather quote is, fighting is a very technical sport where posture, leverage & timing through good technique generates maximum power. Particularly in MMA where the athlete needs to be well rounded & possess the skills of multiple disciplines, by far the majority of a fighter's training time should be dedicated to skills acquisition. Conditioning, vital as it is, must always play a supporting role. The second, which we will look at in more detail later, is there is a big difference between 'body building' (which is / was for most synonymous with weight training) & functional sport specific strength / power training.
...continue reading "Fighting Fit"