12/15/14

4 Tips That Will Keep You From Falling Apart This Christmas

What do the holidays and football season have in common? They share more than large gatherings of people and high entertainment values. Do you have a guess? I’ll give you the answer in a minute. I train a few high school football players who I just recently started working full time with again. When I gave them to their coaches they were like Faberge eggs, perfectly crafted and beautifully made, but when I get them back I swear their coaches tried to crack them and make omelets. My football player’s joints were achy, they couldn’t squat to depth, their technique had fallen to shambles, and their strength had dwindled. Something other than playing football had happened to these guys.


It didn’t take long for me to see a pattern form between all of them. During the offseason I had put each athlete through a religious mobility and strength regimen that kept them mobile, strong, and healthy. As the season approached I ramped up their intensities and volume hoping to peak them for 2 a days. From that point on, I was lucky to see them at least once a week. It was up to their coaches to keep them well-oiled machines. Unfortunately, like most car owners, proper maintenance was ignored. None of them could tell me the last time they had stretched or done a full squat.

Perhaps your high school football days are long beyond you, but the holidays can be just as bad. The yule-tide season places a lot of stress on people and it also eats away at our available time to do important things like routinely train and practice mobility. So instead of falling apart this Christmas here are some tips on how to stay on track.

By writing down what you plan on doing at least a week in advance you will create a commitment. Don’t just write down what exercises you plan on doing, write down the sets and reps and weights you plan on hitting. This will not only force you to go, but it will also force you to work harder.

2) Do mobility each workout
The only person who enjoys doing mobility is a yoga instructor, and that’s only because it’s their entire routine. After a workout, nothing sounds less enjoyable than painfully contorting your body. However, this is just as important as your actual workout. I like to plan at least 3 mobility movements for each workout. Remember, it takes at least 2 minutes to change soft tissue – so hit each position for at least that long.

3) Mix your mobility up
The human body is full of different things to stretch, and there are many ways to stretch them. For example, you could do a static stretch –where you hold a fixed position – or you could perform an active stretch – where you sit in a fixed position and hold a flex – or you could even do a band stretch – where a band pulls at a joint while you stretch/flex the affected muscle. I could go on about how many “fun” stretches there are, but the point is that you should mix it up. I prefer to do 3 different types of stretching per week, with at least two days of myofascial release.

4) Go full range
Last and most importantly is your range of motion (ROM). When we get in a hurry, and there is no one around to judge us, we begin to slack off. One of the first things we may do is short-change how deep we go on a squat or whether or not we touch our chest on the bench. ROM does more than validate your PRs, it also keeps your joints mobile and your muscles long. Lifting in a deficient ROM is like never putting your car in its final gear – what a waste.

Ok, comparing football season and the holidays may be a stretch but you have to admit there is a similarity. And if you have cousins like me, you might just get tackled. Stay in the gym and stay healthy Endu Tribe.

@TeamEndunamoo 

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance


The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.