Movement Practice and Your Sport
Most athletes have heard of cross-training, but often times, we think of that strictly in terms of strength. Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple. If you are a runner, it is important to build muscle, but it’s also important to develop the stabilizing muscles. If you enjoy rock climbing, it’s easy to think you have to lift a ton of weight to be successful, but there’s a reason a lot of climbers practice yoga. At the end of the day, flexibility and stability are the foundation of the balanced athlete. This doesn’t mean we should stop strength training. We just need to diversify our cross-training in order to see the best results.
Yoga, Pilates, and Barre are just a few great examples of movement practices that can help take you to the next level. Flexibility is such a game changer. As an avid boulderer(?), I have solved many a problem by simply being able to bring my knees to my chest or nearly going into a full split! It’s opened up a whole new set of solutions for me. Another benefit is injury prevention. It’s like they say: “I bend so I don't break."
The next component is stability. Weight lifting helps us to focus on big muscles, but our supporting muscles need development too. Those stabilizers help protect our joints. When running or hiking downhill we are slamming into the ground, and if those supporting muscles aren't strong, our joints take the beating, and our bodies can't take that forever. One example of a great movement practice is slacklining. Many mountaineers also slackline in order to focus on balance.
In order to ensure longevity in a sport, stability and flexibility are a must! Many people say "you can't run forever. It's bad for your knees!" But that just isn't true. With a balanced workout regimen, you can maintain an active lifestyle well into your Arctic Blonde days!