Like everyone else, I have spent far too many hours lost in the archives of social media when 1 click leads to another and another and another. What I was looking for was inspiration and motivation (yes, fitness professionals need this too) but mostly I found inadequacy and hopelessness and this got me to thinking.

Why is it that no one shows images of their fitness struggles. Like when you face plant tripping over a root on a trail run (yep, that’s me!) or when you can’t perform an exercise because your strength or mobility isn’t good enough yet. We only see perfection. It’s no wonder so many people struggle with their fitness goals when this is the stimulus.

So I want to change this because my fitness journey has been far from perfect. If you have read the article on my website Consistency Is Key  you will know that my road to becoming a personal trainer was shaped by my struggles. The most inspirational coaches I have worked with are open about their weaknesses and celebrate their minuscule steps in progress like they have just conquered Everest. Isn’t this something we should all do?

This video shows my poor hip mobility and overall lack of functional lateral leg strength when performing a lateral cossack squat with a 6kg kettlebell.

 

When I say functional strength I am referring to my inability to coordinate the lowering (eccentric) contraction of my gluteal and hamstring muscles with stabilisation from my adductor and abductor muscles. This is why I am unable to achieve the desired finishing position with the thigh in contact with the calf. The quadriceps have to lengthen to achieve the final position and tight quadriceps can impinge this but my quadriceps flexibility test (Thomas test) results have shown that this isn’t an issue for me. However, when I initiate the upward drive to return to the standing position I should feel my gluteals then hamstring muscles contract as they shorten (concentric contraction) to drive my weight up but I feel my quadriceps contract. This is an indication of incorrect movement patterning, in short, my gluteals are not responding to the nervous impulse from my brain to act as the prime movers and initiate the drive back to standing (they are being lazy) so my quadriceps are valiantly trying to achieve the job!

Why is this something I want to correct? Any incorrect movement pattern means that I am wasting energy and poor lateral strength and stability is a knee/ankle injury waiting to happen. No thank you! I will keep you updated on how long it takes me to correct this movement pattern and build gluteal strength and hip mobility so we can be real about how long progress really takes. Please use the comment section if you have any questions. I’m happy to help!

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