Training is always taken to be something strenuous. Something that tires us. There is another side of training which is often wrongly understood to be ‘optional’. In the process to do more in less time…we start treating recovery/relaxation optional.
Whereas, the biggest and the most fundamental benefit of relaxation is regaining strength in body. Interesting?
Rule: only when our muscle is relaxed, meaning having returned to its position without any compensation by the antagonists or synergists, that it can exert maximum force. This directly handles the peak health of ligaments, tendons, and joints per se.
Think of a cricketer…visualise him in a match/nets – his back flexed, shoulders rolled in front, semi squat position, and then think of him as a batsman/bowler.
If our muscles could shout; lower back would be roaring for help. No?
My first principle of training – give what body requires. After that, if we have time, lets look at making us better in different aspects of fitness – strength, speed, felxibility, etc.
ELSE, lets try to exert the maximum out of our muscles. May be they have enough. Lets try to optimise, and then maximise, the use of existing strength by making movements swifter, energy efficient, and more balanced.
You will be amazed by how much you possess is my assurance.
Analogy: If your car requires fuel then no matter how much or what quality engine oil you are putting in you car, it won’t make its condition better. It won’t run.
1) Be it relaxation for tired upper extremity
2) Be it recovery for overworked structure
3) Be it training for back
4) Be it structural alignment
All are integrated in my approach. When our body is structurally aligned, it is fully relaxed. And if we can somehow attain relaxation, recover, alignment, and training together, then it becomes a perfect ‘holistic training’ day.
Bonus: Connection with self!
There are certain fundamentals that are needed to re-align the body that do not need scheduling. If there is a need of our musculoskeletal system and we do not adhere to it; then, it will get stressed. And when it get stressed then intramuscular compensations become routine. When that happens, repercussions are highly individualistic – young players can take it for a while but they stop progressing on their fitness and shift to maintenance mode. A few players would take the injury route.
Structure is as simple or complicated as one can make of it. I find this thinking helpful and a main contributor in my Holistic approach towards fitness.
If one can keep their spine healthy and relaxed then you will be surprised by its potential. Of course, it keeps everything healthy around it and the amount of power you can generate with a free and relaxed back is beyond assumption. It can be shocking to you is my bet.