Prerequisites are found throughout our lives
Prerequisites are found throughout our lives. They form the basis of pretty much everything, and create a safe environment for us to work within. They are the rules of the road that you have to understand before driving, they are the education you need before getting a career. Prerequisites exist in the gym/movement world too. The understanding of prerequisites in the gym is generally pretty poor….am I strong enough to do x,y or z, can I keep running for 10km? We don’t consider all the other possibilities of injury that exist, and when we can perform the movement without injury, it appears we are safe to continue to add more load. This may continue for years until we either stop being able to lift increasingly heavy weights and max out, or we get injured. We then put this down to the ageing process or all too often it’s just a mystery why we have suddenly developed an injury.
The problem is pain or injury tend to occur at the end of a dysfunctional movement patten, not the start of it. Using no pain/injury as a marker for ticking off all the prerequisites is not a useful tool. It’s too late. The damage is done, and it may be permanent.
Generally, gyms try to limit the prerequisites by reducing the potential for injury by either telling people to lift less weight, or not performing a full movement, or even encourage machine weights E.g. don’t squat below 90 degrees, because most people lack hip and ankle mobility to squat deeper, if they go try, their knees collapse in etc. In this case, you should consider improving mobility so you can squat properly before increasing strength to keep things safe.
Don’t gamble with your body. Stop and ask yourself do you have the prerequisites to do everything you are doing in the gym, your sport, or your lifestyle. I break down movement prerequisites into categories depending on the activity and the individual I am working with. An example of these are; joint resilience, mobility, connective tissue strength, coordination, balance, etc.. some of these I’ll demonstrate in future posts. Until then, be careful with what you do if you haven’t considered your own prerequisites!