Is your exercise a door or a window?
Is your exercise a door or a window? A window allows us to look through to a potential movement pattern but not pass through to actually achieve it. A door however is a gateway to new possibilities. For example, a bench press is a window. It allows us to develop some of the muscles engaged in activities such as crawling, pushing, and climbing without the ability to actually do those tasks. A press up however is a door. It creates possibilities to explore other ranges of movement. It helps create stability in the shoulders for crawling for example. The deep squat is another example of a door. It creates some of the mobility to then engage in other activities such as locomotion. Doors are important because our brains thrive on learning new movement patterns. As we age, like it or not we are going to lose muscle mass. What we retain is muscle memory, learning skilled movements stays with us. I’ve been training for 7 months in gymnastics and it never ceases to frustrate me when a new person to the class who last did gymnastics when she was 5 can still do cartwheels. Limit yourself now and in 5/10/20/50 years from now you are going to regret it! I was a paramedic for 10 years in London, much of my job was picking old age pensioners off the ground because they limited their movement for getting up off the floor to 1, and then when that failed they needed me to pick them up. So if this is important, how much time do you spend training your brain? Are you repeating the same activity you did when you started at the gym but just a little more weight? Then spend the rest of the day sat in front of a computer? It won’t be me picking you up off the floor when your old but make sure you offer the paramedic a nice cup of tea!