Rather than thrashing our bodies today and leaving ourselves sore and broken tomorrow, unable to roll out of bed, we believe daily movement of some sort is essential to wellbeing and for that, a fundamental shift in training style is required.
Going flat out in top gear every day is simply not sustainable in the long run nor is it coherent with our evolutionary history. Smashing a bootcamp-style class day after day with minimal if any stretching or mobility work, where quantity trumps quality every time, is a direct path to injury, especially in the over-30s.
Instead, aim to give your body as wide a range of stimulus as possible each week, working from a baseline of 2-3 x 60 mins of the ever-popular Strength and Conditioning. The point of these sessions is to give you the capacity in your upper body, core, leg and (don’t forget) heart muscles to do what you ask of them when needed. Toning, weight loss and muscle gain are all welcome side-effects; they come as part of the package but we’re focused on bigger things here. So, with the ’Muscles’ box now safely ticked, it’s time to move on!
NB: this type of training is the start and end of many a modern day fitness regime. What follows will be virgin territory for some…
Next up is the ‘Mobility’ element to increase your range of motion, help in muscle recovery and generally ensure your body is happy and agile as possible. All of the strength and conditioning work is for nothing if it leaves you tight, tired and tense; eventually something will snap and if the aim is to keep moving for as long a possible in life, snaps are to be avoided like the plague. Play the long game. Become the tortoise.
If your shoulders restrict you from carrying a heavy load overhead, your hips stop you from getting into a deep squat or your hamstrings prevent a kick above waist height you know where to focus your mobility work. For others, discovering what needs most attention may take a little more digging around but keep looking and you'll find it eventually.
Mobility practice deserves a place at the very centre of any training regime. When you’re too old to lift, sprint or jump, or simply laid up with an injury, there will still be mobility. So make friends, buddy up, this one’s a keeper. Greater mobility = freedom of movement. It doesn't get more clear than that.
And so to the third and final M, the mother of them all, the Big M… Movement itself. We talk a lot about movement as the basic building block of fitness, which includes but is not limited to strength, conditioning and mobility work.
Our Movement classes are made up of locomotion patterns, brachiation, jumping, rolling, inversions, climbing and more, the aim being to develop the ability to move through space with skill, control and grace. From there, everything else only gets easier.
Similarly our movement-based Play classes are designed to push the body into as wide a range of positions as possible through the medium of purposeful, interactive play. Here the introduction of a partner forces the body to respond to outside stimuli in the most efficient way possible. The benefits of such free-form practice are endless but at the very least it’s a way to get in a daily dose of movement without worrying about muscular exhaustion. It's also fun. Lets get adult play out of the bedroom and into the studio where it belongs!