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Back to Basics

I have been in the fitness industry since 2003. In that time I have seen a lot, from the functional fitness craze, the Atkins Diet, and the Crossfit boom. Over the last 19 years, what has changed people’s lives? Mastering movement basics has been the key to success in the 1000’s of people I have worked with. These basic movements include the hinge, squat, push, pull, core stabilization, and running. 

At the Performance Ranch, we prioritize these movements and make sure you have mastered them before we progress you to something more complex. This may take a few weeks to a few years. The timeline does not matter, because as the movement patterns improve your life improves. Over the years, I have witnessed people’s lives change in front of my eyes. They can now walk pain-free, they can play with their grandkids, or they can participate in a sport they thought was gone forever. Their lives would forever change because we focused on the basics. 

Prioritize Movements

My first personal training certification was from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT). This certification opened my eyes to movement training over body part training. We focused on the body as a whole, rather than breaking it up into body parts. The body works as a system of organized movement, this took me years to accept as well as 1000’s of hours of trial and error.

Now, I can break it down to the simple movement patterns mentioned above. But, this was just the surface. As my experience progressed, I started learning about the fascial system from Thomas Meyers book, Anatomy Trains. The body’s fascial system is what allows us to move and create force. If the fascial system is congested (adhesions and tightness), then we have issues with our ability to move and create force. 

Fascial Self Care

Our partners at Elite-OSM have helped many of our clients treat the adhesions and muscle tension that is inhibiting their movement patterns. We also use a variety of soft-tissue treatments to restore movement back to the fascial system. These self-myofascial techniques involve using tools such as a foam roller, lacrosse ball, and Hyperice vibrating tools

When we regain movement quality by lessening the tension and adhesions our bodies are now ready to move well. From day 1, we teach you how to care for yourself. You are going to be the only one that can do this. Whether that means you are spending time daily treating your fascial system at home or showing up for training and treatment sessions to create balance, you have to do for yourself. 

Movement that is Needed

In the US, we have relied heavily on technology to do work for us. Our bodies have forgotten how to move and how to move well. We need to reeducate our body’s to-do basic human movements. The squat pattern is the most fundamental movement we own. Throughout history, the squat pattern is needed every day. We use it to sit, excrete waste, pick things up, put things down, and do many other daily activities. 

Over the years of assessing 1000’s of client’s movement patterns via the Functional Movement Screen, we narrow down poor movement patterns to either mobility issues or stability issues. For the majority of clients, we see tight ankles and hips. These two key joints are the gateway to squatting and many other movement patterns. Also, stability in the trunk (core) is inhibiting clients to gain depth in the squat pattern. 

Squat Better

We created a Squat Fundamentals YouTube video to help teach our clients and coaches how to squat. This video will take you through a leg squatting progression into split squats and step-ups. 

Also, if you are having trouble with ankle mobility this video was created for you. This is something I have struggled with due to a football injury I incurred in 1996. At that time doctors said I would have to live with it and more than likely arthritis would set in by the time I was 40. Well, I am now past that age and so far it has not slowed me down. But I spend time on my ankles every day. Prior to 2019, I worked on my ankles occasionally which lead to pain up and down the chain of movement. My same side hip and low back would bother me chronically. I always thought it was a factor of my environment, my car seat, my office chair, etc. But it was a result of me neglecting my body and not treating it as I should. 

Here is a simple night routine that will help you relax your muscles and have a great night’s sleep. Check it out HERE! 

More to Come

Over the next several weeks I will be writing and filming how to improve your fundamental movement patterns. Do you want more? Check out our Fundamental Series on YouTube to get a jumpstart to move better. 

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