One of the most common “go-to” exercises in countless work-out repertoires is the ever popular sit-up. It is an exercise that is ingrained in our minds from elementary school gym class fitness testing through sports team training programs, and even into adulthood when trying to reach the sometimes elusive six-pack abs. But the research reports are in, and this seemingly timeless exercise that has been the staple to many fitness routines has been pushed from its chiseled pedestal and has come crashing down. Let’s talk about why.
I have always loved puzzles—taking a step back, looking at the big picture, and thinking outside of the box to find a unique and creative solution to a problem. The mystery and unknown that surround real world puzzles keep me on my toes and capture my interest and energy with the goal of finding a solution. This, along with my love of working with people and helping others, helped to spur on my dreams of being a doctor. I chose the field of chiropractic and gained interest in specializing in human movement and biomechanics because I have come to see that by coordinating multiple types of tools like chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue techniques, and functional movement exercises, the best recipes for improvement can be found for each patient.
What does your workout look like? Whether you love to run, bike, lift weights, rock climb, kayak, or even play an organized sport, I hope we all have one similarity in our chosen exercise program, and that is variety. Mixing up your activities and types of exercise programs help to provide different ways of moving and challenging your mind and body to help maximize individual function ability and reduce the risk of injury. There is one exercise that has been gathering steam as a necessity in athletic and functional training over the past several years. It is an exercise that should be supplemented into all programs no matter the goals. I am referring to the Loaded Carry.
In the last blog entry, I talked about how the ways we move create and maintain communication pathways between the brain and body. These pathways help with coordination, avoiding injuries, and beating chronic pain syndrome. Now, I’d like to dive a little deeper and talk about how moving can affect your balance and in turn your performance.
In one of my favorite episodes of the TV show “The Office” Jim, the office prankster, messes with his desk partner, Dwight. In the episode, Jim secretly trains Dwight to crave Altoids whenever he hears the music associated with a computer being turned off. Jim continues this experiment until finally Dwight is left with a confusing need for an Altoid every time that well knownMicrosoft log off music is played even when a mint is not offered—leaving a bad taste in Dwight’s mouth, literally. So, what’s the significance of this anecdote about the psychological battle between two co-workers? This mind tricking prank, inspired by physiologist, Ivan Pavlov’s work, does a great job of explaining how our brains can perpetuate chronic pain even after the initial injury is “healed.”