Performance Key: Move Better

In Dryland, Injury Reduction, Periodization by AdminLeave a Comment

We live in a 60-second world. As things progress rapidly around us, we struggle with the “long game” and waiting months for signs of improved performance. We are always searching for that edge in sport and life. 

What if I told you that there is one performance enhancer right at your fingertips? It is something so simple that you can even do without equipment. It is something we all did really well. Then life got in the way, we started sitting more, excuses piled up, and we forgot about this simple performance enhancer. 

It is quite simple. Move better and you’ll perform better. 

Performance Key: Better Movement

As a performance coach, I spend a lot of time telling people what they already know. We have the tendency to search for things that are not attainable or do not fit our day-to-day life. The simple things that have the potential to smack us in the face everyday. Well, they are too easy right? Something that simple can’t possibly help our performance. If you can move even a fraction better, your performance will improve. It is simple, but it is ridiculously successful. 

Want to move better?

Join our FREE four week movement challenge. You'll go through assessments, daily movement routines, and carve out a better day-to-day life and performance in your sport.

If you search the internet for movement fixes, you’ll come across the baby squatting picture. You’ll read things like: 

  • “If a baby-you could do it adult-you should be able to as well.”
  • “Don’t lose that ability, kid.” 
  • “Since you could squat bellow parallel as a baby, you can also do it as an adult.”

Then you try to squat and can barely hit a quarter-squat position without everything cracking, a hip flexor cramping, and your heels are a mile off of the ground. 

Post like this make performance improvements due to high quality movement seem almost impossible. The 60-second world creeps in again and we toss the goal of better movement for performance to the side. We throw our hands up in the air, mumble something about squats hurting your knees, and move on with frustration. 

Stop with this mentality! I’ll tell you now, it is affecting more than just your movement. Do you remember the stupid goal setting exercises that basic psychology classes would teach in high school and college? They seemed like a wast of time and common sense, but they seem all but forgotten in the performance realm.

Performance Goals

Goals are supposed to be S.M.A.R.T., remember?

S: Specific (or my personal favorite SMALL)
M: Measurable
A: Attainable
R: Realistic
T: Timely

This is a great way to evaluate your training. How many times have you implemented something that is not specific to your goals because it “looks cool.” Stop that!

It is also funny how attainable and realistic are both included and we sub them out with “Couch to Olympian” and “Moonshot.” I’m all about having big goals, but you better build in stepping stone goals to get there. I honestly believe the key to your ultimate goals is the “checkpoint” goals. Set up the roadmap properly and the end goal becomes a lot easier and your vision is much clearer.

What does this mean?

You’re probably sitting there wondering why you just had to read through a basic goal-setting lesson. There’s a reason, I promise! Let’s go back to the baby squatting perfectly.

First of all, should this be your end movement goal? No.

You’re not a toddler with incomplete bone structure non-adult weight distributions. Remember, set a realistic goal.

Now there’s some things you should take away from the baby squatting. Your squat should be pain-free or minimal pain based off of your history. You should keep your back straight. You should be able to squat down to parallel or below. I have seen all different body types squat and every type can hit these parameters one way or another.

If you can’t do these three things right now, should your goal involve the words “by tomorrow.” NO!

Set some stepping stone goals. Maybe you lack thoracic spine mobility. Maybe your hips are locked up from all of the sitting. Maybe your ankles forget how to move. Build your stepping stone performance goals around these areas. Then progress towards the ultimate goal.

I enjoy following some of Gary Vee’s information on business. One of his big lines is “macro patience, micro speed.” I love this line when looking at performance training. Play the long game with your goals and nail more good days than bad ones. It is that simple! 

Performance Movement: Assessment

Where should you start? You want to make a change and agree that your movement needs to improve. Start with an assessment. Where do you need to improve? What do you struggle with?

Hint: Swimmers if you complain about your dolphin kick often, look at your thoracic spine mobility. 

When assessing movement, start with basic movement patterns. Can you squat, hinge, press, pull, brace, and rotate without pain (be honest!)? Write down what patterns you struggle with the most and then figure out movements that will help increase range of motion in the affected areas. Again, it is that simple. This is all stuff you know. It just seems too easy to work! 

If you want a sample assessment, join our Movement Challenge and you’ll go through a quick assessment on the first day and the last day. 

Want to move better?

Join our FREE four week movement challenge. You'll go through assessments, daily movement routines, and carve out a better day-to-day life and performance in your sport.

Do a little everyday versus a lot on one day.

This is the special sauce, hands down! Aim to carve out 10-15 minutes a day where you can focus on improving your movement. I’m not asking for hours. I’m asking for 10-15 minutes while you’re watching your favorite show at night. 

Spending a little time everyday focusing on movement quality will be much more potent than one 1.5 hour session on the weekend. Chances are 10-15 minutes a day will be more attainable anyway. 

Find ways to make it a fabric of the day. I’ll catch up with friends on the phone while working on my bodyweight squat. Put some headphones in and get after it.

In the morning, I’ll catch the news while warming up my ankles and shoulders. See, you do not even need to make a new time slot. Just add it to something in your day. You’d be surprised at how much you can get done during a 15-minute movement session.  

Stop moving poorly during day-to-day tasks.

Again, keep it simple! Quality movement will fix all of that tightness and pain you are experiencing. Just focusing a bit more will go a long way. Maybe you really can’t carve out 15-minutes but you can make your daily movement count. 

How many times do you allow yourself to round your back when picking up an item or a child? People do this without even thinking. That back pain didn’t just create itself. 

There are many day-to-day tasks you can do better and use to improve your movement. 

  • Lift items off of the floor properly with a squat or hinge pattern.
  • Prop your foot up on a box when tying a shoe. 
  • Sit up tall!!! 
  • Focus on minimizing any knee buckle inward while climbing stairs. 
  • Minimize your shoulder shrug when pulling a door open.
  • Step up onto a curb with the other leg (Think about this one for a day. It is a mind warp.)

Quality movement opportunities are all around us. We just fail to take advantage of them. You spend more time in life than you do training. Why not maximize that time? 

Want to move better?

Join our FREE four week movement challenge. You'll go through assessments, daily movement routines, and carve out a better day-to-day life and performance in your sport.

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